Sunday, July 6, 2008

Walking the Streets of Philadelphia

1. Sunlight pours in my window and as I continue to fight off a raging fever, it feels like I am trapped in an asylum. The birds are chirping and the song, ‘Words I Can’t Say’ softly come forth from my speakers. I thought about how much I like being alone sometimes and whether or not my introvert nature is a good or bad thing. It seems that I find myself less comfortable around people I used to be extremely comfortable with. I haven’t figured out yet if it is people also aren’t as comfortable around me as they once were, or if it is me who closes myself off to them. A line from Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz rings out as I entertain this process of self-discovery,

"If there was a guy who just liked being himself and didn't want to be anybody else, that guy would be the most different guy in the world and everybody would want to be him"

2. I just finished reading What’s So Amazing About Grace? by Phillip Yancey. It was a great read and it sparked a rather melancholy demeanor in myself as I have come to realize that Christians can be the most judgmental people. We who have been given the grace of God cannot find it in ourselves to extend this grace to others. As I read and became convicted throughout, I started becoming angry with myself for being so unforgiving and cold to those who need grace the most. As well as exploring topics such as forgiveness, Yancey touched on the topic of legalism. He talks about his experience at a Bible college that was so strict that its main focus became ‘to follow the rules’ instead of ‘to glorify God.’ Many Christians seem to abandon the idea of glorifying God in an effort to see what they can get away with when it comes to ‘the rules’ of Christianity. It really befuddles me how Christians are such sticklers for the rules when Christians should want to follow rules out of their love for God. Yancey states, “I have little resentment against these particular rules but much resentment against the way they were presented. I had the constant, pounding sense that following an external code of behavior was the way to please God.” In the end, Yancey compares legalists to the Pharisees. I took a mirror into my own life and realized how often I do things to ‘please God’ and not necessarily out of my love for God. It was a quite convicting read.

“We walked ankle deep in the ocean
You know the place where footprints disappear”

3. Love. Lately I’ve thought a lot about love. This topic is so grand and magnificent, that I cannot cover it in a blog. The only thing I can conclude is that I want to love like Christ loved humanity or like a mother loves her child. It seems that we cannot be loved unless we ourselves love others. It seems that the question must first be asked what is love? We know from I Corinthians 13 that which love does. It makes one patient, kind, forgiving etc. It seems the closest I can come to a definition is sacrifice. Love is laying down your desires for the desires of others. But then again, I am still in a process of self-discovery and maybe I don't know a thing about love.

Sparkling eyes, dry yourself of the tears you cry,
Hope is not lost until you say the final goodbye,
A lament in the form of belief is a beautiful thing
Like lofty grandeur and the bird that sings

Love emptied Himself out to give life to the dead,
Like a pencil that gives away all of its led,
Today I will write about Love,
Today I will see it descend in the form of a dove,

Life gives birth to that which is bittersweet,
Like an artist who depicts depression on every street,
Painting that which cannot be repaired again,
A master plan that needed not a mend,

The four holes which spoke of the greatest love,
Was all it took to kill thy Father’s dearest dove,
Oh how I now see…goodbye is no more,
And Love now speaks to me upon the shore,

Thy sheep are fed, but my task is not yet done,
There is still the poor to feed and still plenty of sun,
Faith calls my name across that same ocean shore,
Where I shall stay until I come home to an open door,

The door opens and I am blinded by what I see,
It isn’t gold but only the poor people smiling back at me,
There is a melody and I catch the form of Beauty,
And I drop to my knees as Love stares back at me,

1 comment:

Megan said...

I think that's very true.

I stumbled upon your blog by the way - I don't know you from anywhere. But what you're saying has a lot of truth in it. We should be trying to do what is right, to do God's will, rather than primarily having our aim as avoiding putting a foot wrong. To truly follow Jesus' example requires we literally give up our own desires and those of this world (including our desire to secure ourselves as righteous, law-abiding, and perfect) and constantly try as desperately as we can to bring about the Kingdom of God - to liberate the poor and suffering, to eradicate injustice and hatred from the world, to bring peace and ultimately God's love to a tumultuous world.

Those religious folk who are all about following the letter of the law.. well, we are told it is NOT about the letter of the law but the spirit of the law... and yes, I would definately compare them to the Pharisees of Jesus' time.

The religious authorities of the Old Testament are exactly the people Jesus came to oppose. He came to bring truth and we can only deem to find this truth ourselves by earnestly struggling to bring about God's Kingdom here on earth..

This is how I see it anyway. Sorry to hijack. :)