Thursday, October 11, 2012

New Nikes on Old Stompin' Ground

I'm BACK! 

Sitting here at my smoothie spot in the Joburg airport, just an hour till I catch the shuttle for that last 4-hour stint of cross-eyed, crammed-up travel. I can't wait to ride down that TTH driveway, walk into my little cottage, see everybody, take a SHOWER (please, oh please, let us have water today!), and get into some sort of a normal swing.

I'm thankful and overjoyed by my time in the States. Thank you to each person who was a part of that, and to Citymark Church. I love you all.

I wrote this before I left Texas and thought this might be a good time to share it with you. Please pray with me, as the shift between cultures, realities and time zones is never easy.

Jesus, I love you.

You come down to earth – You leave the throne. Those gates. That heavenly home. Your father. You left completion in the name of family.

You left to reach down and scoop up this prodigal people… the people who beat, mocked, betrayed and hung you on a cross. When you humbled, they humiliated.

When you humbled, I humiliated. You came down to scoop me up. I don’t always… I don’t even usually choose gratitude.

I grumble at grace.
I grumble because all the people aren’t in the places I want them to be…
Because they don’t do or say or decide how I want them to.
Because it’s not all better.
Because this world is corroding my 5 senses, lunging for my spirit.

I crack open a journal, and I bow down on my knees to file my complaints. I stomp my feet because Happily Ever After hasn’t happened yet. And somehow, so quickly, I forget that I’m the prodigal people who beat, mock, betray and hang you on a cross. That I judge; I hate; I am a broken fountain.

I have no claim on Happily Ever After.

Until that grace I grumbled at entered the world.
Until I built a cross on a mountain of fear.
Until I scourged the flesh wrapped around you with all of my vengeance.
Until I engraved my scorn and destructed your authority with thorns in your crown.
Until I swung with all my anger, piercing God-made flesh with man-made tools.
Until you lost that last breath you used to pray for me and finally surrendered your spirit.
Until it finally left the realm of my small, unholding, unholy, unsovereign hands – out of the reach of the created, raising their hands and their hate at the uncreated.
Until the living, breathing, uncreated, bearer of Happily Ever After left eternal perfection to come down and experience everything that’s happened since Once Upon a Time began.

Grace flooded.
All the earth. All of creation. In the name of and by the power of Love.
Only love.

I dig tombs. Love walks out of them.

Grace doesn’t demand anything. Grace uses his last breath for you to get an all-access pass to Happily Ever After.

Grace evokes gratefulness.
I grumble louder than I say thank you.
Grace walked out of the tomb while I was still grumbling.
I choose gratefulness today.

Thank you, Jesus, for leaving Home to show me. To invite me. And to know me.
Thank you, Jesus, for giving me your very last grace-breath.
I want the rest of my breaths to say thank you.

Jesus, You left Home to touch our sick, dirty skin and bring healing.
Thank you for letting me touch sick, dirty skin, Healer.

I cry about culture shock. But what was it like to leave heaven for earth?
Thank you for the culture shock of promise – that we were made for Happily Ever After. And we’re still in the Once Upon a Time until we can spread the word that the table has been set, and the banqueting feast is ready.

Love walked out of that tomb for the sick and the dirty. The homeless and the hungry. The broken and bruised. The scared and the lonely. The widowed and the orphaned. Love’s last breath said those names. Said my name. Said your name. Said their names.

Thank you for my breath and for yours.
Thank you that this is not the home I’m supposed to be storing my treasures in.
Thank you for Happily Ever After.
And thank you that this is not what Happily Ever looks like.
Thank you that it’s coming.
Thank you for letting me come and for letting me bring my friends. 

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