Nakedness

Have you ever hurt someone so deeply that you’ve done damage?  Usually wounds result in defenses.  Defenses result in more wounds.  The relationship, that maybe has lasted years, dies a painful death.

When a close friend, who knows the deep parts of us, is suddenly (or sometimes subtlety) stripped from our hearts, the exposure is a raw vulnerable feeling of shame.  We feel naked.  The closer the relationship, the deeper the feeling.  The walls go up to protect the raw, exposed, damaged heart and a hardness settles in to protect it.  Over time we become someone we did not intend to be.  The scab that covers the wound is the only covering we can offer the shame of our nakedness.

I’ve been on both sides of that.  Maybe you have too.  Nobody stays clean in a mud fight. (more…)

Practical Surrender

I met a man in Rwanda, a prison chaplain named Thomas.  Thomas serves in a prison that houses some of the perpetrators from the Genocide of 1994.  Many of the prison chaplains in Rwanda serve some of the very people who murdered members of their own families.  These men and women are the truest kind of heroes.

Thomas told a story of when he was a cattle farmer.  His family owned many cows and felt blessed by God to be so fortunate.  One particular year they had many calves.  But soon after some of the calves were born, they were slaughtered in the night.  Thomas knew the killer was a witch doctor that lived in his village, so he approached this man to confront him.  Denying the charges, the witch doctor reported Thomas to the authorities for falsely accusing him (a crime in his country).  Thomas was asked to appear before a judge at the end of the week, so he fled to the woods to pray for three days.  Repeatedly, Thomas cried out to God for justice and defense.  He asked God to make this all go away.  He owned his fear and offered it to the Lord.  He owned his anger and offered it to the Lord.  Finally, Thomas said that he offered the outcome, whatever it may be, to the Lord.  (more…)

HDJL – How Did Jesus Live?

Remember when you could buy WWJD? (What Would Jesus Do?) bracelets at 7-Eleven?  For so long it was such a catch-phrase that it lost its meaning entirely.  It helped us remember that Jesus would not slap the clerk who gave us the wrong change, or run over the person who cut us off in traffic.  Jesus, we know, would not do that.  But Jesus did not wear pants or eat chocolate either.  Hmmm… (more…)