Who makes me uncomfortable?

I have learned that when I fear taking on (add your own pet hate) I miss the point:

a) “fear” has no place in love
b) “taking on” is a win and lose scenario
c) “pet hate” is a roadblock to relationship

The God I know is not of fear – nor of winning and losing – nor of placing roadblocks in my way.

I do that.

e.g.

“taking on the atheists”
“taking on the gays”
“taking on those who do not believe the bible (as they should)”
“the qualified theologians”
“the unchurched”
“the congregation”
“the institution of church”
“the lack of church”
“the homeless”
“the grieving”
“the druggies”
“the prostitutes”
“the criminals”
“the ones who scare me”

The “anyone who makes me uncomfortable (pet hate)”

Because behind every label and category is you and me several choices from now – several choices ago – several choices I couldn’t face – several choices I had to face.

I think that is why I find it easier and easier to follow God Soft Hands Jesus.

He sees me – no matter my label for me (or you).

And THAT is relationship.

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Why am I here?

I read a post this morning (fantastic by the way) about how to garner more comments out here on WordPress, meet and greets and the like. It got me to wonder that age old question, why am I here?

What started out as a recovery breakthrough and call from God has taken on a life of its own that led me all the way to the Catholic church. I’ve met people out here in blog-land who’ve accepted me throughout the entirety of this journey, and some who have not. I read and re-read so many theology based posts I sometimes become nauseous with the verbose and stale translations that make Jesus dead. I’ve been asked to be myself but most times I’ve been asked not to be myself. At times I don’t even know what to call myself. 

The mass, it is my saving grace.  Receiving Jesus weekly in the Eucharist has taken me to places I never thought I’d be spiritually. The celebration of Him, the focus on His sacrifice and the participation at His table is at times overwhelming for me. I could float off in the distance in my little Catholic life, and maybe God will let me do that. I pray God will let me do that. But it’s times like this I find and know my writing and working out my salvation is as much for you as it is for me. And I am not concerned about comments, online cocktail hours or whether you like me or not. No, the truth is so much more than that. 

We try and make people conform to the way we think they should be. We say that being a Christian makes us free, but I was in bondage over people pleasing so much more than I was in the world. Even now, it is hard at times to write what God has for me, knowing it will draw your ire. But be myself I must, I know who I am, and God does too.

I wish more people would write about their struggles and realities rather than cloak themselves in bibles. I wish more people would be honest with themselves about who they are. I can’t imagine that most Christians don’t use the word moron in their everyday vernacular or get angry or feel hurt or sad. I can’t imagine why we can’t and won’t accept people right where they are, and why we need to shove the gospel down their throat like bad medicine. If I cannot be myself in Christ, where else can I go to do that? Certainly not back to the world which has nothing to offer except certain death…

We have to allow ourselves to feel, to grow, to move inside and outside of ourselves, to be healthy, to get healthy and to take others with us. We can’t exist inside a shell of who we are. We can’t be perfect. We have to reach out in the language that the person our hand is extended to understands.

So why am I here? I don’t know. I ask myself that question a lot these days. So I’ll ask you the same, why are you here, what are the intentions in your heart? Is your space self-serving, do you tear down others with your words, do you judge, do you hide behind pretty things, do you get angry and let the writer know, do you let people be free to be themselves and give them the words you know they need? What are you doing here? Well?

Don’t need Me. Desire Me.

Originally posted on “just me being curious”: 5th March 2015

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(for someone who desires our prayers)

I came to my daily time with the Lord this morning. And there is a structure, three moments of “rest”, on the way to the verses:

Presence:
Dear Lord as I come to you today fill my heart and my whole being with the wonder of your presence.
Freedom:
I ask that God, through my freedom may orchestrate my desires in a vibrant loving melody rich in harmony.
Consciousness:
I pray for the gift of acceptance and forgiveness.

This morning I asked myself: Would I meet my lover in “this mood” and expect him/her to “make me” love them? … if I showed up and said: “I need you to fill my heart … orchestrate my desires” … make me accept you.” Just what might THEIR response be?

And with thought in mind I came to today’s verses: Lazarus and the Rich Man.

And as I read through this well known passage, He drew me to these two verses:

“But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ Luke 19:25-26

And then He whispered “God Shopping, Paul?”

And as I wondered what He meant – He played these “sensory films” with me:

Window Shopping. That retail experience where there is nothing between you and the goods you browse. You can touch them, try them for size, put them back, move on. Repeat (and repeat and repeat). I have heard that some people actually enjoy spending their time this way. Indeed I know people who spend the whole day doing that.  And when you ask: “What did you get?”, they calmly say: “Nothing.”

Relationship Shopping. That overnight experience in the same bed where there is nothing between you and your partner but a bad mood. You can touch them, you can cuddle them, you can get “over it” (whatever it is you can’t get over). But you stay one side of the bed, and they stay the other. Nothing between you both but a chasm of emptiness. I have done that quite a few times. In a huff and a grump – with a seething expectation that “they” make the first move.

God Shopping. That lifetime experience of having a relationship with God Soft Hands Jesus without ever touching each other. That miniscule chasm of everything.  In a relationship of “knowing about” rather than “knowing”.  Nurturing a relationship of “toenail worship” rather that the “worship of desire”.  Denying the reality of a relationship based on “Come on God – prove yourself – make me love You – make me need You.”

I used to do that without even realising I was.  That’s how we are taught to pray, taught to love, taught to “relate” with God: from a reverent distance.

This morning He whispered, and kept on whispering:

“I can do as much heavy lifting as needed – except I don’t need – Love does not need.

Look across “the bed” … across “the chasm” – there is no “heavy lifting” Paul.  There is only an imaginary distance that you place between us.  You make Me an imaginary friend – a Holy Reverent Imaginary Friend on a Pedestal.  And this distance between us is a figment of your imagination – that is why YOU allow such a burden, a cross, a hard path, a weight on YOUR  shoulders.

I have no need to lift that from you – and nor should you.  Because need is Fear – and need is Guilt – and need is a Burden.  That is why Love never Needs.  Love only Desires.

Please don’t let your “imagination of what is right and proper” come between us.  I died for you all.  And now you all “kill Me” again and again when you need Me “up there” on your pedestal.

 I Desire You! I always have and I always will.

Remember, the time you have for sowing is but a short season – and the time “for knowing” is also short.  What you sow now – you reap for eternity.

Please don’t need Me …  please just Desire Me.”

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Taken from “Lazarus and the Rich Man”:
Luke 16:19-31