Excruciating Vulnerability

…for you Father…

so loved  the world

that you gave Him unto us

and He came and chose The Path of Great Sacrifice.

 

Leaping Backwards and Other Feats of Valor

Now is the time for radical change.   Folks are seemingly making rash life decisions and  family and friends may be none too happy.  Seized with a baffling inner conviction, surrounding objections go unheeded.  Without looking back, the hero jumps.  In mid-flight, he realizes he has no clue where his feet will land.

How spectacular a sight.   For acts of true courage are irrational and remind us that martyrdom comes in many colors.

Look around.  Christians are committing massive acts of the heart every single day.  Some are forfeiting lucrative jobs to pursue personal ministries that offer no steady income.  Still others, guided by Godly conviction, are taking leave of house and hearth to follow the Spirit.  Young Christians are consistently defying peer pressure by embracing chastity and piety.   A steady stream of holy acts is encircling us as the Faithful choose God.  Especially when it does not make sense.

We all know that dying for Jesus is a great honor.  Yet holy martyrdom is multidimensional, so do not assume the worst. One day you may be asked to shed blood for Him.  On the other hand, you may be prompted to suddenly go where it hurts most.  Such as:

Your wallet.

Your sense of security.

Your desire for acceptance and prestige.

These invitations of the Holy Spirit never cease to amaze me.   His descent is not just some ancient movement witnessed at the first Pentecost.  Oh how He is working right now!  The constant companion of Our Lord and harbinger of the Great News is manifesting among us at record speed.   Again and again, we the downtrodden are being lifted up by His steady hand only to find ourselves opting for a new skin.

In this unprecedented house cleaning, many of us are being reappointed in preparation for what lies ahead.  It appears that in order to be of maximum use to Our Creator, we must move beyond our comfort zone.  If this is your reality, consider yourself chosen.

Our 12 Star General knows what He is up to.   Not one of us will be left out of the change-game as His troops are readied for battle.  The question is not whether you will have to stretch beyond yourself.  That is a given and no noble metamorphosis comes without seismic struggle.  Instead take note of your personal unveiling before the eyes of the Lord.

Therein lies true beauty.

For now, we march together with each soul humming a singular note.  Unknowingly, our individual offerings of bravery converge as a great orchestration before the throne of  God.  It  is our earthly gift to Jesus at this time.

Carry on Good Comrade.  You are not alone.

 

Your Sister in Christ,

Cindy

I Thirst

jesus painting photo: i thirst ithirst-1.jpg

If thou art willing to suffer no adversity,

how wilt thou be the friend of Christ?

                                   Thomas à Kempis

Triumph in the Fallen Garden

'Child Hiding' photo (c) 2006, D. Sharon Pruitt - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/My father died 11 days ago.

There are no words in any language to describe what it feels like when someone you love dies.  There are also no well-intended platitudes, spiritual rhetoric or flower bouquets to lessen your despair.  You suffer through it like a fly glued to sticky paper.  You writhe, groan, and spasm.

Have you felt true grief before?  If you have, you know exactly what I speak of.  It is life changing.  If you don’t believe me look at the before and after photos of soldiers’ faces from the Iraqi war.  Grief can literally etch itself upon your countenance and impact you at the cellular level.  The physical body screams out in agony.  When you take a breath, you fear you will explode. When you exhale, you wonder if it is the last.  It takes all the sufferings from your past and puts them in a box called Not Grief.  It suddenly casts you into an abyss of alienation from normalcy.

As Christian Soldiers we must find a way to cope with suffering, death, and the resulting grief.  If not, we will become emotionally and spiritually immobilized. Our desperate attempts to quell the pain via drugs, alcohol, sex, money, and food will be of no avail.  We will thrash about in a befuddled state and be of little use to the Remnant Army.  This is exactly what the devil desires.  Don’t let him win; you must embrace your grief.  I mean it.  There is no band-aid for human anguish.  You must honor it, feel it, and allow it to move through your being.  It will hurt like the dickens but you must walk through it.  And therein lies the good news.  You can walk though grief and journey to the other side.

God has a beautiful way of providing us with support during our trial of tears.  Don’t be surprised at how healing may manifest.  It may be predictable in the form of a close friend, pastor, priest, or grief counselor.  On the other hand, God may lead you into the unexpected.  You may find yourself suddenly writing poetry, endlessly sipping tea, stealing cat naps, or hiking alone in the woods.  Allow Jesus to offer you a very personal prescription for recovery.  You are a unique soul and the Lord knows exactly how you best be mended.

It is vital you be patient with your personal response to the loss of a cherished other.  There is no perfect way to grieve.  The moment I learned of my father’s passing, I felt completely cut off from God.  It was horrible.  My daily religious practice simply unraveled with the exception of robotic Church attendance.  I was the woman sobbing in the back pew.  The few words I could squeak out to Jesus were steeped in anger and despair.  Thankfully, my Christian friends immediately came to my aid, offering prayers up for my grief-striken family.  Don’t be shy about asking others to pray for you.  They are a precious gift from God for times such as these.  When you can talk to Jesus, do so.  Be honest with Him.  Jesus knows what you are going through and besides being a Just God, He is also a God of Mercy and Divine Love.

Time can take some of the sting out of death.  However, I have to wonder if the soul ever truly heals from the ravages of human decay and loss.  It is, after all, the gift that keeps on giving per the hands of our enemy.  Yet Jesus can heal even the deepest of wounds.  He provides us with Grace sufficient to rise us up so that we may engage in the battle once again.

My dad was a good man.  I want my remaining days here on earth to be a testimony to his spirit and his life.  His years of suffering from Parkinson’s Disease and final descent into death cannot be the end of the story.  Satan cannot have the final say.  It is in moments like this that we must choose.  We can retreat into misery, isolation, and inertia or pick up our spiritual weaponry and fight the prince of darkness who brought death and suffering to the human race.

Today, I choose to fight for the hour is at hand.

Please join me as the Remnant needs you.

Your Comrade in Christ,

Cindy

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