Driving home under an eyelash moon, the sun having fallen behind the mountains, glorious spouts of fiery oranges and reds and swirls of purples and grays crescendoed in the skies. I was struck anew at the joyous abandon You use in painting Your sunsets. My heart cried, "Author, Author" to a world so blase' it seemed to me that I alone noticed it.
So I got home, in pain, exhausted, blurry-eyed, and sank into my darkened bedroom, wishing the pain would leave me alone for just a bit.
Self-pity is lurking in the corners of my room.
The losses of Calvin Miller and Tony Bonavede tug at my heart, and the dark gray clouds hover oh so near.
The world seems a Roman ruin. All around are joyous hearts crumbled by evil set loose upon the world by Adam's one sin.
Suicide. Cancers galore - more than at any time in my memory -
Anna, Joanna, Kay, Penny, Randy, Tom, another Randy and on and on and on without end.
The first rumbles of danger roll to my very door: Christians beheaded by a Muslim neighbor in New Jersey (where is the news coverage of this???) He repeatedly stabbed them and chopped off their hands as the "peaceful" Koran orders; and then a Muslim cleric in Saudi encouraged Muslims everywhere to do this so the Christians will know their place.
I know mine.
Under the shelter of His wings. And, like Peter, I vow with fiery breath and squared shoulders that I would gladly give mylife for You. And, like Peter, before the sun sets on this day, I will likely deny You at least 3 times, more likely more.
For I have discovered something.
Every sin begins with idolatry.
If something is more valuable to me than You and Your known will for me or Your importance in my life - that is idolatry. No wonder the after-effects of that one sinful bite bears such horrific consequences.
And yet, I am forgiven. Over and over and over, times without number, I am forgiven.
Just writing that out on paper gives me pause.
That is why You spent your lonely Friday being forsaken by ...well...everyone.
You allowed the Hands that lovingly created Adam to be smashed to smithereens.
Your blood that - think of it!! _ carried the DNA of the Ancient of Days - that blood was allowed to be bled out of You, as required of the Passover Lamb, in the most painful ways imagineable. It is why You endured 3 hours of separation from Your Father after already having spent 3 hours in agony in His sight. He took the sun with Him when He turned away, leaving You alone - a frightened, forlorn, bleating Lamb, tottering on the edge of eternity. Fear beat in Your heart - perhaps the one time in Your eternal existence You tasted it.
And You did it all
Knowing my dirty feet would continue until the day You took me Home.
Knowing the dirt and scum and filth hidden on the underside of my heart - like a virus imprinted with my DNA, I don't even see some of it. It eludes my detection.
Knowing that my heart would indulge in idolatry, my stiff neck in stubbornness, my careless disobedience rampant.
Knowing this, knowing all of this, You still did it.
For me - the most un-good, un-faithful un-servant in Your kingdom.
The self-pity that I have the gall to entertain even for a second's fleeting moment is an affront to the universe and its Creator - and it has been vanquished (for the moment)
In its place are thanksgiving and praise.
Thank You for the grace You extend to me. Thank you for trading Your torture and Blood for my sins so I could be forgiven.
And thank You that You never keep a running tally of my multitude of mistakes and sins and foolishness. You have made Your mercies new every morning - and for this I fall, face down, at Your feet.
Thank You, my King,