Dear Friend, what's on your mind
You don’t laugh the way you used to
But I've noticed how you cry
Dear friend, I feel so helpless
I see you sit in silence
As you face new pain each day
I feel there’s nothing I can do
I know you don’t feel pretty
Even though you are
But it wasn’t your beauty
That found room in my heart
Dear friend, you are so precious Dear Friend
Dear friend, I'm here for you
I know that you don’t talk too much
But we can share this day anew
Dear Friend, please don’t feel like you're alone
There is someone who is praying
Praying for your peace of mind
Hoping joy is what you'll find
I know you don’t feel weak
Even though you are
But it wasn’t your strength
That found room in my heart
Dear friend, you are so precious, Dear Friend
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
|Nicholas L. Laning|
Come on. You all know what happened. The small group leader reproved her. She told her her she needed to get over it, that she needed to stop thinking about guys and just be content.
This is like a rich person telling a poor person they shouldn't want money... via skype from their Bahamian beach house, with paradise glowing in the background. I can just hear it. "No. Rick. You should stop trying to earn money. You need to be happy where you are. Hold on a sec. (Yells off screen) Cookie, watch the lobster. I don't want it overcooked like last night. Overcooked lobster makes me bloated and we're going skydiving later. I don't want it to be like our trip to Hawaii last week. (comes back to the screen) So, yeah, you need to just chill out. Rice and beans are all you need, man."
There is obvious truth to this. Rice and beans are more than enough to sustain. There really, really are people dying around the world right this very second from starvation. You should be thankful for whatever you have. Period. However, being thankful for what you have is not equivalent to not having future dreams, hopes, and desires, is it? It isn't. Every single one of the men that we look up to in the Bible had desires and dreams.
I guess, in the end, my concern, between writing for the Abyssic and this, is that I have come to see that we lack in our ability to empathize and sympathize with people. We want to much to fix people. Perhaps it is our Texan individualism that makes us say, "Buck up," instead of, "I'm sorry you're struggling."
I know I have done it too. I used to be infamous at camp for being cold to kids who cried when they fell. It wasn't that I didn't have sympathy, I guess. I thought I was doing them a favor. You know? Most of the time they were just looking for attention, and would waste time they could have spent playing nursing a fake wound because we big people were coddling them. Here's the thing though. There were quite a few times where I said get up to kids that were actually hurt. Who's an idiot now? (Points thumbs at self) I should have had room in my heart for actual pain, for the real deal. We all should. Let's recall Jesus' reaction to the pain of those mourning the death of Lazurus, a man he would raise from the dead...
John 11:35 ESV
(BTW, I am not saying that being married makes you rich and single poor, the analogy is supposed to show someone wanting something that someone else has attained, and the person with it telling the person they don't need it while enjoying it. In this case, the person wants to be married.)
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Last night I sat on the patio in my brother-in-law’s back yard. The Mississippi pines swayed broad and hushed loud, pushed about by a rare, southern wind. Small patches of black sky hovered above the tall, swaying canopy above me. The smell of pine needles flew strong about the air. It was a beautiful moment.
The moment dug deep inside me, past myself, to that deepest part. I thought of my Daddy Jake again. I imagined how many breezes he had felt. I imagined my Nanna standing beneath a slightly younger sun, it’s warmth caressing her tiny face and hands. The people kept coming. It wasn’t faces I saw, it was as if I embodied them for a moment, if but in my dreams, or perhaps it is the way around. Whichever way it goes, there are people so a part of us, and us them, that we take them everywhere. Everywhere I go, those people in my heart are also. Nothing is experienced without them. Everything is shared with them.
Yet, until last night, I had never stopped to wonder about where I have been carried. What smells, sounds, or sights have conjured me inside someone else, reminded them of me, or made them feel my presence, though I am far away? Perhaps it is in the swelling of an orchestra, or the sight of home, or perhaps even someplace new, and the overwhelming desire to show and share such a place with me is what swells inside. Where have I been? Where have the hearts of others taken me? And, where will I go?
Most of all, I wonder…
In whose hearts am I being carried?
Friday, April 6, 2012
I don't have much to say today. I have written several drafts before this, and they all felt hollow today. I want to confess my faith in Christ Jesus on this Good Friday. This is not new, it is not renewed, but saying out loud feels appropriate. I can see the four-year-old version of myself who prayed for a changed heart, and was never the same. My heart wants to state simply that I believe with all my heart that Jesus Christ came, lived a perfect life that you and I couldn't live, died a criminal's death upon the cross, taking all of our sin upon His self, and was raised to life on the third day. He is now seated at the right hand of the Father. Though I do not always live it well, though I fail, I will always turn back toward Christ. It is His face I seek , and it is His face that the Father looks at when taking up the issue of my sin, my debt. He sees Christ in my stead, and thus perfection when I have been nowhere near perfect. It is indeed... finished. To God be All Glory.