I groaned today. Under the weight of the words I wished I could say and the weight of the words that had already been said. So much hating has been going on. I am not exempt.
I just feel better about myself because I hate the haters.
You know what I am talking about. Bullying and abuse and right and wrong. People standing up for themselves and standing up for others. I want to say something but it has all been said and then some.
I do not know how to make a stand when standing room only is the
flavor of the day.
(and that flavor is chicken)
Everybody standing for what they believe in. Or what
that guy believes in. Or what God believes in.
Let's just make sure that right is stood up for and let's really make sure that it is kept right.
Or what's the point?
Too complicated. I just feel more comfortable hating the haters. Simpler that way.
Not exactly proud of that.
I keep trying to reel myself back in but it only works until someone else starts talking and then I start to run the line again as I buck and pull against the current.
I like this fish picture because it describes my heart and how it feels hooked and helpless. I don't want to keep taking the shiny hate bait like a stupid fish. I want to reject the lures kerplunking from every side of the issue. I want to move beyond my instinct.
That is hard. My instinct tells me that hate is good. Hate is provision. It is the answer to what I have been looking for. This is especially convenient because what I have been looking for is answers.
Hate is the shiny answer to my hearts question about how to feel towards all the bullies. I don't have to point out the bullies. If I started detailing instances of bullying it would take all day and get really redundant. It isn't just about this current issue. Happens all the time...so I am just gonna try and give you a one sentence definition of bully.
If you are standing on your superior right and oppressing someone with that right, you are being a bully.
I really hate it when that happens.
I hate it so much that when I feel it happening I tend to bet on the underdog and hate the bully no matter how right the bully is in their position.
So, if I gotta put the hate somewhere, at least it is constructive.
Well, somewhere in there I began to realize that this was probably not the way I needed to be thinking.
Thus, the groaning.
If you wait long enough I do eventually come back to the point.
Simply put, I asked the Lord if He would help me feel His heart on the matter.
I do not in any way say that I am revealing the heart of God here. I am just saying that this is what came to my heart in response to my asking my Father to help me understand His perspective.
You gotta do your own research on this.
The matter on my heart...
one person has spoken his opinion leading to one people group standing en masse to support both his right to his opinion and their agreement with his position. This has led to both misunderstanding and full comprehension of the stated and unstated agendas of people groups on every side of this issue.
People standing for their rights. Other people being looked down upon because their beliefs don't match up. Hating happening pretty generously on both sides leading to multiple levels of hating by association as people pointed fingers and spoke loudly about all the various subsets of said support. sigh.
I groaned. I listened. I heard...Matthew 5. I began to read...
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
I have always been taught that the sermon on the mount was about Jesus teaching his disciples how to be good losers.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
I guess I also knew that it was talking about those poor souls like you find in Africa
You know, the persecuted ones.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Meek is about being lowly. Or perceived lower than the one doing the perceiving.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled.
I am reading, and chuckling a little at this one as I think about hungering for
righteousness vs chicken.
-Glad I didn't stand in any lines.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
oops. point taken.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
getting a little close to home here.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
I began to wonder about these words and how I had always been led to interpret them. In mercy I thought about standing in line for the 'right' and how un-peaceful that can be. And it hurt me. But not in a judgmental way. More in a way that really let me feel how much people can hurt while I defend my rights.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
My hands began to shake with the power of this statement. Right or wrong, I saw this sentence in an entirely new light.
I had thought this a call for strength.
I had thought this a promise to the right.
Stand firm in your beliefs. Hold the line. Take the punches. You will be rewarded.
I am not saying that is wrong. I am just saying that my thought was pretty exclusive as to its meaning.
Today I was introduced to a new thought.
What if the blessed are the ones being persecuted by the hands and hearts of the righteous.
What if our stand for the right is causing pain, oppression, and persecution to others.
Is it possible that the Lord of Heaven is standing ready to defend this persecution?
Or the ones being persecuted?
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all manner of evil against you in my name.
Now I can hear the voice of my dad in my head. And I smile when I type this. He is telling me I have it all backwards because that next verse talks about prophets and clearly people living in sin are not who he is talking about...to which I would say innocently "daddy, are you saying that all those people on that mountain were sinless?"
And then we would go round and round arguing semantics.
So, just know that I know what you are saying when you say I am misinterpreting.
I am not saying it doesn't mean what we were taught.
I am saying...it may mean more than that.
You will find that the rest of the chapter reads different if you look at it from the perspective of the teacher trying to each his students about respecting others and living in such a way as to bring honor and love to an otherwise harsh and impersonal law.
Today I began to read this "Sermon on the Mount" with a heart that looks to others instead of only to myself. I see the promises not only for my own down times but for the down times of the hurting around me.
I see the blessed as defined by Jesus himself. I see where He is instructing me how to see His beautiful creation. His children.
I see, for the first time, that being salt and light are not only a call to purity and strength but also an encouragement to hold fast to the principles of love taught by the Master. For if salt and light are defined as love then we are called to never lose our love and to never hide it.
Love as salt will affect everyone around with its saltiness.
Love as light will brighten the whole city when kept fully out in the open for all to see.
I know you know this.
Take it and apply it back to the blessed ones. Consider that the blessed ones (in this case) are anyone that is not full up with the knowledge of the love of Jesus.
The lowly, the persecuted, the poor in spirit...whether they know it or not.
Now that you recognize them, do not pity them.
Certainly do not yell at them about how right you are.
I sit here now, weary but heartened by the promises I feel in my heart. I look on the events of the past few days and it breaks my heart because so many people were belittled and hurt...on both sides.
My Papa has a heart to mend the hurts. I know this is true. I want to live in a way that honors His heart.
I hope I can start with today.
This is going to take a while. It takes a lot of words. Even saying that is an understatement.
There is no short essay form for this topic. I ask you, if you feel brave or curious enough to continue, consider carefully what my heart has laid before you and respond. I would like to hear you.
This is about p*R^0gR@p\-\y. Look at that word carefully. It will come to you.
I typed it like that in a lame attempt to protect myself from google searches.
Although...with what I am about to say, maybe a few searchers would be welcome here. :-\
From now on I will just refer to it as prn.
When you read prn, know that I am mixing in every “sexually impure” thing that has been agonizing me. The posers, the lookers, the sellers, the industry, the girls at the pool, the advertisements, the movies, the perpetrators and the victims. All of it.
Prn, it has clenched my husband in a death roll.
Taken sniper shots at my sons.
Fileted my marriage, scorched my parenting, targeted my christianity
and barbequed my womanhood.
Yet it has not won.
I am still standing. Still loving. A survivor.
And today, I feel victorious.
But that is not always so.
I have felt myself lost
left torn apart
with nowhere to turn and no hope of release.
I have screamed to the heavens
searched both sacred and secular
to see the end
and all I found was
piety or sheer humanistic determination
but no eject lever
just an endless merry go round
a frustrating circle
How could I possibly have hope when, aside from a miracle, there loomed before me
a lifetime of despair and regret.
Despair for loved ones all around me who are constantly accosted.
Regret for me as participant. For what I have seen that still haunts me. For my curiosity.
Despair in feeling like this will never end. That their struggle cannot be understood. And is a curse.
Regret for me as victim- heart raped each time my warrior men engaged in battle for their lives and left the homefires unattended- open for pillage.
I still bear those scars.
I cannot speak for them. My men. I do not know their struggle tho my heart bleeds just as red
with their every wound.
I am not man. And knowing women also fall into this trap is really no help at all because that is not
My story deals with passionate men entrapped in hate and loathing both for those they've seen and who they've been for looking.
How is one expected to survive when the battle is bred into your DNA? How does one fight when all you've been about is destruction and it seems that the only way out is to destroy the perpetrator which is you? What do you do with the loved ones you have betrayed in your weakness? You see their hurt while you continue to destroy the very one they long to restore.
Do you see how tangled up this gets?
Not just the looker affected.
But the one who holds his heart.
It isn't really about betrayal, tho in anger that label has tried to take hold.
No- the tearing comes more with the despair. Why. How.
When will we be done with this?
Because reality proves again and again that you cannot take things back.
You can't un-see.
So do you wallow in despair- and hopelessness- and anger
spewing lava streams of hellfire and brimstone upon society at large and upon the vixen vipers coiled all around you posed to strike.
It doesn't make the problem go away.
How do we live in this world and hate such a despicable thing that never, ever, goes away?
You cannot run from it.
Cannot protect yourself or those you love.
Although you try.
You try. But it gets in.
The vile stench of impurity.
Half naked society. Bandaid clad. Lounging on the doorsteps or our hearts and minds and souls.
Maybe not prn exactly. Maybe not prn at all.
But just enough to get a thought jumpstarted that was best left dormant.
An opportunity to hate. To stand my ground and snarl. For myself and everyone I love.
All out war all the time. Hating. Disgusted. Despairing.
How do you live with the hate that brings death?
Does that even make sense?
I do want that prn to die. To go away forever. And it will someday when all is said and done.
But what til then?
Cry, and fight, and wail, and slip, and forgive, and try-try-try to forget.
The list goes on and around.
How do you live with death?
One day, my heart decided to stop fighting so hard.
Maybe you can't follow this- and that is fine.
I did not accept this as in “it is ok”.
But I have come to make some choices. Hard choices.
And I truly believe for me it is an answer- if not a solution- from Heaven.
I realized that I could choose to hate.
Every woman that shows more skin than I agree with.
Every woman that wiggles
or invites with her eyes
or her lips
or her boobs.
Every woman that does not invite on purpose but through her ignorance or arrogance refuses to acknowledge the battle at hand.
Or I could choose to love her.
And if I chose to love her I could teach the same to those within my sphere.
Leading by example.
I could call out her demonic ways and encourage my men to protect themselves with armor made of piety- self righteousness- anger- fear- guilt- pity- hatred- despair- disgust-
Or I could witness the hurt-
the agony of disrespect both given and received.
recognized or not, of living on display-
abused- broken hearted- abandoned- poverty stricken- dying-
If I choose to see the hurt then I have to remember the truth about God.
He dwells with the broken hearted.
Can I get my heart around this?
If my Lord came to heal the wounded
if He shelters the abused
if he lives with the ones that are so broken that they are dying
Then my God dwells within...
(I am not trying to be dramatic here. I simply cannot write the end of that sentence.)
Can I model this to my hearts- my men-
When you eyes look at nakedness you are looking at God.
He is there- drawn close in love-
covering her, in her nakedness, with His love.
Does this change what you see?
Can you hear Him?
He does not scream at you or whisper to your guilt.
He does not shame you for your disgusting lack of self control.
If you hear that- know it is not your Lord.
He does not speak in such a way.
Your Lord loves you enough to want you to realize His heart for you.
A heart free- loved- respected- honored- encouraged- believed in- cherished-
His heart for you is the exact same for the one your eyes see...
free- loved- respected- honored- encouraged- believed in- cherished-
I believe that the Lord invites us to look away- but in respect- not disgust- and remember that we have just witnessed a dwelling place of the Most High.
What if, little by little, we could be trained to see God by finding Him – encountering Him-
as He dwells with the hurting.
Could we dwell with Him in places we have only yet been taught to avoid at all costs?
The destitute will change our perspective of right and wrong on the societal morality scale... can we trust Him with our souls enough to follow Him to a world completely opposite of our puritanical standard?
This breaks my mind.
Would such a radical leap change our perspective on prn and our reactions about it and our seeming slavery to it?
Can we love our way out?
Hear me hear me hear me...I am not suggesting that we all open up our arms and embrace the prn industry. I am not suggesting that we train ourselves to look in some pseudo-innoculation ritual hoping to strengthen our resolve.
no. no. no.
Don't look. Don't flirt with it in any way. Stay far away. You can make choices. You can remove yourself.
What I am saying is that there is a pervasive presence of sexual “impurity” all around us every day.
I believe that hatred feeds the beast. I believe that seeing, with our hearts eyes, the presence of God dwelling with the hurting might just give us the strength to respectfully look away without hating.
I am saying that keeping our robes all sparkley white by despising the humanity we encounter might be leading us down a road of pharisiacal right that leaves lots and lots of neighbors bleeding by the way.
I am asking myself to consider it. Then consider it again.
There is no neat wrap up here.
It never ends. This struggle for survival. This journey through the world.
This wrestling with our passions and our purity.
But maybe, in the curse, we can find a blessing.
As shocking and despicable as that sounds.
Could it be a blessing to find love where ever before you only found hate?
If daily you are accosted with opportunities to fill your heart with hate for others and yourself ...and, if daily you make a choice to love...will it slowly but surely change your heart?
I do not do endings well. And since my mind talks in pictures I will end by sharing mine with you.
What if, in this endless struggle you begin to realize that compassion rises over purity like the warm morning sun vaulting over mountains. It brings daylight to the darkened crags, illuminating what was once just blackness.
This change in light may not make your journey easy but at least it can help you find your way.