Permission Granted

I have given myself permission to miss everything – mother, father, friends, lovers, once-in-a-lifetime-opportunities, everything – except this.

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Silencing the Flesh

I don’t know where I get the chutzpah sometimes. The following string of complaints actually came out of my mouth in response to the generic, how are you, while making a donation to a woman’s shelter today.

I’m sorry the bag burst as I was putting it in the truck and there’s more on the patio where I used to live, but I couldn’t carry the last big box. I just moved and didn’t place the order in time to have the gas connected before the holiday so I’ve been showering at the gym since Thursday. I just put my dog up for adoption and I teach online but my internet’s down.

Instead, I should’ve given thanks for all God made possible for them to do, for me to give, for the jobs we all have and that I had the company of a precious pup for two years. I immediately saw my half-empty response as a ruse of the enemy and returned to praising God for every tear, trial and triumph. I recalled Jesus’ invitation in Oswald Chambers’ devotional yesterday. Watch with me.

Let God Arise and His Enemies Be Scattered

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on 1st Kings 18 encourages us greatly:

Let us never despise the day of small things, but hope and wait for great things from it. From what small beginnings have great matters arisen! It is thus in all the gracious proceedings of God with the soul. Scarcely to be perceived are the first workings of his Spirit in the heart, which grow up at last to the wonder of men, and applause of angels. Elijah hastened Ahab home, and attended him. God will strengthen his people for every service to which his commandments and providence call them.

Like comfort, make disappointment your enemy. To avoid its traps, build every relationship on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ. Oswald Chambers addresses this directly in his devotional for July 30th when he writes: There is only one Being Who can satisfy the last aching abyss of the human heart, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Selah.

Lord, I thank You!


Samuel M. Franklin interpreting

End Notes

Between shuttling M’Dear to and from Drama Camp and summer camp today, Our Father did me the honor to allow me to attend a farewell celebration for an esteemed colleague; sit with a friend whose live-in boyfriend has called it quits; visit a friend in the hospital, and attend a Casa de Paz in our neighborhood. Through it all I was given to understand precisely why obedience is better than sacrifice and what a blessing it is to know and attend my Father’s voice. I even received a tailor-made revelation at day’s end. Together with all the gifts I have already received and stand to receive by faith, Jesus allowed me to give thanks and praise that I know how to let go and hold on. Hallelujah!

Unconditional Love For Dummies:

A 13-Step Program For People Who Used To Find Love in All The Wrong Places
Sitting around the dinner table after one of our First Sunday potlucks, three women began laughing at the stupid things we’d either done or heard of someone doing in the name of love. Unconditionally of course, but not in the right direction. The only remedy, we decided, was to hold ourselves accountable for not reading the writing on the wall even after having prayed for revelation. We laughed till our sides’ ached. Title after title for books, chapters, sitcoms and dramas came to us but we were too drunk on monkey bread and having survived the tragedy of so many years spent in recovery from our own bad decisions to record them. This much I remember and promised to share.
STEP 1: Acknowledge, I was the one who…
Insert details of your part in said fiasco, then love yourself unconditionally by not doing that again.
STEP 2: Repeat.
Step 3: Refer to step 2 ten more times, teaching one more person to do the same each time.

Not Quite Random Thoughts

As I cross the parking lot this evening at Food For Less and step up onto the curb, something about the waning light and falling temperature puts me in mind of the end of the world. My eyes caress the balding and straw-like patch of lawn as if these beginning/end of season blades of grass are the last on Planet Earth. I look up and catch the tail of a cloud, the bill of a baseball cap a stranger wears, and the scent of bleach and baked goods coming from inside as the electric eye opens the automatic doors…

After watching a dvd alone, you spent that time in the bedroom and scold me without even trying when I come to tell you that not wanting to have children is not as simple as you make it reinterpreting my answer to your trick question – when I come to tell you that it’s you I love and did not marry to be made a mother. As I take the dogs out one at a time, their last opportunity for the evening, I think to myself, perhaps even out loud, three thoughts: 1) You deserve more than a wife who does not care about being covered in dog hair when she comes to hug you goodnight. I will never be anything other. And, looking around at the recently lopped hedges, tennis courts with one good net, and lights that work on timers like those you find in a sauna or steam room, 2) This is the life I get for never using my imagination, and 3) God has so much more in store for me and this is it…

A statuesque black woman emerges from the pool as Pepper and I come alongside it earlier in the evening. Steaming toward the jacuzzi her feet seem completely indifferent to the 50 degree pavement. Some part of me wanted to be her…

An email celebrating International Disturbed People’s Day was waiting with this message:

Life may not to be the party we hoped for, but while we’re here we should dance.

One thing I have come to learn about myself is that when I begin administering exhaustion like a drug, something early and terrifying has been restimulated and I am self-medicating to avoid it…

Can one be credited with transparency if one is, for all intents and purposes, invisible?