My mommy and daddy love me soooo much! she penned across the page of her own moleskine journal.
It was a long night, with a fresh new ending. He was making her new and working from the inside out.
She took a misstep, we course corrected, and she had sunk deep instead of coming up and out like our others. Six+ years of being surrounded by other orphans who would point and shout “SHAME” when one of their ranks would falter has left a scar on how she’s seen herself.
Wounds, not yet healed, tend to make themselves known.
A process we’ve just begun, post course-correction, revealed the thoughts infecting her inner-man. My mommy and daddy aren’t happy with me, she scribbled, first, in her journal. I am a child who will not obey, her next phrase. Words that weren’t ours, the opposite of what we’d spoken. A lifetime of unfettered thoughts and no mommy to speak otherwise can make a child’s mind the enemy’s playground.
We prayed — cast off lies and the giver of lies and asked Him to re-write with those age old Words that are new every morning. Her eyes went from vacant to light-filled as she erased the venom-on-page which had attempted its work first in her heart and wrote, now, what He spoke.
I added a few more “o’s” to that sooo, pulled her face close up to mine — always seeking to restore infant bonds to the child who didn’t grow up with the sweetness of her mother’s flesh against her young years — and tickled. I make Jesus laugh was one of the new phrases she wrote, over the old. She hasn’t yet memorized Zephaniah 3:17, but His Spirit is making it known to her.
Before we paste new wall paper over the walls of this rich house we’ve inherited, we have to tear down the old.
Regeneration is happening in our home daily, hourly. And it’s not just with our children.
Though my history included hugs and kisses and beautifully-intentional parenting, I still lived exposed to the toxins of the world. My mid-thirties need renovating, just as her single digits do. Having a living perspective of Jesus and how He sees me requires a willingness to see what aspects of my current one might be stale. Inaccurate.
His regeneration is always accessible, but it’s my early morning whisper — I barely know You — which offers the ignition. Easy to say, but hard to deep-down believe. Without it, though, I live immobile.
The mornings I don’t wake up excited to curl up beside His Word and under His whisper, or the afternoons my Bible sits, comfortably, beside my heart on the shelf as I plunge through the day, suggest that the him with whom I think I’m meeting isn’t the God of the Bible. My cold heart is a signal: I don’t really know the God who is a consuming fire.
My stagnancy has everything to do with the falsehoods about Him which I’ve swallowed whole.
And today, a new flavor of adoration. As a friend said recently: we read the gospels like we read children’s storybook bibles. The Jesus who fed 5,000 is the God who provides. The Jesus who turned water into wine is the God of miracles. Etc, etc. We make Him monochromatic when each one of these scenes paints layers of His person on our understanding.
When we adore through the gospels, when we pray passages, we teach our bodies to feed off of His Word. He moves from artwork on the wall to beauty we wear.
So today I write my adoration as I sit in a scene I assumed that I knew well, until just this past week. I tore out the yellowing pages of my understanding and asked Him to let me know His Word as active.
“And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment. For she said to herself, ‘If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.’ But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, ‘Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour.” Matthew 9:21-22
You noticed her.
The woman so many wanted to dismiss, her issue couldn’t be neatly tied, You felt, even though she never touched Your flesh.
You received her, Jesus, all of her. Her pain made You stop and the sight of her made You speak. The broken have Your ear.
I adore You, Jesus, for noticing the hidden and for responding to a reaching-out by reaching-in, even if she only reached a hem.
You called her daughter.
Had her parents disowned her? Had it been years since she’d heard someone use this name for her? “Which one sinned, this woman or her parents?” — was the same question asked of the blind man asked of her? She may have known herself as a misfit, but You gave her a new name. The rest in the crowd were a part of the crowd, and in times previous, a safe place for her — one of many — but You singled her out and You spoke of her as Your flesh, before Your flesh bled for her.
Oh God who speaks family over our orphan spirit, I can’t wait for the day when I hear Your audible voice say “daughter” to me. Father of love, unending, You speak exactly what we need to hear.
She wasn’t just healed, she was renamed.
You name us with You. I love You, Re-Creator.
And her participation was a part of Your healing. She left, standing tall. You didn’t say “My power has healed you” but, instead, “your faith has made you well.” You cast attention back to her heart. The woman who likely knew mostly shame, was positioned in the line of Your spotlight.
You drew attention to her. A new kind of humility. She was who she was, all because of You, and You weren’t afraid to share Your glory.
You replaced insecurity, not with pride, but with Your glory — the only thing which creates true humility, received not earned.
You share Your glory, God, and by our partnership You receive more glory. What is this exchange?!
She came wounded and left valiant. Acclaimed. Known not by her flesh and its failure but instead by Your eye for her.
I adore You God of new paradigms. You blow up my perspective. Your Son was so kind. I’ve never known anything better.
**I absolutely treasure your stories. I love the memorials coming my way. What’s being erected over your lives is fuel in mine: He is good. With a life of four-being-restored and two of us not too far ahead of them, I don’t have as much time as I’d like to respond to every email, message and comment. Though the demands under my roof may not allow much time to respond to these, please know I am honored by what you’ve sent me and the time you took to tell me your story. They are gifts to me.
***For a context to this little space on my blog, read: Why I Adore. For a more detailed description of how to start adoring Him in your day-to-day, read: Showing Up. You can easily subscribe to these devotional meditations as they are delivered, by using this feed: http://www.EveryBitterThingisSweet.com/posts/chai/feed or by entering your email address in the second box on the right-hand side… (scroll up a bit).
Photo compliments of Mandie Joy.