Fresh Words

Fresh Words

Last night I spent some time watching various news channels and came to realize how two vastly different realities were being presented. Not just angles or bias or spin, but diametrically opposed worldviews. Yet this is not really news, especially after such a slugfest campaign year.

hostile words turn violentStill it felt distressing—hateful words, violent outbursts, spreading strife, and misrepresenting facts. It creates angst…the way a child might feel when parents continually yell at each other without any resolution. Honest discourse and debate seem like a thing of the past.

My stomach churned.

So I took it to my Father. “God, I need to know what You think.” And in a matter of moments, He gave me three words.Continue reading

The One True Thing

The One True Thing

True worth isn't a black dressI pulled out a celebrity-gossip magazine that happened to be in my seat pocket on a flight to Denver. You know the type: oh-my-gosh, The Perfect Little Black Dress of the Season—or—Three Ways Your Partner Might Be Cheating! These kinds of articles are the taunt of today’s Western culture.

By the time the plane landed, I was made to feel thoroughly undersexed, unsophisticated, and deserving of costly beauty products. The true underlying message? —If you aren’t really working on being one of the beautiful people, you’ll end up alone.

True beauty isn't found in cosmeticsModern culture promises us the moon with superlatives: perfect skin in three applications or idyllic sleep with the right kind of mattress. We hope to find ecstasy in a perfume, identity in an expensive car, and attitude in owning the latest gadget. These things make us feel more attractive, momentarily. We turn a head or two.

But attention doesn’t satisfy, because it only parades as love. Many sacred hours are wasted with this kind of distraction. It’s a pretext, a facade, masking our fundamental need for relationship.Continue reading

Rapt

Rapt

I happened to be in the second row. Only a few dozen people usually came to the evening service. The worship music provided a space of solace, quieting the rush of the day. With my eyes closed, I listened, waiting for anything the Holy Spirit might say.

KerzenlichtOn the screen of my mind, I saw a woman wearing a large amber-colored stone in the shape of a teardrop. Too heavy to be jewelry, it seemed like a burden around her neck. The image was distinct, but fleeting. After a few seconds, it vanished. Had I really seen something?

And then a phrase interrupted my thoughts…a weight of deep sorrow.

The music ended, and the pastor asked if God had given any impressions that might encourage everyone. I stalled. Hearing God for others was a new concept to me. After a few people shared, I drew a deep breath and raised my hand. I described the heavy stone and how it seemed more like a yoke than a necklace. My voice sounded shaky.

“And what do you think it represents?” the pastor asked.

“An amber teardrop…the color, the shape—maybe something from the past,” I offered.

the rapt of comfort“Something that’s keeping someone in continual sadness…a weight of deep sorrow.”

The pastor gazed at the people in the rows behind me. “Does that mean anything to anyone?” His tone was kind.

I lowered my head slightly. The room went quiet. Perhaps it had just been my own imagination—making something from nothing. I felt a little foolish. No one responded, and blood rushed to my face. As the service continued, I avoided eye contact.

Several days later, my phone rang. Continue reading