"A woman's heart is such a complex problem-the owner thereof is often most incompetent to find the solution of this puzzle" -'The Scarlet Pimpernel'
My childhood hero, Jeanne d'Arc
Who I Am
I am "God's own child" as the hymn puts it. I am baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I have been crucified with Christ in that water and raised to eternal life in his resurrection. I confess Holy Scripture (the Old and New Testaments) to be the inerrant Word of God. I confess the teaching of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (the Lutheran Confessions) to be true to Scripture.
Here I stand, by God's grace I will not do otherwise; on my own strength, I fall.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;he is my mighty rock, my refuge. -Psalm 62:7
Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? ...but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles... But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things -and the things that are not- to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. -I Corinthians 1
"One who puts on his armor should not boast like one who takes it off"
King Ahab sent this response to Ben-Hadad, king of Syria in I Kings 20:11.
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
To you I lift up my eyes,
O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
Behold, as the eyes of servants
look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maidservant
to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the Lord our God,
till he has mercy upon us.
Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us,
for we have had more than enough of contempt.
Our soul has had more than enough
of the scorn of those who are at ease,
of the contempt of the proud. Psalm 123, ESV
It is all vanity. I tire of chasing wind. I am weary and have had more than enough of my own pride and contempt. Wherefore my scorn? My soul has had more than enough. Yet I cannot desist.
I am a nothing chasing nothing furiously.
Nothing satisfies. My God, the love of my youth, I ignore. Turn again, O God, and deliver me. Save me because of your unfailing love. To you I lift my eyes. I am your servant - though wayward - the child of your maidservant; loose again my bonds.
Teach me to be Christ's slave. I cannot serve two masters. Teach me to die to myself, that I may live. Drown me again. I have resisted the flood too long. Slay my ambition, my desire to achieve, to accomplish, to build a tower to the heavens. Wash away the shame of my constant failures to reach my goals.
Do not leave me where I am. I am afraid and uncertain. I do the things I hate and none of the things I want. At my best, I am an act, a farce. (Sometimes I think that's half of professionalism: to act a role for the benefit of your client. I know what I should say and do and I do it because that's the protocol, the algorithm. I want to make everyone feel heard, and cared for, and loved, and I know the affect to put on to make that happen.) Do slaves of Christ wear a mask?
I remember a time when I cared for others because of a joy that sprang up inside me. I wanted to radiate a peace and love that I felt inside. Now the joy has withered. I find that I still want to communicate love and peace to others, but no longer motivated by joy. I want them to feel peace because I, with them, know the anguish of emptiness. I help them because I hate the feelings of loneliness, worthlessness, and incompetence that plague all humanity. How great is that darkness.
Will I ever relive the joy? Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me. A broken and contrite heart you will not despise, but mine is not yet broken - merely resentful and restless. Break it and mend. The ache is unbearable, I want a sharp pain. Debride the ulcer that will not heal. Cut out the eye that causes me to sin, and the hand, and the foot, and the tongue, and the mind, and the soul, but it is still insufficient. You alone can transform rather than merely mutilate.
You, who are enthroned in the heavens, lift up my eyes to you. My attention is distracted here on earth. I do not spare time or energy to regard you, yet my soul aches for you. As my earthly husband will not allow me to ignore him, so, Great Bridegroom, do not allow me to ignore you. Call to me again, and lift my eyes to you until you show me mercy. Show me Mercy dying for me. Show me Mercy drowning me. Show me Mercy feeding me. Show me Mercy forgiving me. Show me Mercy leading me. Fix my eyes on him who is Mercy. And may this Mercy rid me of my scorn, contempt, and pride which stir up shame and despair.