Lovely waiting

Our Father which art in heaven, we Thy children are often troubled in mind, hearing within us at once the affirmations of faith and the accusations of conscience. We are sure that there is in us nothing that could attract the love of One as holy and as just as Thou art. Yet nothing in us can win Thy love, nothing in the universe can prevent Thee from loving us. Thy love is uncaused and undeserved. Thou art Thyself the reason for the love wherewith we are loved. Help us to believe the intensity, the eternity of the love that has found us. Then love will cast out fear; and our troubled hearts will be at peace, trusting not in what we are but in what Thou hast declared Thyself to be.
Amen

A. W. Tozer

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(swans at Ross Castle / County Kerry, Ireland / Julie Cook / 2015)

Love…a word which rolls easily and readily off the tongue.
Four simple letters offered to one and all with causal abandon.
Yet the question hangs heavy over humankind… what exactly does it mean?
What does love mean within the realm of life for each human being?

The news is rife with the stories of those who apparently have either never known
or have sadly forgotten….Love…
There are those who would argue that theirs, those who torment their fellow man, is but self love…
Love that is self obsessed and self contained…
yet the brazen heinous crimes speak of anything but love…
the lack of
the void of,
the emptiness of,
the opposite of…

As in…
Hate
Loathing
Disgust
Contempt…
of others and of self….

Is it perhaps because certain members of this large family of humankind simply believes themselves unworthy and less than?
Perhaps having never been shown nor having ever witnessed Love being demonstrated?
Is that then to be the argument for our hate, our crimes, our violence?

Yet it is there….
It is there…waiting.
It has always been there.
It was there when the light fell from grace…
It was was there in the garden when the two hid from The One
It was there when the Laws were issued and quickly forgotten
It was there when the innocents were slaughtered
It was there when the blind saw, the deaf heard and the lame walked
It was there after the mocking, the beating, the humiliating…
It was there during the anguish and in the silence of the parting of the last breathe
It was there in the blackness of nothingness
It has been to hell…and back….

and it waits still…

Through the violence, the guns, the pain, the sickness, the loneliness, the selfishness, the anger, the resentment, the isolation, the mob mentality, the gangs, the rapes, the shootings, the stealing, the looting, the psychoticness, the brokeness, the hate…

It is there…
having never left…

It waits.
It waits for you,
for me,
for them…

It waits….

So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.
God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.

1 John 4:16

Prayer of the Afflicted

“Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, but sometimes the trial of extraordinary graces.”
Matthew Henry

“The Lord’s mercy often rides to the door of our heart upon the black horse of affliction.”
Charles H. Spurgeon

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(quince blooms dying on the branch due to the bitter cold / Julie Cook / 2015)

How long O Lord am I to stay
Troubled
Burdened
Broken?

Do you not see or hear me as I lay in misery?
Can you not see that I am afflicted of both mind and body?
I sit in the mire and I need You, desperately
Yet I fear Your silence.

My soul wrestles deep within me
It twists and turns in anguished pain
My body is consumed by the searing heat
as my soul withers in silent torment
Do not forsake me O Lord. . .

Have You turned your back on me?
Have You forgotten your servant?
My mind aches to make sense of this
Yet my soul finds nothing but emptiness
The tormenters mock and scoff at my pleas

What have I done?
What haven’t I done?
You take no delight in burnt offerings or sacrifice
All I have to give to You is a withering body
and an anguished mind–
Up until now that is all I thought I could offer You. . .

Just as I am broken of body and broken mind,
there, however, remains a seemingly impenetrable fortress
The last barrier separating me from all that Is and all that Will Be. . .

My will, which is the last defense of self. . .
Tearing down the unseen walls of ego and pride
Truly giving to You all that I am. . .
Abandoning
Forsaking
Relinquishing
Not only the brokeness of a physical body and brooding mind,
but the final brokeness of self

That I may yield to You O Lord
That I may not fight what happens. . .
As I have truly no control of the unseen events. . .
Rather that I may let go,
The I may truly give it all to You with no looking back
That I may trust
That I may rest
For in my brokeness, I find only wholeness in. . .
You