06 March, 2016

Dear Diary: Real Life

(Cross post from Forthfaithful.blogspot.com)
Dear Diary: today finds me at my favorite place...the beach.  Yes, I am at the water and thank you for meeting me here.  I'm bundled up and sitting in my beach chair.  The wind is whistling about and rustling my papers, tangling my hair and it is glorious.  The beach is empty except for me and my guy.  The waves are unceasing but the water is calm.  It is 68º with nary a cloud in sight. And I feel tears rolling down my cheeks.  I am so joyful in this place. It is the place of creation... where water meets land in a divine way.  It is His place and He's let it be a part of my spirit.  

I am pondering Lent today.  We have walked a Lent journey for 4 weeks.  I'm wondering what I have learned.  Has anything changed in me?  Has what I "gave up for Lent" made a difference in my life?  Has it drawn me closer to knowing God?  And honestly, I'm a bit tired of writing in metaphor, reading the Bible in metaphor and hearing from God in metaphor.  I want real words and advice.  I want real steps to knowing this King.  Or so I think.  But really....can I handle the real words?...the Truth.  The truth of who I really am?
Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’So he divided his property between them.
“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

“Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.  
(Luke 15 selected verses)
Perhaps the young son wanted REAL LIFE too.  Perhaps his father's words to him became mundane and metaphorical.  Perhaps he left home to find life on his own terms.  Perhaps his brother stayed to live by the rules and expectations.  Perhaps this brother was also seeking to find REAL LIFE.  Perhaps they too felt they needed real words and real actions to live life fully.  And that's exactly what the Father gave them.  Gives us.  Freedom to ask questions and seek Him.  For I too have left and gone into the far country and tried to find my own way.  I've also stayed home and become bitter and judgmental and jealous.  Aren't we all both of the sons in some ways and on some days??

Could Lent be the time in our lives that God runs off the porch to welcome us home and assure us of our place with Him?  Could it be the time that He endorses our journey, whatever it has been, and welcomes us home.  Could it be the time He says, Oh Kathy, all I have is yours.  Could it be the time that I must come to the end of myself and declare from the broken place of reality that I have only ONE home.  In this Lent season, not metaphorically but in reality, He is running off the porch to welcome us home.

Let the soul which God has breathed into us breathe after him; and let it be for him since it is from him.  Into his hands let us commit our spirits, for from his hands we had them.
(Matthew Henry)

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