Posted in Different Moments, Different Scriptures

approaching the Holy

As we head further into the week before Easter, referred to as “Holy Week”, it’s good for us to pause and reflect on the direction we’re heading. Many of us have gone through these rhythms before, and there is a dangerous familiarity. Dangerous because we may once again miss out on an opportunity for God to stir or accomplish something new in our hearts and lives.

But also dangerous because, if we’re honest, many of us hesitate to move in the direction of the Holy. Our hesitancy is often born of the same hesitancy seen in Adam and Eve in the garden, as God called out “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9). Humanity’s response was to be afraid of a God who sought intimacy with them (Genesis 3:10), and it seems that same response is readily available for us still today. This is not only how we respond to God, but often how we respond to one another as well. We’ve been created for intimacy with God and one another, but so often we are hesitant, we run in the opposite direction, or deflect with hurry or humor. At best, we may even manufacture moments of emotional exhibitionism as a way of staying in control/power of our own vulnerability.

Yet this week we purposefully look in the direction of a God who became human, and submitted Himself (in Love for you and I) to one of the most humiliating and painful deaths imaginable (Philippians 2:8). He wasn’t anxiously curating His image so that everyone would know the best aspects of what He was up to. He was able to fully rest, even on His way to the cross, in the unchanging Love of the Father. His trust that God’s good redemption comes no matter what happens along the way, set Him free to offer Himself in intimacy as a friend even in that final week – even knowing some were preparing to betray Him.

What would it look like for you and I to approach the Holiness of this God who pursues us in a new way this year? What would it mean for you to “take off your sandals”, recognizing this place we stand in His presence, has been made Holy. What is on your calendar these next 5 days that you could reschedule for later? What would prevent you even in these next few moments, from pausing to recognize there is a Divine Love who calls out “Where are you?” right now?

Nothing in the experience of Adam and Eve up to that point had taught them to be afraid or hesitant when responding to the Love of God who seeks them in the garden. The only difference in that moment, was they had begun listening to the whispers of a deceiver who said, “Are you sure?” Questioning the Truth of God’s Word began to make them question His Love for them, leading to disorder in their relationship. Along with such a disorder, their relationship with each other followed and continued into the next generations.

We believe that in Jesus – we have been reconciled to God. Brought into a rightly-ordered relationship once again. As we approach the next several days, know there is a God who calls out to you “Where are you?” Know also that Jesus emerges from the shadows of a hidden humanity, speaking on our behalf “Here we are.”

Will we follow Him daily into the light, where we can know God fully even as we are fully known (and Loved)?

Will we remember that such a re-ordering invites our relationships with one another to be securely approached in the foundation of such Love as well?

Posted in Uncategorized

different kids.

“He’s part of the smart and popular group.”  I heard a 5th grader describe his friend this past week.  Holy Smokes.  I don’t remember thinking about “popularity” in elementary school, although I’m sure it was there somewhere.  I remember coming to school and getting incredibly good at the art of twisting my hair so that it stood up without using any gel.  Throw a cape on my back, because I was super.

I remember some mornings, waiting out by the road for the bus to pick us up.  We’d easily get bored, and want to do something more fun.  I remember putting frogs in the mailbox for our postal worker to be surprised by.  (She wasn’t happy when she found baked frogs in the mailbox.  Ooops. Hot fall days.)  I remember playing Ninja Turtles. (I preferred Michaelangelo.)  I remember squatting down, pulling my coat down over my knees, while hobbling along the road trying to scare the cars driving by into thinking I was some sort of troll.  (Probably not the safest thing I’ve ever done along a highway.)

Looking back on who I was growing up, I think is part of the reason I was totally okay when we began our homeschooling journey.  Sure, a lot of homeschool kids can grow up a bit weird.  But look at me…public school kids can grow up pretty odd themselves.  My kids are certainly going to be unique in this world, scripture pretty much demands it.  But their uniqueness is not about simply wearing the moniker “Different”.  It’s so much bigger than that.

In fact, it’s too big to fit into an awesome sentence that I can make into bold text, and you can quote me on in some place that gets more internet traffic.  I want my kids to live authentic lives of experiencing all that God has created them for.  I fiveironfrenzypray over them daily that they would be filled with so much love, the world will be changed.  I believe it’s possible with all that I am (and the even more that I am not), and parent them that way.  Whether they go on to become missionaries in foreign lands, moms who raise the next generation to know the love of God, or a female-fronted version of Five Iron Frenzy.  In fact, if they could go on to become a female version of Five Iron Frenzy, at least for a little while, I’d be pretty excited.  One thing is for sure – they will be unique.  I pray they are unique even in the face of consumer-driven Christianity.  That they would ask questions, and push the envelope for how God’s Love can be shown, and how the Holiness of God can be lived.

So for now, we’ll continue to build the foundations of a life lived uniquely toward responding to God.  We aim to exercise those spiritual muscles on a regular basis.  To invite our children to respond to God with us on a regular basis.  To train them to listen to His voice.  To point out where some things in our world are broken, or don’t make sense.  To help their first reflex and knee-jerk reaction to be Love for God & others.  And above all of that, because we cannot guarantee what path they’ll take…..we pray.  God, use our family to make things different, as you are Different.  Amen.