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Posts Tagged ‘peacemakers’

Pied_Piper_1Play Me a Song

I have lived more than a few seasons of life falling under the spell of pied pipers’ tunes.  Each time I felt excitement over some new knowledge, or believed I belonged to something only special people understood.   Pied pipers draw a respectable following, so I usually enjoyed plenty of company as we merrily danced along.  Having so many people sharing love for the same song made it seem even more pleasant and true.  The longer I listened, the less I could see, except for what the song allowed.  The pipers were preachers and politicians, and the songs told of doctrines and dogmas.  Not that these things are always bad.  Often they contain elements of truth.  The trouble comes when we cease to question the source and nature of the song, or don’t see we are marching away from Jesus into the arms of another.  Our desire was to follow this song no matter what, no matter where.  If someone tried to speak to us about truth, we went back to singing our song even louder to drown them out.  Its familiarity became our comfort and security.  If the pied piper were to die, many others would be willing pick up the flute and keep going.

Then thgood-shepherd.jpg.w300h411e Good Shepherd begins to call again for His wandering sheep and starts to sing softly to our hearts.  I find myself feeling uneasy with the direction I am going.  My eyes focus more clearly to see the surroundings and direction of the march.  I also hear a more beautiful song that seems out of sync with the one I’m following.  I remember the love of the Shepherd and I wonder when it happened, that I left Him behind to follow another? Eventually, the piper’s song begins to sound terribly out of harmony and hurts my ears.  I can hear the notes that don’t belong in the music.  I look back at my friends and try to tell them, “this is all wrong!”  But they can’t hear me.  If one happens to look my way and listen for a moment, they become agitated and sing louder.  Just as I used to do.  I love them, but the Shepherd still calls.  I have to follow Him I know.  So I step out into His love and find peace and freedom.

This analogy is too one-dimensional to describe my life and all the facets that resemble pied piper mindsets.  I have followed more than one at a time and I have friends that left one to follow another.  Some were born under a tune and haven’t considered there may be any other song.  They are even told the Good Shepherd is marching along beside them.  That’s why God calls us sheep.  We are so easily distracted and led astray.  He has also promised that those who belong to Him will hear His voice and not follow another….forever.  This is a huge comfort and I have experienced this so many times.  I want to always be aligning my life to the God song.

Each time I hear Him more clearly, I experience an awakening that brings a family of emotions.  I rejoice in the Truth of Jesus, yet there are painful departures too; people that don’t want to walk with me anymore, objects of affection I have to lay down at His feet.  When I finally realize how opposed my idols are to His heart, the act of surrender then comes easily.  If I hold on to the false image in my mind of what I think my cherished idols are, I tend to cling and not let go.  We must see clearly.  This is why I keep the verse posted on the right margin here, “Jesus, let me see!”

All this to say, since I began writing here, I’ve had another gradual and often painful awakening over the last two or three years.  I have argued with God over this (giving Him all the reasons I don’t want to write about it), argued with myself, and argued with all the voices in my head that oppose what I know to be the Truth in Christ concerning these things.  I started writing in an anonymous place, Jonah style, because the burden to write was so strong I couldn’t say no.  (Yes Lord, I will go somewhere – but not to THAT city.) I don’t want to hurt or upset people I love, or be misunderstood.  I have a hundred reasons why not.

But with each passing day I see more clearly, and the pain of what I see, and what I must say, does not become less.  And the directives from His heart are getting stronger and more specific.  I can say no – and someone else will speak.  (And many are.) But out of love for Him, and those who are being hurt by the false images, I write.

A Waking Up Dream                                       

Let me begin with a very disturbing dream I had a few mornings ago.   It’s horrific actually.  But I believe it represented a core issue for me that I needed to see without confusion.  I was in a house not my own, and my young son was with me, only in the dream I was not the parent.  My role in this dream was a bystander.  His older sister had been brutally killed, put in a trash bag, and thrown out into the city trash can at the curb.  (I don’t watch things like this on TV or in movies by the way.) There was the body of an adult male as well whom I don’t know the identity of.   A woman caretaker had convinced the young boy that things would be better for him if his sister was gone.  He would have more of everything he wanted and he would not need to share anymore or get into fights over anything.  In his young naive mind it sounded attractive.  He agreed.  (In my dream I had knowledge that all this had taken place in a house other than the one we were in.  But the dream scene picked up after the fact.) In the house it’s just the boy and I.  He begins to cry and whine that he wants his sister back.  I am trying to explain to him that she is gone, and can never come back.  I have a horrible sense of finality and grief, of being unable to undo a terrible deed.  And even though in my dream I have not done it myself, I know that I had allowed it without protest.  I have the feelings of a parent (because the children in the dream were mine!), even though that wasn’t my role here.  I realize the parents are coming, and somehow, the guilt for the event is going to fall on me.

The parents arrive, and they are not immediately aware anything is wrong.  I was not the caretaker, but now have gone from bystander to messenger.  I must tell them what has happened, and I feel like it’s all my fault.  I am telling them to please arrest me.  I know I must go to prison for this.  The family is in grief, and the little boy is crying for his sister, and all I can think is that in some way I could have intervened and I did nothing.

The thing that impressed me the most when I first woke up, after I recovered from the horror of it, was the grief of the child who remained.  In the heat of the moment, of maybe a fight over something they both wanted, it seemed like a good solution.  The caretaker made the choice of who would live and who would die, but in the end, both were victims.

I believe the “caretaker” represents false religion that is aligned with the world’s values which are based on logic and reason which protect greed, rather than self-sacrificing love.   This world system is always ready to make a sacrifice of the weak to benefit the strong.   And those who are eliminated are considered “trash”.  Even those who crucified Jesus followed this logic.

The man may have represented a divorce.   The woman caretaker was the bride who did away with her husband to follow what seemed right to her.   This tragedy has taken place throughout history with the people of God.   As we crucify Christ for our own desires, we forget His true identity and take on another one for ourselves.  Because my dream picked up later, “in another house” seems to indicate how a current generation may be tied to the sins of the past, if not recognized and repented of.  The core beliefs and attitudes are carried on, even if we are not directly involved.

Does this seem too shocking and graphic to you? I hope it’s as nightmarish to you as it was to me.  I hope you have not been desensitized by all the violence in media and news stories to not feel the gravity of this.  We would never in a million years agree to something like this with our own children.  Yet, this is the world we live in – and we pass by this type of favoritism, often even supporting it.  Scripture tells us the children of the Most High come from every tribe, tongue and nation on earth.  How can we standby in any conflict and say, “One must die so another may live in peace and prosperity”?  Does this apply to any situation you know of?  I can think of many examples in history, and in the present.  Those who engage in this type of thinking are following a pied piper.  They believe the song that says this is the only solution.  I have believed it, supported it, even wished for it, without daring to think of the human cost.  In this – as a bystander, I do feel my own responsibility.  In the dream the condemnation was heavy and final in my heart.  But I believe God only wanted me to see the tangible reality of responsibility when we walk in agreement to things opposed to His heart.   Cain cried, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” – even as the blood of his brother was on his own hands.   I feel I have gone the way of Cain in the past myself.

I see also the extreme victimization of both the one who dies, and the one who agrees to kill.  There is a deep wound left in the one who remains.  As humans, we are all sons and daughters of God, His Creation.  Even those that will in the end reject Him are loved by Him.  We cannot agree to the elimination of other human beings without ourselves also being deeply wounded.   I have noticed the last three major headlines of horrific maniacal homicides in the past couple weeks have involved former military personnel as the perpetrators.  We send them to war, and they come home severely damaged in their hearts and minds.   We are hurting ourselves all the while believing we are winning a victory.

Formerly, I supported all that my country did in this regard, as well as the state of Israel.   I marched behind that war drum for quite awhile – until I heard Jesus through the flags and national anthems.

I understand nations will defend themselves against attack.  This is a political right and fact.  It does not however mandate how a Christian will react in this situation (having a higher Commander in Chief).  A believer must seek the Lord for His will.  There is a fine line between being in submission to our earthly governments and yet following Christ first and foremost.  Each one must follow their conscience in these things and I do not stand as a judge of anyone who believes in defending their homeland from a human perspective.  But no matter where we find ourselves on the chess board, the issue of love and hate within our own hearts does not change.

Self-defense and does not justify, in my opinion, most of what I see going on in this sick world as it relates to violence, both military and civil.  In the end the value judgments seem to come down to the decision that it’s better for someone else to die, so I can live as I want to live.   Self-defense is the justification for huge liberties taken at the expense of others.   In the end, it’s about self-interest.  Speaking as a U.S. citizen,  I believe this attitude of protecting our own interests is also one factor (of several) in our tragically high abortion rates.  Being pro-life goes much farther than defending the right to life in the womb.   We cannot devalue life without consequences.

The Hebrew Roots Movement’s Song

This pied piper idolatry blinds many people as they get drawn into the Hebrew Roots Movement.  Their love for anything Jewish is as blind as young romance.  They accept anything with Hebrew letters written on it, even if they can’t read it.  Play a song in a minor key and they will dance.  Love the Jewish people and not even care that there are many suffering peoples in the world, including the opposing sides in the Israeli conflicts? You bet!  But this is not of Christ.  This is the way of the old nature, not the New Creation.  We cannot harmonize this deep, ancient evil with the teachings and heart of Christ.  We cannot follow Him and sing this song on anyone’s “side”.   This truth should be realized irrespective of various belief systems about end times and the restoration of Israel.   I don’t quarrel with anyone about these.   I will however stand up for the love of Christ for all people.

And I cannot talk about a blinding love for the nation of Israel as a secular state, without speaking of my own country as well.  We are truly bound together as many prophecy teachers proclaim, yet not in righteousness.  This has been the most painful awakening I think I’ve ever experienced, because it doesn’t mean departing from a small, fringe group.  It means standing against tidal waves of nationalism and pride.  There is a great deal to love and admire in both nations.  I have probably loved Israel even more than my own country.  And now, choosing to stand firmly on the ground of only One Kingdom (of which even Israel is not yet grafted into her Messiah) I am able to lay down my worship and blind devotion to both of them, and truly, deeply love them in the love of Christ.

This means I will not support every military action as a mandate from God Himself.  As earthly kingdoms, these governments succumb to the songs of fear and hatred, but thankfully not all the people inside do.  There is another kingdom within their borders which extends far beyond them.  Citizens of this country will not waver with the winds of war or the seasons of hate.  Their love for Him, the royal family, and all of God’s creation guide and sustain them in all their ways.

I will, and I must – speak more openly about this form of idolatry in relation to the United States and Israel.  Many Christians here are blinded to many things by the false images and their worship of them.  In relation to Israel, they are willing to blend Judaism with Christianity.  Their blind devotion often leads to inadvertently insulting and offending Jewish people, hurting Palestinian brothers and sisters in Christ, and exploiting the Jewish Jesus for profit and popularity.  The Christian Zionist “witness” in Israel I think overall has a damaging affect spiritually on everyone, although it may bring financial benefits.  I have watched it sink down into a favoritism that supports death – within the Christian community.  I was party to this, and have had to repent of my participation in this mindset.   We truly should love the Jewish people and pray for peace.   But how do we expect to see this take place?  Do our hearts ache for peace for all God’s children?  Every side has enough hate of their own to start a thousand wars.  Yet, does peace come through vindicating our own disgust with other human beings?  Is this what Jesus taught?

I used to know a woman who loved her son.  It’s a very good thing to love your son, but not so much that you believe everything he does, in his selfishness and immaturity, are good.  The son lived irresponsibly but she would never admit he had a fault.  He drank, abused drugs, refused to support his family, spent his little income on his own fun, yet she never wavered in her undying devotion to him.  She built up an image to his young daughter, so she would worship and love this man as she did, even though as a father he hurt her terribly with his selfishness that prevented true fatherly love and nurture.  The child was caught between what she was told about her father, and what she experienced.  In this dissonance, we find also the phenomenon of nationalism.  It is good to love our country.  It is natural.  But when we become blind to our faults, and refuse to face the truth of where we diverge from our true King, this love becomes dangerous and harmful.

May we all see Jesus clearly, Who grants us our true sight.   I have so much more I want to share about the Way of the Cross as it relates to our citizenship here on Earth.   I have not agonized over anything I’ve written as much as this, since I began writing here.  Although, as this poem beautifully explains, the God Song cannot ever truly be told in words.

Song of the Soul
by Kahlil Gibran

In the depth of my soul there is

A wordless song – a song that lives

In the seed of my heart.

It refuses to melt with ink on

Parchment; it engulfs my affection

In a transparent cloak and flows,

But not upon my lips.

How can I sigh it?  I fear it may

Mingle with earthly ether;

To whom shall I sing it?  It dwells

In the house of my soul, in fear of
Harsh ears.

When I look into my inner eyes

I see the shadow of its shadow;

When I touch my fingertips

I feel its vibrations.

The deeds of my hands heed its

Presence as a lake must reflect

The glittering stars; my tears

Reveal it, as bright drops of dew

Reveal the secret of a withering rose.

It is a song composed by contemplation,

And published by silence,

And shunned by clamor,

And folded by truth,

And repeated by dreams,

And understood by love,

And hidden by awakening,

And sung by the soul.

It is the song of love;

What Cain or Esau could sing it?

It is more fragrant than jasmine;

What voice could enslave it?

It is heartbound, as a virgin’s secret;

What strings could quiver it?

Who dares unite the roar of the sea

And the singing of the nightingale?

Who dares compare the shrieking tempest

To the sigh of an infant?

Who dares speak aloud the words

Intended for the heart to speak?

What human dares sing in voice

The song of God?

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