No Darkness

Where do I go when darkness overwhelms? Where do I go when evil abounds and hopelessness prevails? Where do I go when I am powerless to right what is wrong?

To the only one who will accept my collapse for a time into total dependency.

To the one who sheds light on what is dark … little by little, or all at once … it isn’t up to me but up to him.

To the one who brings me into a partnership, not puppetry as I once imagined of him.

To the one who changes my expectations and beliefs  — about almost everything — who corrects wrong-teaching acquired from birth forward, the misinformation about people and God, earth and heaven, death and life, evil and good, darkness and light.

To the one who believes in me, and proves it by stepping back and expecting me to implement his private tutorials, making life a practice session, a lab class to follow the didactic portion of his lessons.

Even when I whine, “Me? I want you to do it! I know you can do anything! Why can’t I be a puppet instead?” and beg, “No, no, you do it for me; injustice and trouble and opposition scare me!”

To the one who doesn’t give in to my arguments, and responds with, “No, I know you can do it. That is my way, asking you to put my instructions into practice. Wanting you to take the mind of Christ forward, step by step, day by day. Helping you to walk out life overturning evil with my laws and precepts, my love, my justice, my mercy.

To the one who stands firm despite my fears, and helps me understand his will despite my finite mind.

To the one who explains when I don’t understand, “I don’t coerce, I ask to be in partnership; it’s always your choice to do so or not. What is a person if they are only puppets and pawns? I value you, each and every one of you, I welcome you to join me in partnership … by choice, never by force.”

To the one who declares, “For I know the plans I have for you, they are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

To the one who makes is possible, to together …

Overturn evil with good.

Take back life from the clutch of death.

Release captives of the prince of darkness.

Turn mourning into gladness.

Demand justice where there was none.

Bring mercy, hope and love to deprived people.

Shed light on what is dark.

All of this and more … little by little, or all at once …  it’s not by our might or by power, but by his Spirit. For he is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.

 

DSCN0261.jpg God is light, for blog

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Rescue Me

Depending on circumstances, different lyrics from this hymn assume prominence.

When I sense myself drifting, the following verse becomes my prayer:

Let that grace now like a fetter bind my wandering heart to thee: Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it …

When I find myself in times of trouble, a different line serves as a distress call:

He to rescue me from danger …

For the sixth straight week, I have distilled this song and “The Lord’s Prayer” to short, simple prayers:

Rescue us from danger. Deliver us from evil.

This is a time when less is more, because a loved one had one foot, no two … no ALL of him in the grave. Before his fate could be finalized there, he was rescued — ever-so-delicately, ever-so-protectively, ever-so-tenderly — by the hands of our Father. He is held close even now, at God’s breast, cradled with those hands.

I am grateful. I am in awe. And yet, I am dissatisfied …

While I see him in God’s embrace, I haven’t witnessed him set down again on ground far from that awful, rebuffed grave. The destination I believe for him is not here, so near the grave, but far from it — fully alive, healthy, safe, and journeying Earth with no end in sight; he’s too young for his to be ordained by God anytime soon.

I know that credible, responsible medical statistics say his odds are slim, and the path ahead includes any number of pits just like the one he narrowly escaped. It is our challenge to spot and avoid the unending pits, resist their convincing lure; either detour or leap over each; and sustain this forward “Effort For Life” without knowing when and where the next open grave will appear.

So, again today, I pray this particular line in “Come Thy Fount of Every Blessing”, because it is impossible for us to do this alone. The stakes are severe, the consequences of this ultra-marathon are life-and-death. We need our God, the creator of the universe, the giver of all good things, the protector of all … no, we REQUIRE …

He to rescue us from danger.


Update:  Two years later, I am no longer dissatisfied. He initially progressed slowly but surely and distanced himself from the awful, rebuffed grave. Since then he is traveling fast and far from it — fully alive, healthy, safe, and journeying Earth with no end in sight. He has a hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.


Artist:  Fernando Ortega singing “Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing”, from his album, “Beginnings”.