He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

I was reading the below text this morning:

19 “Then, just as the Lord our God commanded us, we left Mount Sinai and traveled through the great and terrifying wilderness, as you yourselves remember, and headed toward the hill country of the Amorites. When we arrived at Kadesh-barnea, 20 I said to you, ‘You have now reached the hill country of the Amorites that the Lord our God is giving us. 21 Look! He has placed the land in front of you. Go and occupy it as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has promised you. Don’t be afraid! Don’t be discouraged!’

22 “But you all came to me and said, ‘First, let’s send out scouts to explore the land for us. They will advise us on the best route to take and which towns we should enter.’

23 “This seemed like a good idea to me, so I chose twelve scouts, one from each of your tribes.24 They headed for the hill country and came to the valley of Eshcol and explored it. 25 They picked some of its fruit and brought it back to us. And they reported, ‘The land the Lord our God has given us is indeed a good land.’

Israel’s Rebellion against the Lord

26 “But you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God and refused to go in. 27 You complained in your tents and said, ‘The Lord must hate us. That’s why he has brought us here from Egypt—to hand us over to the Amorites to be slaughtered. 28 Where can we go? Our brothers have demoralized us with their report. They tell us, “The people of the land are taller and more powerful than we are, and their towns are large, with walls rising high into the sky! We even saw giants there—the descendants of Anak!”’

29 “But I said to you, ‘Don’t be shocked or afraid of them! 30 The Lord your God is going ahead of you. He will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt. 31 And you saw how the Lord your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child. Now he has brought you to this place.’

32 “But even after all he did, you refused to trust the Lord your God, 33 who goes before you looking for the best places to camp, guiding you with a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day.

— Deuteronomy 1:19-33 (MSG)

I was struck by how closely my own response to life sometimes mirrors that of the Israelites. God was giving them amazing land, replete with good things…and they turned it down because the scouts mentioned the size of the people/cities. They even went so far as to say that God must hate them, the same God who delivered them from Egypt, dropped food from the sky, gushed water from rocks, and annihilated whole armies for them!

That seemed ludicrous to me until I realized that I do the exact same thing. God will do something incredible for me — provide resources, give me a needed word, send a friend my way just at the right moment — and then the next month I’m declaring God hates me because something doesn’t look the way I think it should. How quickly I forget how powerful, miraculous, and for me my God is, all because of the size of problem! As if God is intimidated.

What scout’s report have you put in front of what God said He would do? He is for you. He didn’t bring you out this far only to abandon you!

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Who Cares?

Last week I was listening to my favorite song from the musical, “Rent” (read here for info on the musical http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rent_(musical)) — “Will I.” The song is sung in the round, and the lyrics are very simple:

Will I lose my dignity?

Will someone care?

Will I wake tomorrow from this nightmare?

I get stuck on “Will someone care?” How many of us ask that in our day-to-day lives? Will someone care that I’m hurting? Will someone care about me, in spite of my broken state? It seems like the answer is “no,” that so many people want other people to be easy, pulled together, and ready to serve them. Don’t get me wrong — the greatest fulfillment in life comes from using one’s God-given talents and gifts to help others. However. I can’t help but wonder sometimes if that’s all I am — no, all I’m allowed to be — to other people.

I’m quite certain you can relate. We all have those moments of feeling drained of all we are with no one pouring back into us. When this happens, I start resenting both people and my talents. I become depressed over how empty I feel, wondering when it will be my turn to be taken care of, to be fulfilled, to have what others have that I want.

I had a “moment” last night when I poured out what I was feeling — what I didn’t even know I was feeling until the eruption was triggered — to God. I let it all out, surprised that this torrent had gone unnoticed within me. I realized as soon as it was over that while the emotion was very real, the thoughts behind it were wrong. Some day my visions and dreams will be realized, but in the meantime, I am still blessed. I have AMAZING friends who love, support, and encourage me. I have a God who cares about the tiniest of my concerns and who reaches out to me in the most loving ways. I have a good job, hobbies, passions, and purpose. I’m going to be alright.

Whether or not “someone cares” in the particular way I want them to at that moment, I’m going to be alright!

Crunch Time

A sickening crunch came from behind me. I turned around and saw a BMW had just sideswiped another sedan. One of the car’s alarms went off.

I stared a while at the wreckage, as if staring long enough would recreate the accident and I could understand what happened. I could feel my heart beating faster and the stress-induced hormone cortisone racing through my veins. This accident had nothing to do with me, and I didn’t know the people involved. Yet I felt a deep nausea that somehow wasn’t in my stomach. An uneasiness washed over me.

After a moment or two, I was able to put my finger on what it was that bothered me — it was the feeling of something being wrong, of how quickly our everyday world can change. These people were just on their daily commute, no doubt making the same maneuvers they did each day. And in an instant, their days changed.

I was especially unnerved by the sound of the impact. It was unnatural, foreign among the normal sounds of the early morning, an eerie reminder of how quickly things can change.

Cue the Queue

Last week I had a few periods of waiting, so I took out my notebook and pen and began to write. Knowing that starting out with a lofty goal after such a long hiatus would only generate writer’s block, I allowed myself to just describe whatever flitted across my mind.

I found myself sketching out with words a woman who was anxiously waiting. I saw her adrenaline-fueled movements and listened in on her erratic, bipolar thoughts. The waiting period made her imagination go wild, to her own detriment. She could no longer decipher truth from paranoia, and it didn’t much matter anyways since it was all conjecture.

Ironically, I found myself in the same situation today. Waiting. Agonizingly, with all sorts of monsters racing around my brain unbridled. The trouble is, any of them could have truth to them, but I must wait to find out which one will be reality.

I hate waiting, but I hate uncertainty even more than waiting. I’m forced to contend with both, driven to uncharacteristic distraction. Please, God, I pray. Please, just let the waiting end.

Yet I wait, the control completely out of my hands and the call to trust, trust, trust ringing in my ears.

Waiting…

Under the Sea

I know these depths

I’ve plumbed them over and over

Inky currents

seeping into my pores

Toxic, but comfortable there

Sometimes I’ll find buoyancy, start to rise to the top

It’s warmer there

But slinky tendrils from the depths entwine my ankles

Slip down

down

down

Toes squish in mud

Black tendrils squeeze harder

And I’m stuck

Anyone Have Some Rust-Eze?

Wrote a poem yesterday…it wasn’t any good, but I’ve had a maddening itch to write the past few weeks, the kind of itch that can’t be willed away but must be scratched.

It felt good to put pen to paper again, even if I didn’t like the dirty water spitting from the rusty faucet. But no matter. You can’t get to the clear water without getting out the dirty water first!

Here’s hoping 2013 will be year gushing with writing!

Another Night is Over

Writer’s Digest poetry prompt:  For today’s prompt, write a memory poem. The poem could be about a personal memory, someone else’s memory, or even play with the fact that some people lose memories. Just remember to write a poem.

 

Blurred around the edges

Hazy, detached at first

Something sharp brings everything into focus

Wince

The knife finds the same wound,

but plunges a bit deeper with the recall

Over and over

Twisting the blade 

 

“Let it go”

Cleanse the wound, rinse out the infection

Bandage it up

The scar tissue will be thick, resilient

Just another lesson learned, another tortured memory repaired