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Posts Tagged ‘reconciliation’

I want to share a dream a very close friend of mine had a few weeks ago. I believe that as we settle down from the holiday food, fireworks, and parades – the message of this dream is so relevant to believers in the United States – or any country that has a strong sense of nationalism, and consequently the mindsets that develop as we endeavor to protect our way of life from foreign and domestic threats.

We are deeply divided against each other and view many other people groups as a whole, as evil. People have been easily herded into passionate crusades of one kind or another since civilization has existed. There is always someone screaming for your undivided loyalty.

The message of this dream conveys so beautifully the truths I have come to understand in the last few years.

I dreamed our family lived in a hotel. But it wasn’t unusual, because the whole world, or at least our country, lived in this hotel. Our government, the Church – everything was in this hotel. And it seemed that everything was in chaos. Terrible chaos. Terrorists everywhere. Government officials were urgently walking into and out of meeting rooms, giving speeches, suggesting one thing after another.

community-300x201But permeating the chaos and terror, and with supernatural power, was a group of young people on whom the Spirit of the Living God rested for just such a time as this. They had no weapons at all, but they were a choir. A choir with the sweetest music imaginable. Music that I couldn’t describe as I told Wes about the dream the next day. Music that made the things of life fade into the background and God into clear focus. They were singing, “Jesus Saves” but it was nothing like the song we know. Infinitely more beautiful.

And these young people were being killed by the dozens. But not retaliating, just ministering the Spirit to all. Gladly giving their lives that others might see and live.

I woke up with such a clear view of the Kingdom of Heaven being around us and in us.

I don’t want to muddy the water here with many of my words, but a few things stood out to me as significant.  The hotel setting shows we are in a temporary situation here.  We invest so much energy into the crises of these times in worry, fear, and anger.  We set up idols of ideologies, and look to human constructs for peace and safety.

But those who recognize the Supernatural walk in the opposite realm of love and living sacrifice.  They realize that retaliation and revenge perpetuate the darkness.  They would rather suffer their own demise as a witness to love than to hate and kill in return.

The song “Jesus Saves” is more beautiful than anything heard before because it’s the music of heaven being played out in their lives – not just a song on their lips.  The message Jesus Saves has been abused and misused for centuries in horror and violence, against Jews, Muslims, Native cultures worldwide, and even between Christian sects.  This was not His way.  This new song sings and walks in the truth.

I see many people caught up and carried away in the currents of world events and choosing sides.  But I also see many, often a younger generation, who are willing to walk the Jesus Road.  Big changes are coming.  Of which Kingdom do we belong?

See also a more urgent plea: Babylon is in Your Hearts

 

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I suppose it happens often, that we learn more about people at their death than we ever knew during their lives.  In fact, living under the sub-culture of a strict religious sect as a child, the first time I ever heard of Elvis was the day he died.  I was out taking my banana-seat bike off some sweet jumps we built, when a neighbor kid stopped me and squealed, “Did you know Elvis died??!!!”.  I had not yet learned it wise to conceal ignorance of matters that seem common knowledge so I asked, “Who’s Elvis?”  I don’t know if my friend was more shocked at the death or at the fact that I had never heard of him.

But one man who passed this week I knew a little of.  In 1986, Amnesty International held a benefit concert in my city.  I went, not because I knew much about their work, but because of the amazing line up of musicians coming. I still remember this as the best concert I’ve ever attended.  Five hours of some of the greatest music the 80’s had to offer.  The topic of the night was Nelson Mandela, still in prison.  We recoiled at the thought a developed society could, in our modern times, be so deeply and oppressively divided over race.

I later heard all the excuses surrounding the “it’s just the way things are” philosophies, as well as all the derogatory opinions of Mandela himself.  A co-worker from Africa of British descent, whose family fled Rhodesia during the transition to Zimbabwe, flatly stated that black Africans cannot govern themselves.  He astutely observed that all attempts at their own independence ended in bloody chaos, without taking into consideration what might be creating the challenges.  A client listening in to this conversation, a white, British citizen himself, had some choice remarks about their average intelligence and other things which I really prefer to forget.  This was right about the time when Mandela was being released from prison, soon to do the opposite of what white people expected.  Forgive.

Yes, Mandela had a different political ideology than most Americans embrace, and yes he did resort to violence in his past, as so many often do when they feel it is the only way to overcome their oppressors.  That’s not a foreign concept in America is it?  I think that’s what those canon shot fireworks on 4th of July are meant to commemorate?  Who is a terrorist and who is a liberator?  Just depends which side you are born on doesn’t it?  Violence is violence.  Either it’s a solution, or it’s not.  A worthy cause doesn’t make it prettier.  I understand why people believe it’s necessary.  I am sad when people (anywhere) see it as the first solution.

Often anger and hate boil over and create an endless cycle of killing and revenge.  But when Mandela walked out of the prison, he chose to leave the anger and hate behind and be truly free.  He led his countrymen in this path, and prevented what everyone expected – more killing than ever before.  I have read some of the most encouraging things in the last few days of his life and work.  They give me hope that peace and reconciliation can come, and hate can be put away in other places of the world where it seems to have consumed the minds and hearts of people.

There is no good side in a hate-filled land.  There is no bad side when Christ loves all the people involved with his own pierced hands and heart.  One side may be stronger than the other, but it is to the strong and those who have the power, to choose the path.  What if our enemies overcame us tomorrow?  What philosophy would we wish them to carry?  The one we now hold?  Or the one that Jesus taught, and Nelson Mandela learned to live and teach?  What if those First Nations that European civilization oppressed in America from the time the first ship landed, had a chance to rule over the kingdom built on their blood and land?  What would they choose and what would we deserve?

There are so many issues in this world we only seem to hear one voice from.  Often we may think there are only two sides when there are many.  We don’t seek to understand why, or walk in the shoes of another’s life to see through their eyes.  We want to be right, stronger, superior, victorious.

I discussed with my oldest son recently the phenomenon of super heroes in our pop culture.  Our society, in my experience, is overwhelmingly aspiritual, while at the same time very religious in some places.  But we still have our icons to worship – be they actual human celebrities, sports teams and players, or cartoons.  The heroes are strong, overcoming, witty, invincible avengers.  Yes, that’s the name of the movie even!  They are the opposite of Jesus, my superhero.  Are we a part of this culture that admires these values above all and not even realize how deeply drawn away we are from the heart of Christ?  We are so attracted to the patriotic Captain America, the strength of Hulk, and the self-centered humor and blind pride of Iron Man.  Mankind has always needed something bigger and  more powerful than themselves to worship.  The nature and heart of what we choose in this regard reveals our own desires.  I believe it takes the stronger man and woman to choose peace.  I am not sure I am that strong.  It’s hard to choose it even under my own roof sometimes.

My heart breaks for so many suffering people in this world – for the atrocities of the past, and the present.  This time of year, we think and speak of peace.  I shared a picture recently on facebook that said, “Dear God, let me worry less about putting Christ in Christmas, and more about getting Christ back in “Christian.”  It was shared more times than anything I have ever posted in my several years there, which shocked me.  I believe we deeply sense a problem in this country within the Body of Christ, but it’s easy to point the finger at all those “fake Christians” out there, when we need to look at our own lives – held up to the Light of Christ and His LOVE.  Let that Christ in the Christian begin with me.  Most of the time I feel like a paper-thin, invisible Christian.  I want the light to shine out, and for people to realize it’s HIM and not me.

Mandela’s heart was also tied with those who still waited for freedom.  I don’t want to argue about what that means, or what people deserve.  I just long for that with him, for all people.  When enemies collide in love – it’s the most beautiful thing on earth.  It began in the Cross, and may it continue to spread, one changed life at a time.

May we love all the people God put on this Earth, and consider ourselves in an honest manner.  

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I have no idea where this saying came from but I found it swimming around in my head today after we went to a public pool.  My younger set of children started begging to go swimming as soon as the wearing of shorts commenced.  We live in Texas so they have been carrying on for weeks and weeks about how much better life could be IF ONLY they could go swimming in a real pool as opposed to the lawn sprinkler.  I held off for as long as I could because I don’t enjoy public swimming for various reasons not appropriate to discuss here.  In spite of my many objections, I do know they need to learn to swim for their own safety and enjoyment.  After looking at swimming lesson fees, it appeared I would have to be the teacher.

Last week we had met at a splash park with our home school Meetup group.  I love those places because they have loads of fun while I stay fully clothed and dry.  Our group took over a picnic table for all our gear and we sat around having a great visit while the kids played.  As I looked around the park, I observed something very normal, but sad to me.  Our table consisted of all Anglo women, another all Latino, and yet another all Asian.  We had cloistered ourselves into our own little ethnic groups while the children were playing all together in the park.  I realize this is a normal, comfort-zone situation, and often caused by language barriers too.  But what if we never sit at someone else’s table or invite someone to ours?  What we can’t see between those tables are the things that truly divide us;  fear, pride, misunderstanding, long-held but still-festering grievances.  If we never talk or form relationships with others outside our own social groups, how will we ever learn to understand one another, forgive, or love like Jesus asked us to do?  I longed for there to be a way to connect the tables but instead I sat there feeling helpless to change it.

But back to the swimming pool.  What is really cool about swimming (no pun intended) is that we are all in there together without tables for people to segregate themselves to.  And what is there to be shy about when you are already in a bathing suit?  Nothing really.  Two children asked my kids if they could borrow their floatation toys, so we began to share, which sparked a friendship between them.  Kids bond instantly and easily.  Soon they were asking me if I could teach them to swim too!  I almost expected a parent to come rescue their children from the crazy white lady who is shorter than a 4th grader, but no one intervened.  As we left I saw them running over to their mother who was not swimming.  I went to her and said how much the children enjoyed playing and that if they were able, we would try to make it the same time every week (way out of my comfort zone).  She seemed very friendly and open to the idea, and I thanked God for providing a way to break down walls and open doors with others.  I hope to see them again next week, and that she doesn’t instead resolve to avoid the pool on Wednesday for the rest of the summer! 🙂  I have such a deep burden for racial reconciliation and sometimes as an Anglo person, I don’t feel like there is anything I can do that won’t be taken as insincere, naive, or offensive.  And often I know it will be, because I have much still to learn.  It is so important to not assume anything.  I speak in general terms here, but each person must be seen as they are – a unique individual who may or may not fit anyone’s generalizations.

I was not prepared for the level of racism I found when I moved to Texas many years ago.  Then sadly, I became accustomed to it over time.  I had never met blacks who had so much bitterness toward white people where I grew up, or white people with so much blind bigotry.  I found it frightening and intimidating, so I decided I would do what most of the white people in Texas do – keep my distance and stay in my safe white world.  I ended up living in a small, rural town for 18 years (for economic reasons) that I heard had a notorious history for keeping out unwanted people of color.  Judging by the demographics, they seem to still have success in that area, except for more recent immigration.  We were blessed to live next to a newly immigrated family and their daughter became like our own as our children were growing up together.  But did I welcome her parents with the same hospitality?  No, I let my own fear of awkwardness keep the space between us.  And I have done this more often than I care to remember.

Today in fact was Juneteenth, a holiday I have truly only heard referred to in mocking ways – in my safe white world.  A few months ago while studying some history with my children, I learned that this holiday marks the date that the Texas slaves were finally told they were free, two and half years after the Emancipation Proclamation had become the law of the land.  I think I had to read it over a few times to make sure I had not misunderstood.  How many generations removed are we from these times of their suffering and our oppression?  How much of it do we both still carry with us?  Thankfully, we can all swim in the same swimming pool, at least.

I saw the water today as a powerful symbol of baptism which creates the stage for our unity in Christ, and the Holy Spirit who makes us one (Living Water) in our resurrected Life.  When we come into the water, we connect!  There is no more need for walls or unforgiveness.  No more need to feel superior, or inferior.  Outside of Him, we are all sitting in our little enclaves of security, scrutinizing one another with disdain and suspicion, or trying to pretend the others don’t really exist at all.  As followers of Jesus, we can lead the way, inviting others to join us in the unifying water of the Spirit.  We may put on the humility of Christ, see ourselves and our history honestly, and choose life and love.

The other factor today of course was the innocence of childhood.  Jesus had so much to say about this too.  Unless we become as little children…  I think I saw a glimmer of the Kingdom today in a swimming pool.

I am not suggesting a rose-colored-glasses course of action of just wanting to see the good and ignore the evil.  Sadly, we see the evil on other sides and refuse to own what lives on our own side.  This invitation is for the Way of the Cross, to lay down our pride, repent, ask forgiveness, and forgive, beginning in the House of God.  Jesus prayed that we would be in unity in our love for Him and each other, “so that the world may believe” that the Father sent Him. (John 17:21)   We often view unbelief in the world with an accusatory attitude when our divisions among ourselves, especially racially, speak more volumes than our evangelism.  When the world sees a people who truly love each other, from the heart, across all barriers of race, age, gender, and denominations (not saying to erase the distinctions – but to embrace the diversity) maybe our gospel would seem more true.  But as it stands, most of our children are growing up to reject that Jesus was real, for many reasons I suspect.  How can we expect the world to believe?

There are other areas of reconciliation I want to write about soon.  I have been putting off these posts for months, because I have been overwhelmed to know where to start, and I’m not past wanting people to like what I say from time to time.  This won’t be easy, but I invite you to come in and enjoy the water.

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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?

peace1

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