Be a Christian Liberal

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Be a Christian liberal with how often you say “I love you”. Say it over and over and over and over again until your heart spills forth with love rejoicing as you see the eyes of your neighbor. Even when your brother does not look like you. Even when your sister does not think like you. Even when the eyes that return are defiant with hate.

Shout “I love you” at the top of your lungs with glee to your Creator whose pursuing gaze of affection has never left your face. Even when all you want to do is run and hide in the comfort of sin. Even when it feels like the earth has been abandoned and all fairness has fled. Trust your God is just in His love.

Be a Christian conservative with hollow words. Puppeteer your lips with your heartstrings. Only you and your Maker know the true honesty of your declarations. Let us not love in words or speech, but in action and in truth.

Be a Christian, simply. Be like Christ. God demonstrates His love for us in this – while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Agape, speak constantly. Show abundantly.

Satisfied.

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To be satisfied seems like the opposite of living in the overflow. Instead of cool, babbling water, it is a meniscus hovering just over the brim. It feels selfish and introspective. It tastes like the memory of whatever I’ve eaten last.

. . .

This heart is a longing one that sways to and fro, like the shore crashing upon the sand only to retract into the sea.  It hurls itself into empty promise after empty promise, digging to the darkest depths to where none can survive to find…what? Happiness? But happiness is a mere emotion manipulated easily by my circumstance.  Success? But success is only relative to my brothers and sisters who work next to me. And so it keeps on. If these legs could run a hundred miles, my heart would run a thousand more because see, this heart – this heart is a chasing one. My own need is the beacon which I pursue. Narrowly, do I set my gaze.

. . .

You say you satisfy the longing soul. You.

. . .

There is fullness in the promise.

. . .

May the promise overflow.

// Psalm 107

 

An Open Letter to WCC

Williamsburg Christian Church,

My heart is full with gratitude for how gracious God has been these past few months. Thank you for having me as an intern with the Family Ministry. I have learned more about you as brothers and sisters in Christ than I ever would have just showing up on Sundays when school is in session. I have had the incredible opportunity to witness the work of God in your children, students, and families. I was reminded by the children of wonder and unfiltered curiosity of God and the things of God. I got to see desire just to know God more in the students, and was wonderfully surprised by the depth of maturity and vulnerability they are capable of.

As intimidated as I was by the thought of ministering to the students, I remembered that my one prayer from the onset was to see the fulfillment of 1 Corinthians 3:6 – “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth”. And God has certainly given growth to the seeds planted and watered faithfully by Garrett, Erin, Lori, Brynn, Penny and Arielle.

I have gotten to witness God through the students in coffeeshops, froyo stands, photo shoots and sessions at the recording studio. I have seen the knowledge of Him settle in the students attending a weekly discipleship group where Garrett and I sought to equip them with spiritual disciplines and how to shepherd others well. I have gotten to share about my struggles and joys of singleness and how I experience God through wonder.

As I learned more about this church, I learned more about God. 1 John 4 says: “No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us”. Because of the way you love, I see Jesus.

I see Him in the hospitality you don’t merely talk about in vain, but manifests itself in the self giving love I receive daily. I have never been without a ride, even if where I’m going is clear across town. (I really do need to get my license). You have invited me graciously into your homes and along with you on family outings. You have become the church, and the church has become my home. I am immensely grateful for it.

I praise God for your wholehearted affection for Him that does not stop in your service of each other, but continues in your love for neighbors living through homelessness, the residents of Envoy, and orphans in Kenya. I stand in awe of your obedience to His voice and the open joy with which you show compassion. I will continue to be as present as I can be for the next few years, but will always be lifting you up before the throne of God. May your hearts be captured by the relentless love of God through the blood of Jesus Christ and the knowledge of Him. And may that love overflow.

With joy,

M

 

This is the Undertow.

To desire some of the sea, the euphoria of riding above the wave, toeing the shoreline to feel the gentle lap of the water against skin.

But you are pulled into the sea, all at once, a complete surrender to the force of motion. You are wrapped into majesty, terrified and wholly unselfish. Seconds crash into eternity, and you know that this immersion, this being one with the sea- this is the thrill of the undertow.

And you will never be satisfied on the shoreline again.

Joy.

 

In your presence there is fullness of joy. I am left unsatisfied with this want to be loved and be accepted by the things of this world. “Perhaps then”, I think to myself, “I will be joyful.

 It is because of these feelings that I know that I am created to love – to value and be valued. Perhaps dissatisfaction too, is an indicator that there is something greater. In your presence there is fullness of joy.

I desire the deeper joy.

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” // C.S. Lewis