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“cast me gently into morning, for the night has been unkind…” -sarah mclachlan

January 25, 2008

(written on July 25, 2006)
i am losing myself in a breve in birmingham… so i’m sitting in a great coffee shop in helena, AL reading, praying, watching people, drinking good coffee, being quiet, being still, and listening to good music. why is it that we don’t always recognize how much we need these moments until we are in them? i haven’t even been able to pray comfortably the last week, really… not in honesty and utter vulnerability. i’ve been distracted and lost in a world that isn’t really my life. i come tonight with a heavy heart. not depressed, not pitiful, not complaining… but heavy. i haven’t really been in atlanta in a little over a month. normalcy is lost on me. as one who has learned all too well that the unexpected can and will happen at any moment in time, and never to hold fast to the consistency of anything or anyone but Christ; i, yet again, find myself faced with shock, a little disappointment, and evaluation. understanding that i am not disclosing pertinent information, and confusing anyone who would read this, (it’s a funny thought that someone would read this… i just realized that people do though, weird) i apologize for the mystery. 
jumping to a related, yet, seemingly random thought… i wonder if it wasn’t easier for those who lived under the old covenant to get past sin. until today, i never really thought about it, but would assume that grace is much more freeing. i probably thought of “grace” as a new testament term exclusively rather than having much to do with the old testament. perhaps grace had a different shape back then. God still provided a way out of sin in the old testament, it simply had to do with actions and physical sacrifices… yet an atonement has always had to be made. for those living under the old covenant, however, they had to take tangible responsibility for their guilt. under the new, and beautiful, covenant, perhaps it’s harder for us to let go of our guilt because there is nothing we can do to make up for it. true, there is nothing we HAVE to do to make up for it; but i believe it is our nature to feel the need to do something. perhaps, as well, it is today’s society that causes us to feel the need to fix our problems, rather than let someone fix them for us. maybe that’s why it’s so uncomfortable to accept the grace of God in our guilt, as well as accept the grace of God in the lives of the people around us who disappoint and hurt us with their guilt. to love and forgive the people around us is to be like Christ in His response to us. and, God, let me be like Christ in all that i say and do. 
the last three weeks have been tiring, hard, and full of surprises. in all that, the last three weeks have been filled with the glory and the grace of God. i am watching Him work so diligently in the lives of the people around me, and am humbled and grateful to be a part of His ministry. His hand is beautiful, but His face is beyond words. i can only pray for myself and the people i care about, that we would all grow to desire nothing but His face. to love Him simply because, not because He extends His gifts to us. my one striving in life is to just love Him… for no reason at all. not because He first loved me, not because of who He is, not because of what He does, but just to love Him. that may sound silly, and i don’t know if i can do that… and that kills me. it hurts me that i can’t love Him the way He deserves to be loved… madly, passionately, and without regard for what it does to me. 
God is good… certainly mysterious, but certainly good. beautiful in the madness, the heaviness, and the hurt. though there’s pain in the offering… pain in the offering… it may hurt while i say it and i may say it through tears… but i will bless the name of the Lord.

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