Saturday, April 19, 2014

playing with bruises

Warm your children,
give life to your dead man,
justify your sinner.

Everyone begins as a child. This is a good beginning. It is also a fine ending. The grandmother that chooses play is more glorious than a child that plays by instinct—and if adults can learn to play by instinct, that is even more glorious still. Holiness can be a romp.
            The child that knows she needs her Father is wise. She has fallen in the river. She is cold and wet. But her Father is there. She can limp to him with cuts from the rocks. He will wrap her in a warm blanket (and his arms) and hold her by the fire until she is warm. She will sit with him awhile and then she will be able to get up to play again. She may still even be bruised, but she will be able to play. Children don’t wait for complete healing before they are able to enjoy life again.
            To lose childhood is to die. If one doesn’t die physically, there is a kind of death that accompanies all lost innocence. But God is able to help you believe again. The cynicism you thought sure enlightened you only deceived you. Grace is more real than evil. Forgiveness is able to restore the hopes of youth.
            Evil seems more real to us than grace because the Prosecutor likes to push guilt back in our face. On the one hand, he does have a case: either we have done evil or we have had it done to us. In either case, God is the one that declares us innocent (even though we all know we’re not) because the Son paid the penalty of death on our behalf. This new imparted innocence feels warm, like the blanket and the Father or Mother of our childhood. Forgiveness is enough to restore hope and trust that, yes, we can play again and we can even fall down again. He will never stop loving us, he will never stop raising the dead, and he will never stop declaring us innocent.

I am the resurrection and the life. 
John 11:25

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

the glory of a child

Shatter my hardness,
shine on my darkness.

Do not harden your heart. God has witnessed our many attempts and failures and he has not hardened his heart. The God of hope still places his hope in us; place your hope in him.

God is not cynical and doubting. Even though we crucify him in unbelief he does not relent believing that we will believe.

Christ-likeness may require nothing more than a simple, soft heart.

The hardened heart is a closed heart. A closed heart is a dark heart. Open your heart to his love. You will see the light. Your heart will then be filled with the light of hope. This is glory.

Children are glorious for this very reason. They are open; they have not yet learned to doubt; they are not cynical and skeptical. Hope is their medium. Become like a little child. Simple teachability is its own glory.

You already know how to open your heart. This does not need to be taught to you. Indeed, it cannot be taught. Some things can only be learned by doing them yourself. Soften your heart; God can be trusted. 

Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.
Hebrews 4:7

Saturday, April 5, 2014

love and be yourself

Let love for you always be with me,
and the care of me be always with you.

Just love God. You do not need to add to the list of what you must do in this life. Love covers it all. If you fail unwittingly (you are only human), his care will be with you. He cares for those who are mistaken. We are all mistaken and he has yet to become apathetic to our need. Do not think that God’s care fails if you stumble.

Even when we are guilty of outright rebellion, his care still attends us. He cannot be anything other than caring. He is your Father. Succeed, fail or rebel, he cares. You are the apple of his eye.

It is our love that varies, never his care. So, practice loving God always.

God blesses us all with special abilities: do not become distracted by outcomes. Just do the best you can with your gift, out of simple love for him. Do not become troubled if another with a similar ability receives more reward for the same amount of labor you exert. God’s care still attends you and you can simply love him though your reward seems smaller in the world’s eyes.

In fact, simple love is its own reward. It sets one free from attachments that can only disappoint.

Do not worry about loving God the way someone else loves God. God’s care for you is to have you love him as he made you, not as he made another. Love God in your way, and give your neighbor leave to love God in their way. Don’t compare yourself to another; just love God as best you can.

We know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.
Anyone who lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
1 John 4:16

Friday, April 4, 2014

when we were children

When we were children
the moon was
dotted with watercolor puddles
the splash of God’s tears,
the dream of wider eyes
and deeper breath—
and mouths struck silent

She’s closer than the womb of time—

and we are jumping
on the tractor tube
out front of our green rambler—
the grass new-cut
and the ticking sprinkler next door
keeping pace with crickets—

a spring evening
when wild boys
have nothing but
sweat and reverence—

When we were children
the moon was
in our eyes
and at our feet.

when we were children
a poem by troy cady

Sunday, March 30, 2014

chosen and precious

Stop a second, just long enough to hear something good. 

First, take a few seconds to just breathe in and out. 

Familiarize yourself with the unforced rhythm of it. 

Now...hear these words as if they are being spoken to you right now.


“You are my child, my beloved. I adopted you, chose you. You are precious to me.”


Thus is God’s heart for you in this moment and in every moment to come. 

Remember. Spend some time with this thought. 

Make yourself at home in it.