Tag Archives: God

I wonder what Jesus thinks about while he waits for me to let Him in.

I am – I don’t even know. I had an epiphany that solves my WordPress title (“seeking whispers”). The last epiphany that struck me so much was years and years ago when I realised that my body is an integral part of me and that I had always considered myself “Me” and “My Body” but never as one whole. This is so exciting!

So, I grew up Christian. For the past two years I have casually been questioning the truth of Christianity, and more seriously over the past two months I declared myself an atheist, etc to have a more impartial view, and I was honestly getting ready to rid myself of a crazy illogic. A staunchly rational philosophy professor encouraged me in this. From every outside angle, Christianity is ridiculous. The “moral good” it produces started hospitals, yes, but also starts lots of wars. Oppression from imposing Christianity on conquered and colonized people, Bible hate-thumping, rejection of gay people and so many other pains littered the history and presence of the Church, and I wanted no more of it. The Bible didn’t even make sense to me, especially the person of Jesus, who you think you’d kinda have to agree with to join His Church at all.

So last week I fell in love with Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, and he had a claim that started to erode my intellectual defenses: that Christianity is not a contradictory faith, but a paradox. When the eternal meets the time-bound, it cannot make sense. I can’t explain more of what he wrote, but his perspective answered concerns I never voiced and refreshed me.

Then, all the Breaking Bad references reminded me of one verse:

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. (Revelation 3:20)

I saw this a day or two ago, and had my revelation a little later.

My relationship with God: “seeking whispers.” I knew our relations were muffled. I can’t find him inside the house, but I hear him calling for me sometimes. I thought He was unreachable, or that I was lost, or never invited to His family.

My Sunday school teacher told me nine years ago that Jesus was knocking on the door of my heart, and all I had to do to be saved was accept Him. As it turns out, I was alerted to His presence there, but I forgot to let Him in.

For nine years, I would say, “I’m coming!” and “Please come in. Make yourself at home in my heart and in my life. Can I get you anything?” and neglect to open the door. I would look around, and think He had already left me.

I ask God over the phone, “Who is this at my door? Who wants to come in? I don’t know them. I only want You in here. Protect me!” And God answers, “That is me.” I say, “Whenever life gets rough, my house sounds like it’s going to fall apart.” And He says, “That’s me knocking. I want to hold you when you’re scared and sad.” But I never recognized Him. We have been together for a decade, but I have never seen His face and never knew what He looks like. How embarrassing, that I say “I love you” and “I don’t know you” to Him in one breath! Like a gentleman, He will never force his way in. I really respect that about Him, but I kinda hate the responsibility that courtesy puts on me to be an active contributor to our relationship.

I wonder what Jesus thinks about while he waits for me to let Him in. What does Jesus think, hearing my promises through the wood, hearing me call for Him, yell at Him for abandoning me, or questioning His existence because I can’t find Him inside, when he is standing on my porch (after 9 years!), patient and full of love, probably holding a bouquet of roses behind his back for me, smiling so happily when He thinks of when He will see me, sometimes frustrated that I leave Him outside when I need Him with me, still eager to finally get to know me in person.

With enduring patience, He waits still and may come in soon! I know I know deep down how to let Him in, but it isn’t conscious yet. I’m scared and I need to get over that. I hope that comes with time, but I may need guidance. And once I do let Him in, I have to remember to keep letting Him back in after I kick Him out or He leaves for whatever reason.

I’m so excited! I kinda found God.

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What is Christianity? Simple language.

So at the beginning of time, this all-powerful being we call God spoke everything we have into existence:  light, darkness, sky, the earth, stars, plants, fish, birds, animals, and humankind. The first people didn’t obey him, so he let them be able to die. Over time, more and more people filled the land, and he chose one man to be the father of a group of people he would pay close attention to, the Israelites, or Jews. God gave them a piece of land and said it would be theirs. But they were not happy with God, and they didn’t obey him. So God allowed them to go through a lot of hard stuff including slavery, being lost in the desert for a long time, sickness, and lots of wars.

God was mad with them. He punished them by letting other groups of people drag them away from their land three times, and then letting them go back after a while. But he always kept them together and did not let them all die.

They didn’t obey God. Even when they tried, they messed everything up. Today, they are still a group of people, and they still have their land, Israel, but they struggle with invading people, and are the center of warfare in the Middle East. They still don’t obey God.

About 2000 years ago, God’s chosen group of people were in their land, but being ruled by another group of people, the Romans. God wanted to enter the picture as a human, instead of a deity that feels far away and unrelatable. So he searched his group of people, and found a willing woman who loved him and had a good heart, and she was the mother of his son. This man grew up in a little rural village as a carpenter, and studied the history of God with his group of people. He learned to obey God, and made it his life’s goal to obey God. He became a “rabbi”, which is like a preacher, and which made him upper-class.

When he was 30 he started giving speeches about God in the local churches. The church leaders did not like these speeches because he challenged their traditional way of doing things. He pointed out what they were doing wrong and where they were not obeying God, which made them mad at him. They didn’t care about obeying God, but wanted to make the lower classes think they were perfect. This man ignored the social rules that put him in a position above women, people of other races, and less educated people. Some of these people were considered “bad people.” He cared about them, because they cared about obeying God more than looking good. They were his fans and loved his speeches. He spent more of his time with them than with the leaders.

This man also is known for doing crazy things like changing water into wine for wedding guests so the party could go on, and walking on water, and healing people, even bringing them back to life.

He knew what he was talking about, and it showed. People really liked him. Crowds followed him everywhere, so he gave his rebellious talks out in rural areas to groups of thousands of people, and in houses full of people. A lot of the crowd wanted him to become king and lead a rebellion to break their nation free from subjugation to the Roman people, but that wasn’t his plan. He kept ticking off the people in charge. so they had him tortured and killed a short 3 years after he started. The people were disappointed. Then God judged him in the afterlife, and loved him. God declared that this man had always obeyed him. He said that this man could stand as a representative of all humans who had ever lived or who would be born after him. Because this man obeyed God, then God will be happy with us if we try to obey him and his son, no matter how much we mess up.

So now, God says we can all become part of God’s family, as brothers and sisters of God’s son. He also says that when we die, we are not dead forever but God will bring us back to life when he comes back with his son for the final judgment of all people. Then, he will send away people who didn’t obey him to die forever, and keep people who did obey him, or tried to. We will then live forever in a perfect world (no tears, pain, sadness, or sickness) with him forever.

I couldn’t pray out loud like they did.

Everyone prays differently. In church, they always prayed out loud, with lots of “Lord”, “just”, etc, and they prayed for a long time. I tried mimicking them and I felt so self-conscious! I dreaded praying out loud. This past year, I have been a member of my campus ministry’s prayer team, which has been a huge challenge and has stretched me in ways I didn’t expect.

I have a really hard time praying out loud. I am comfortable praying in my head and in my journal. Over time this past year, I got used to vocalizing part of what was in my head. I pray best when I have time to think, and especially when I have the Bible in my hands or verses floating between my ears. I think, “I have an audience of One”, but I can still only manage one-on-one talk with the Lord when I don’t have additional people listening to me.

A friend reminded me,

“Jesus already gave you what you’re going to say. You’re just sending it back to him. Why are you worried?”

While I am still way too self-conscious (read: concerned about my reputation, prideful), this makes me relax. I can humble myself to listen to what the Spirit brings up for me to pray, and use God’s own Word with him. I hope that the Lord will make me more versatile and confident in prayer that I may be a better tool for His work. But I am not a “failure” for being unable to stand in front of a crowd and pray like they do in church. Lord, teach us to pray.

Why I pray before I eat – gratitude excludes desperation.

Why would I want to provide strength for a tomorrow that I never want to see? I can’t both be grateful for food that will give me strength, and want to die. It is arbitrary / contrived (put on me by an outside force) for me to eat when I’m sad and want to die. If I fast, it will be okay because I’ll either die or find discomfort reason enough to eat (my mind says, “die”, but my body says, “eat, live!”), or God will answer me. I never have to eat if I don’t want to.

At mealtimes, my parents criticized me whenever I didn’t finish all of the food on my plate. If I sat not eating, or with an already empty plate, my father would urge me to eat something until everyone was done. It became a part of being a “good daughter” that from the time I sat down at the dinner table to the time I left, I would eat continuously, and I would finish everything I put on my plate. Over time, I stopped caring whether I felt hungry or full, but judged how much more I should eat by the time left at the table. I took most bites for duty rather than for actual hunger or need. This led to me becoming overweight.

Now,  when I live on my own, eating is routine I hate. I have to eat three meals a day, and feel guilty when I miss a meal, or when I have an extra. Because of my weight, food carries a lot of guilt for me. If I didn’t have an irrational fear of starving that creeps up whenever I actually get hungry and have no easy accessible food, I would probably forget to eat altogether.

It was truly a gift from God when he let me know that, though he is my father, I don’t have to please him by eating. I can fast. I can eat later. I don’t have to finish the food on my plate. I can decide to just not eat. I won’t have to eat in heaven. I don’t have to force-feed myself when I am depressed and want to die. But if I go to my Lord with gratitude for what he has given me, and give him thanks before I lift my fork, he blesses me immediately by turning my heart towards him, and giving me hope for the next day. If I can care to praise him even when I am otherwise miserable, I find the will to look forward to tomorrow, and the meal turns from a curse keeping me in the prison of life into a blessing that moves me forward to my place in His hands tomorrow. This change doesn’t make me stop hating food, but it makes me love my God a whole lot more.

Beneath the covers.

Beneath the covers. (as spoken word)
You know that feeling you get
when you’re lying in bed, and remember
there’s something left to do?
Turn off the front lights, lock the door, brush your teeth.
But hey, you say, I’m really tired. it can wait.
And you roll over and try to sleep.
And sometimes the sleep comes easy.
You wake up in the morning and everything’s great.
But other times the nagging thought just won’t go away.
It won’t let you sleep until you take care of it,
until you get out of your warm cozy bed to do this one little thing.
Check the oven. Send an email. Put the milk away.
Then you can fall back into bed and sleep like a baby,
until your alarm goes off always too early tomorrow morning.

This is where I am with God,
lying in bed with a nagging thought.
except no matter how many times I get up,
no matter how many little things I find to do,
the nagging doesn’t go away.
So that now, I’m lying in bed, and I can’t sleep.
But even if I get up, I can’t fix anything.
I lie awake in my warm, cozy bed, all snuggled up in my blankie.
But on top of my patchwork quilt lies a layer of lazy shame.
I can’t relax. My eyes are heavy. I’ve been here forever.
But I can’t do anything. I’ve tried. God knows I’ve tried.
I lay awake, trying to neglect the chores that I know can’t release me, because they never have.
I try to find the solution, to lay down this burden and get me to sleep!
Did I pray enough? Share my faith? Go to church? Read my daily devo? Maybe I was supposed to give up something for Lent, or give a bigger tip to that waitress. Do I have a sin left to confess? A neighbor to love?
But my checklist is complete. My Christian record is spotless, more or less.
And that’s my problem, why I can’t sleep.
It’s based on a lie – it’s as fantastic as the dreams I want to have, as appealing, and as false.
I am not a Christian. But I say I am. And that is why God won’t let me sleep tonight.

No, it’s worse. I desperately want that to be true, because that would release me.
Now the shame comes, because I want my sleep more than my God.
This night I lie awake, it is not good for me.
I am lost in a maze of chores and racing thoughts.
The lazy shame is suffocating.
And I see no way out. When the dawn greets me, I’ll be a hollow shell.
Trapped beneath the covers, and aware of it all.
Plagued by a vague nagging voice
and aware that I’d deny my Lord for a nap.
Can hell be worse than this?

God loves me.

God loves me. God loves me. God loves me. Praise God, for God loves me.

What more truth do we need?

God – the highest being in the universe and outside it. God is greater that we can ever be, stronger than everything we are, smarter than we can understand, with the kind of power that makes us scared of the dark, scared to offend and inspire him to wrath. If I were to understand the extent of God’s power, I would be crippled with fear. Look at the mountains. God is bigger. Look at the sky. God goes further than the inky blackness ascending to nothing, past the furthest sight of our greatest telescopes. God mocks our guns, our war; he laughs at our weak nuclear weapons. Our ambitions to be as “powerful” as president don’t make sense to him. Our drive to “the top”, to “success” is a game to him. We are dust under his great majesty. We can compare to nothing that He is. Look at our art. God is more beautiful. Our greatest acts of love? Darkest sin compared to God’s pure and holy goodness. God created us. God made Leonardo da Vinci. He made Steve Jobs. He made Barack Obama. He made me. He designed life itself! God is God.

And this God loves. My puppy greets me every day, tail wagging, and follows me everywhere. She forgives me easily when I forget to feed her. She loves me every day with games and attention and licks and cuddles. God loves me more. A mother works two jobs to support her family, spending every waking moment looking after her children. She exhausts herself at work, and then cooks for them, comforts them when they’re scared, and cares for them with everything she is. God loves them more. A soldier loves his country enough to die fighting for its safety. God loves us more. And His love never ends. He loves us even though he knows us perfectly. This mighty God so loved us that He gave up his power and died at our hands to give us healing from every sickness and freedom to live true life. We didn’t deserve it.

God loves me. Of all of the things that he created, God loves me. He calls the bright, shining stars “good”, he calls the oceans and beaches “good”, he calls my puppy “good”, he calls all of the wonder that is around us “good”. But he calls me “very good.” He calls you “very good.” You and I are his focus, and he loves us.

Lord, reveal to me your love for me, that I may love you more in return. Awaken my heart to seek thee.

If my heart has one ambition
If my soul one goal to seek
This my solitary vision
‘Til I only dwell in Thee
That I only dwell in Thee
‘Til I only dwell in Thee
-Brook Fraser

God loves me, and with this I am content. His love is the beacon leading me onward through my life. Unsteady though the storms of life may be, I can rest secure in His guiding light. Every day it satisfies my soul more, and I await the day that it overcomes what I have been and I am transformed into a new creation, born to seek God’s face alone. Lord, hasten that day! I praise your good and holy name. Amen.

Surrender to God’s great LOVE!

I can’t understand it, this love he has for me.
I can’t reason out why He wants to set me free…
My reflection only frowns at me; my heart is made of stone.
Surely God knows there are better hopes around.

I’m not enslaved by sickness, poorness, hunger, or real chains
that His hand might take away, and only love remains.
But I enslave myself for my stained and lifeless heart.
If Jesus frees me from myself, he just pulls me apart.

What would he see fit to save? What good is left in me?
While he holds my hand I push away, “Please, leave!”
I sit alone at night and cry a death-song for myself,
stricken by the grief that I’m too far far-gone for health.

He says he comes down for the lost to bring them to His side.
So I make my ears reject what surely only are His lies.
Love me? Impossible! I say. I hate his grave, the cross.
And feel satisfied I’m saving him from my burdens and my cost.

One vessel of wrath, made for the fire. Your kingdom has no room.
Your Father knows not my name. I am made for hell, for doom.
Even with Jesus in my life (though he really stands afar),
I have no hope. A flightless bird, mistake. A fallen star.

God loves me, holds me gently while I cry myself to sleep.
and simply says, “I care. I love. You are my loved sheep.
I care for you, your life, your pain. I’ve come to earth for you.
Know this and be satisfied, for what I say is true.

I grieve your suffering and love you when you’re in your sin.
And I’m looking forward to the day when at last you’ll let me in.
I’m counting down the hours ’til from yourself you’re free.
I’m storming your defenses and you’re not a match for me.

You’ll yet give into what I will, submit to my attack.
Then I’ll take my daughter in my arms and her joy will make us laugh.
Right now the foe has tricked you. But one day near you’ll see
It’s not about your sin, it’s all about me.

I made you, I chose you, I saved you. I win.
I healed you, remade you. I’m stronger than sin.
Whatever your weakness, never forget.
I’m God and I’m stronger. I’m not done with you yet.

Your vision is short; you can’t see what I see.
Your future holds healing, renewal and beauty.
Just trust me and follow, I promise you life.
Lay down your burdens and be joined to Christ.

Know this, my daughter, and come to find rest.
This is my work, not your work. And my work be blessed.”