Actually, psalm of the day would probably be more accurate. From The Message:
1-3Generous in love—God, give grace! Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record.
Scrub away my guilt,
soak out my sins in your laundry.
I know how bad I’ve been;
my sins are staring me down.
4-6 You’re the One I’ve violated, and you’ve seen
it all, seen the full extent of my evil.
You have all the facts before you;
whatever you decide about me is fair.
I’ve been out of step with you for a long time,
in the wrong since before I was born.
What you’re after is truth from the inside out.
Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.
7-15 Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean,
scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life.
Tune me in to foot-tapping songs,
set these once-broken bones to dancing.
Don’t look too close for blemishes,
give me a clean bill of health.
God, make a fresh start in me,
shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
Don’t throw me out with the trash,
or fail to breathe holiness in me.
Bring me back from gray exile,
put a fresh wind in my sails!
Give me a job teaching rebels your ways
so the lost can find their way home.
Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God,
and I’ll sing anthems to your life-giving ways.
Unbutton my lips, dear God;
I’ll let loose with your praise.
16-17 Going through the motions doesn’t please you,
a flawless performance is nothing to you.
I learned God-worship
when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love
don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.
18-19 Make Zion the place you delight in,
repair Jerusalem’s broken-down walls.
Then you’ll get real worship from us,
acts of worship small and large,
Including all the bulls
they can heave onto your altar!
So I noticed another problem I have on Saturday night. In the grand scheme of things, held up to my other quirks and idiosyncracies, this one is probably not as glaring as some, but it was nonetheless something important, I think. Something I needed to know about myself.
It’s difficult for me to articulate my needs. Very difficult. Maybe not so much when it’s something like a pepper shaker, or a glass of water. But otherwise? Very difficult, indeed.
There was this meeting for a ministry I’m involved in, and when it came time to talk directly to the leaders about not only their “performance,” but what we’d like to see from the ministry and them, and how we could possibly improve on our own areas that needed improvement, I clammed up for a few minutes.
One of the other team members had spoken shortly before that about asking God for help in improving the ability to deal with conflict in a workplace situation. That was like a light going on in my giant head. I tried to do that while I was sitting there, and the thought just sort of came to me to “just say it,” as in just say my need.
So I did. And it was awkward, and it came out a little rough, but it came out. Whether or not that need is fulfilled by the leaders remains to be seen. It just made me wonder, though, why it was so tough to tell them (and anyone, for that matter) what I needed, or wanted, or even hoped for. I don’t know.
Is it because I feel like they weren’t listening, and wouldn’t help me even if they were? Possibly. Prior experience with this couple had not left me feeling particularly heard, and being heard is one of my “things.”
But that didn’t feel like all of it. Is it also because deep down somewhere, I still feel like when I ask someone for something I really, really need, I don’t deserve help? Maybe some of that, too.
And in that way of thinking, is that something I believe of God as well? That I don’t deserve his help? Well, it’s hard to argue the truth of that one–I don’t. Nobody does. But isn’t the truth that you don’t help those you love because they deserve to be helped–you help them because you love them. And if I believe in my heart that I am loved, whether it be by God, or my friends, it should not be so difficult to ask for their prayers, or to tell them what I need from them as friends, or leaders. It should not be so difficult to articulate me needs to the Lord.
Anyway, I guess it’s a lot of things. It gives me plenty to pray about, for sure. And it lets me know where a few more places are I need God’s light shed on, places that are in need of healing. So I guess it’s good I went to that meeting–I didn’t want to. My first instinct was to say “screw it,” and walk away….
Lorica of Saint Patrick
I arise today
I arise today
I arise today
I arise today
I arise today
I summon today all these powers between me and evil,
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
I arise today
St. Patrick (ca. 377)
Originally posted last July…but I can’t get enough of these verses. And I love the Message translation…
“When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. The son started his speech: ‘Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son ever again.’
22-24“But the father wasn’t listening. He was calling to the servants, ‘Quick. Bring a clean set of clothes and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a grain-fed heifer and roast it. We’re going to feast! We’re going to have a wonderful time! My son is here—given up for dead and now alive! Given up for lost and now found!’ And they began to have a wonderful time.
Luke 15:20-24, From The Message
Funny how you just find stuff sometimes.
This morning I read from Zechariah. Wasn’t sure exactly why, until I saw this verse from Chapter 1:
Therefore tell the people: This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the LORD Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the LORD Almighty
Zechariah 1: 3.
Return to me, and I will return to you.
No matter where I go, or how far from Jesus I feel, if I but return to Him, he will return to me. Amazing….
I read more after that, but I think that was the part I needed to see the most.
Something happened a few weeks ago, and I’m not sure exactly what it was. All I can say is ever since then, I’ve felt like my old self again, and that isn’t a good thing. I think it started at the last regular evening of Healing Prayer. I didn’t receive prayer–I led a prayer session. So it was actually after the prayer session, on the way home. We talk about being triggered all the time, but it didn’t really feel like that. It hadn’t been a particularly emotional session, but the person receiving the prayer that night got a few good truths from the Lord, and more importantly, some direction. It was nice to be there for that. But I got to thinking on the way home, something like I’d done a bad job, and should not have been leading at all. That the Lord could not use me in such a context. That my prayers were feeble, and did not matter. Many more like that. I didn’t recognize it as an attack at the time, though I’m able to see that now, with the 20/20 vision hindsight provides.
On second thought, I guess I was triggered. It had nothing to do with the guy in the session. I recognized it as my own stuff coming up to bite me in the ass once again. Yet I was not able to get rid of it this time, and even though I recognized the previously mentioned statements as lies, they felt true that night. They still feel true.
The next week Healing Prayer had our end-of-season party, and I thought about trying to talk to one of the guys there, but wasn’t quite able to do it. The context didn’t seem right to get serious, and I had a small sort of…run-in with the person in question. Not really even a run-in, but I tried to talk to him once or twice and found him extremely cool, and nearly aloof. Not approachable at all. This is something we’d had difficulty with in the past, but I thought those times were in the past. And that probably small event, became something larger, because it seemed to reinforce everything I’d been thinking about myself just a few days before.
So instead of talking to someone else, or trying to pray about it, I just went home feeling pretty much the same as I had been going in, and rather than trying to combat the lies I’d been hearing in my heart, I let them be, figuring I’d just get over it. Of course, rather than helping, this only reinforced them.
So where I’ve been this week is feeling completely apathetic about nearly everything. Haven’t been praying much. Don’t care. Haven’t been reading much. Ditto. Eating badly again–so what? I have a vacation coming up, and I should be excited about it–I’m not. I hate that I feel this way about everything, because it feels like weakness, and I hate feeling weak. It reminds me of being a kid. I’m not a kid.
Anyway, I hate writing this kind of thing. But maybe part of strength is knowing the areas where you are a little weaker, and being able to ask for help. I feel like I need a little help with this one. And even now, I’m getting a very strong inclination not to post this, not to ask anyone to pray. So that’s why I’m going to. The previous lengthy paragraphs are so you can have an idea about how my mind’s working, and where I am right now.
So for those of you who read my slop, toss up a quick prayer. I’m trying to do that myself. I guess it’s a good thing I’ll be getting back to “talking to someone” later on this month. Good times!
There’s nothing worse than feeling completely powerless. Not that I felt powerFUL before. But still…