My kids love to stir things, or at least they used to. I remember being young and full of wonder. Stirring things is fun. You stir your ice cream and you get a milk shake. You stir flour, sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla, and water; you get a yellow cake. Yum. You stir dirt and water and you get mud. Not yummy, but still fun as long as you’re not the one is charge of cleaning it all up.
If you stir water in a bowl fast enough it’ll creep up the edges while the middle dips down. Even when you stop stirring the water keeps going. That’s momentum at work right there.
I feel stirred up and words can’t express it. Actually, they can. I have a lot to say. I wanted to say something last night at church, but I couldn’t. Why? Is it because I’m a chicken? Or is it that I don’t actually trust the people in my community enough to bear my heart to them. I want to. Really, I do. I have 1 or 2 people I can do that with. I used to have more, well that’s not true. I still have them, they are still mine, I just don’t have access to them as easily.
I keep wondering what the church is supposed to look like? How do we live and love and BE family? I don’t know what that is.
We talk about covenant and belonging and I wonder if people are serious. I’ve asked before and I was pretty hurt by the response I received. Last night I realized that it’s time to forgive that offense. Past time, really.
There is a lot of good discussion happening on Sunday evenings at Open Door. I feel very much like a spectator. Mostly because I’m afraid of getting in the mix. What if it’s messy? Will it be worth it? Can I calculate my way in or out of a situation? Are these people serious? I stood up so I could see the whole group. I wanted to see the faces. I wanted to see the reactions when people spoke. The more people talked the more I wanted to either retreat or yell out everything I was feeling. I just stayed quiet.
Oh man, so many thoughts right now.
I wanted to look around to see who I really wanted to build something with. There are 2 women in that group that I want to go up to, point at them saying, “I want to belong to you and I want you to belong to me. I want to walk through the oasis and the desert with you and I want you to do the same.” One of them I’ve known for almost as long as Christopher has been alive.
As I looked around the room of 20 or so people I found one friend that I believe would walk through fire with me. He’s a friend I didn’t expect. He came into my family when we were hurting the most and loved us all right where we were. I was probably about to graduate from high school when he was born. I didn’t expect him to really be a friend, but he is. He’s passionate and he’s real.
This walking with Jesus actually takes some work, doesn’t it? I mean, it’s work, but then again…it’s all about laying it all down. You move forward by being still. You trust by not fighting anymore. Take a deep breath and stand.
Be still and know that He is God.
Bear with me. I have more thoughts.
We talked a bit about inheritance last night; about what has been passed onto us and what we are passing on to the generations after us. I couldn’t think of what was passed onto me by my family concerning my walk with God.
Then it hit me.
The lie I’ve been carrying around all these years isn’t mine alone. It was my dad’s before it was mine.
I remember a summer evening about 12 years ago. My dad was very sick. He came to live with me when all he could do was feed himself. I had to do everything else. He slept with his bed rails up so he wouldn’t fall out of bed. Christopher was in his own bed and decided he wanted to ask my dad a question. He ran out of his room, climbed onto my dad’s bed, and said in his almost-3-year-old voice, “Baba, why you no love Jesus? He loves you. The Bible says so.” After I translated my dad looked at me with tears in his eyes, nervously rubbed his balding head, and said, “Oh honey, he could never love someone like me. I’ve done terrible things. I couldn’t be good enough.” I just cried and tried to convince him of otherwise. I didn’t know that was something I believed about myself, too.
A year or so ago I started reading a book about lies we believe about ourselves. I asked God what was the deepest lie I believe that affects not only me, but my children. My next thought was, “I’m not good enough.” I know my children often feel like they’re not quite good enough, either.
I wonder, what am I passing onto these children? Will they stand on my shoulders? Will it be an advantage to stand on my shoulders?