Why do I write words baring the brokenness of my own soul? Why do I share feelings deep and raw for all to read? Do others gasp and wonder why too? Why does she do this—this revealing? I do it because I have to—I’ve decided I just have to. One doesn’t heal without humility. And we don’t come by humility naturally when it comes to our gross weaknesses—to the darkest parts of ourselves. But in the unveiling, in the revealing, humility invites glimmers of light into shadow parts once bound long and hard in the hiding. And so I write to invite God into my shadows—to teach me about me. And He does this teaching, this soul cleansing by showing me shadows in others. For the shadows we see in others are but mirrors of our own and what we hate and reject in others resides in the recesses of our own souls—even if only in capability—and we die slow when we don’t recognize, when we don’t deal with our own shadows.
So husband and I sit at farm table laden with homemade pot pie and green beans and gingerbread cake with lemon sauce warm. Good friends, great meal, in their new old home.
So he says it right there, his eyes fixed straight on mine when he asks, “How are your kids?” and I tell the good and the ugly. He says we all are deceivers and liars and thieves with God. And I know it’s true because I’ve been praying and hearing the exact same God words in my soul. These are not shame words. These are God words. Shame words strike fear and flight response follows. God words speak truth calm and sure to sheep who know the love of their shepherd.
And so it is true of true friends. They are truth speakers, not shame spreaders. They are aware of their own brokenness and freely admit. How can we be sick of another’s sin when we all do the same thing with God, over and over again?
Does God ever say, “I’ve had it with her?” Does he throw up his hands in dismay and defeat when yet another cycle of sin spins again?
God does not turn away and forget us.
Yet, He is holy. He must deal with us. He is never nonchalant about sin. Forgiven in Christ? Yes. But He never ever issues license to sin because sin always violates holy relationship with God, with others, with ourselves. And as sure as wind and rain erode rock, sin erodes souls and relationships if left unattended.
And so God deals with me here in an 1865 farm house built in the year the Civil War ended—when a nation united was divided and opposing wills threatened to tear the whole patchwork quilt apart. And when sin threatens to tear the whole family apart?
We go to war. But we do not war with flesh and blood like Ephesians 6 reminds. We war with darkness in the spiritual realm infecting the souls of others and our own. We fight forces threatening to divide and conquer through death. And we go to war for holy purpose. We were not made to be at peace with divided hearts and torn apart relationships. We are meant to be unified by truth and love and single purpose of glorifying God who is the essence of truth and love.
And so God must deal with all threats to truth and love and single purpose of glorifying Him. And we must take all threats as seriously as He. But let us not forget that others’ flaws are but mirrors of our own. Let us not forget our own unending, incredible capacity for sin so we can approach the speck in others’ eyes humbly, knowing we have planks in our own.
Yet, we are called not to ignore, to reframe, to rationalize, to excuse, to rename sin as anything other than what it is—an evil, pride-filled, rebellion against God Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. Such audacious rebellion must be addressed straight on because sin and death are forever bed partners.
Let us never forget.
Let us never forget the high price paid for sin—all sin—each and every act of rebellion against God no matter how small.
Let us never forget the blood spilt, the tears dropped, the life ripped away from the fabric of relationship with the Father as He hung on the cross for you and for me.
Let us never forget the Christ who did it all for us so we can offer it all to others.
Let us never forget the Civil War raging in the heavens and within our souls and recognize that the peace only comes with humble submission to the only one whose ways are perfect.
And as we climb the rocky paths ascending to the heavens, through elements that threaten to tear us down and tear us apart, let us stop to see the tiniest of flowers blooming—calling—reminding.
Forget-Me-Not. This tiny bouquet of grace captured me on a Montana mountain after passing through a slick ice field in August. Forget-me-nots. Purest periwinkle with golden eye reminding me of Him. The mountain tops bloom with reminders to keep hiking toward the heights and it’s the littlest of things that keep hope lit.
Our God forgets-us-not.
He is with us in the valley depths. He is with us on the mountain tops. There is nowhere we can go where He is not. And He is calling us to His holy self. He who is holy is calling us to holiness. And it comes only through humility–never forgetting who we are—never forgetting who we are not—and helping our fellow travelers all along the way. We’re all cut from the same cloth.
Let us forget-this-not.