Saturday, April 20, 2013

What The Prodigal Would Say to the Older Brother

Luke 15:28-32
28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

When most people look at the prodigal son they see the mistakes that spiraled
out of his control. 
The lust after the woman in the red dress, the pride of wishing his father dead, 
so he could do everything
all by himself. 
They see, the massive party that results
when his daddy welcomes him home. 
But what the older brother doesn't see, 
is the road between mistakes, and home. 
He doesn't see the bitter weeping
when he sees how his Father loved him, 
and how little he treasured that love. 
The older brother misses
the broken pieces of his heart
scattered next to beds of strangers,
thrown away in one Jack and Coke too many. 
The words the prodigal spray painted that he thought no one would read,
I. Just Want. To. Come. Home. 
The older brother doesn't see his prodigal sibling 
yell and rage at the time he lost. 
Cry at all the memories he missed out on. 
Shut his eyes at the lies that make themselves at home in his soul 
You are not worthy. You will never be forgiven. You should not dare to call yourself
If a prodigal could say anything that would even hint at the truth. 
He would say, 
That time you thought I was having the time of my life
while you were stuck at home?
I paid for it. 
I have fought more, 
Fallen harder, 
Cried and wept and screamed. 
I have scars no one can see,
there is part of me that 
will always be
on the road
with the other 
Lost Ones. 
I know who I am now. 
But sometimes
those lies that I told 
mean people don't trust me. 
Those times that you spent with Dad?
I spent ignoring him. Those memories you have with Him?
Mine are few, though they are becoming more frequent. 
I have flashbacks reminiscent 
of war, 
and sometimes
I still feel 
like I belong with the pigs.
My victories may seem sweet
but they came with more
blood and scars
and tears. 
My story may have more twists and turns
but it's because
in so many ways I got lost. 
And while you were dreaming of running off like me
I was crying myself to sleep
because nothing sounded quite as good 
as home. 
So, dear older brother, 
just know, 
sometimes I get jealous
and Dad loves us both,
but my scars feel like they cut deeper. 
So don't want the open road,
When you already have 
a Welcome Home

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

People of the Miracle- What it Means to See Imperfectly (A post for my Beggers.)

And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. 23 And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” 24 And he looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.”25 Then Jesus[a] laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly." Mark 8:23-25

My heart is so sore lately. A little girl asked me a question the other day that still echoes in my mind, has echoed ever since I discovered what it meant to be "different."

"What's wrong with you? Why do you walk like that?"

Like a bullet, a million denials and heartbroken sighs and sarcastic thoughts pop to the surface,

Like a bomb, 9 words that make my whole world go blurry,

and the tears that I bite back are bitter, like drinking vinegar.

And I find myself wondering, "yeah Jesus, what's wrong with me?"

And I realize how utterly alone I feel.

And I weep, and Jesus reaches, and I push

away Away Away

from all who love me,

and from Him. I want no part of surface level comfort and misunderstood sacrifice.

When my heart calms, I read Mark 8 and I see something.

Beggars brought the man to be healed, he did not go alone.

And for the first time in awhile I see, I have never been alone.

I have beggars in my life.

Beggars without whom I would never seek the miracle.

Beggars who cry with me, pray with me. get angry with me, and question just as I do.

Beggars who free me to be real with God, and to want, so much, ache so much for the miracle.

But the miracle? That happens when Jesus takes the man alone.

He spits. Gross right?

I like to think of that as Jesus symbolically taking all of the "gross" that is sickness.

Tears, questions, bitterness, hurt, ANGER, and using it to heal.

Slowly. The miracle happens. Not all at once.

And he sees. Clearly

So, to my beggars,

I don't see clearly yet.

I hurt. I don't want to look at my feet.

I'm tired of weird reflections and awkward falls

and sitting in grocery store carts.

I'm tired and I'm weak. And in some ways, Jesus calls me to walk this journey alone.

But in ways, so many ways, I need you to walk it with me.

And I know you do.

Thank you for letting me whine about the small things. Shoes with massive holes. Shirts with buttons I cannot do. Food that I cannot cut without help. Hair cut short because I can't do it alone if it's long.

Thank you for urging me to NEVER give up on God taking away CP.

Thank you for reminding me that is does not now, nor will it ever define me.

Thank you for bringing me to Jesus

when the thought of the miracle journey makes me want to run away.

Thank you for sharing my tears as my heart breaks.

Thank you for begging for me.

Someday I know, I will see.

But until then,

thank you for begging.