April 26, 2012

a moment or two of clarity

{all I need is You Lord,
is You Lord,
all I need is You...}

All I Need Is You 
Hillsong United

The curiously familiar chords played, stirring in my heart memories I could not yet see. They faded in and out of my mind's seemingly fifty year old television screen--blurred, discolored and speckled with age. The words flashed upon the screen and in an instant I was watching in HD the screen in my youth group's church. The room was dark but for a warm light on the band and the glaring of the white words against the dark background. It had a picture, but what that picture was, I do not recall. I was in the back, my usual spot, hands resting on the last row of chairs.

I stood as if I was there, two or three years ago at youth group, wondering how to sing those words honestly. Would I ever be able to sing those words and believe them in their utter abandon? Please, Father, let me sing them with my whole heart.

Back in the present, I realized He really does answer prayer. I sang utterly abandoned, wholeheartedly.

Then came the bridge...

{You hold the universe,
You hold everyone on earth,
You hold, yeah You hold...}

The past flashed upon my mind's screen again, higher definition than before. This time, I was seeing my past and my present. Why this bridge? It seems sort of disconnected. Out of place. Why would the artist write these words for the bridge, often, for me at least, the most impacting part of a song.

Suddenly, the screen flashed to my room on that sunny day as I read Psalm 55. The last part of verse 23 magnified, whispering its truth. "but as for me, I trust in You."

I trust You to be all I need. I can because You hold the universe and everything on earth.


April 21, 2012


John 8:32 (NIV) "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

While digging for a pencil in my drawer, I noticed a thick layer of dust on my shelf. I brushed it off, sending a portion flying into the air, the rest sticking clumsily to my fingertips. The airborne particles hit my eyes, nose and mouth. I teared up, sneezed and coughed for a couple of minutes, the dust sticking to my lungs. 

Lies remind me of dust. They collect in the corners, on the shelves and on the window sills of our lives. We avoid them or are too busy to notice until before we know it, the lies are everywhere. We brush them off, only to sting our eyes and scratch our throats. The lies aren't removed, in fact, sometimes they are more believable and painful. We breathe them constantly whether we know it or not. Before we know it, we are tossing white sheets over furniture, turning our lives into abandoned mansions while we live in the cramped spaces of the smallest, most comfortable rooms. We dare not explore beyond for fear of disturbing the lies. 

We cannot remove those lies alone. Our fingers and flimsy feather dusters are useless, foolish. Sometimes what we need is a good wet rag to cleanse us. Truth feels like a wet rag sometimes. Especially God's truth. 

But after we are cleansed, when the lies are swept away, we don't have to walk around on eggshells, trying not to disturb all this dust in our lives. We can dance and run around without worrying that we will sneeze, cough and cry as soon as we take something off the shelf. We can wander from room to room, each filled with His light and with potential achieved fearlessly. No more white sheets, our mansions are alive and we can have guests, and be able to make them comfortable, sitting together in His light.

His truth.

We cannot dust the lies from our lives. But He can. 

April 7, 2012

What do I want?

{Make me lonely
So I can be Yours
‘Til I want no one
More than You, Lord
‘Cause in the darkness
I know You will hold me.}

Keep Making Me 
Sidewalk Prophets

What is it that I truly want? What do I desire? More than anything else, what do I long for?

Truly life-defining questions.

I could answer "to find love." It is a simple answer that I used to believe without knowing was what I wanted. I could answer "success" and define what that meant to me, basically meeting the expectations of the world or my family. I could also answer "to help people" which is a good and noble thing to want.

But it isn't enough.

I am tired of looking for love. I am tired of expectations burdening me as though I were a mule. I am tired of reaching out to help people and being turned away, remaining un-thanked, and being taken advantage of.

What do I really want? What should I want?


The most valuable treasure, He is what I should want. He is what I want, well most of the time. Sometimes I become disillusioned with His ability to satisfy. But always I come back, only to find love I sought elsewhere. I find the power and strength to meet His expectations. I find fulfillment in helping people despite their ingratitude and arrogance. I only have one person to please: God. What a relief.

I never prayed for loneliness so that He could be all I want. I never thought to be that selfless and devoted. Loneliness came, but I found many an occasion to complain to Him and beg Him to end it. It was the perfect time to find pleasure and peace in His presence, to draw near to Him, but I was blinded by my selfishness and my pride. Lonely people are seen as misfits, outcasts and my ego couldn't handle that. I still see myself as somewhat an outsider to the world. I am grateful for the distance sometimes, though.  It is a distance that very few understand. He does and there is nothing more safe than explaining myself to Him. He made me-He knows me, but it must be hilarious and tragic and beautiful all at the same time to hear me talk about myself. About my hopes and dreams and fears.

I love to meander around the park in solitude, whispering stray thoughts to Him, crying, laughing and singing to Him. I never knew, never realized how real a relationship with God could feel. I always thought it to be this distant sort of touch-and-go thing that I would have to guess at. But it is real, the most real part of my life. At least the most stable. I want Him to be my priority. I want to live for His glory and not my own. I want to do good things not because they are good or right, but because I love Him and He asks it.

I want Him.

What do you want?