Tuesday, April 29, 2008

God's YES !

Beth (not her real name) has captured my heart. I think she is my alter-ego. I see a ton o’ me in her… not all good, some good.

Recently, as I was listening to a wise friend speaking about God’s YES, I had her very on my mind.

Let’s say, before time began, God “pondered” whom He might create. Among His infinite and perfect thoughts were the names of forthcoming children. Deep in the heart of God, at one divine, sweet moment, God smiled Beth into existence! There was no Oops! God does not goof. Even before Beth actually came to be, she was “fearfully and wonderfully made” by the Master Creator.

Beth is more magnificent that any beautiful sunset. She is more exquisite than the DNA of which she consists. She is gorgeous in the Eyes of God… and that is all that matters.

I don’t think Beth has come to appreciate God’s beauty quite yet. Trouble is, when you and I and … Beth look in the mirror and have negative thoughts, we are audaciously dissin’ God’s sterling handiwork.

God said YES to Beth. Not MAYBE or OH, WHATEVER. HE SAID YES!

Beth is the only Beth there ever was or ever will be. She is one of a kind. She is a prototype of one. She is priceless. I can see God now! Through tears of joy and a quivering, smiling chin, He whispers, “Beth, I love you! I think I’ll give you lots of red hair! Yes, Beth, YES!”

Beth hears lots of NO’s, the loudest of which are her own. God I pray for Beth. Mute the NO’s that have such a negative impact on Beth’s heart. Give her a chance to hear Your YES. Help me say YES to her for You.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

On Living in the Present

(From Henri J.M. Nouwen's Here and Now, p. 20)

When we dare to trust that we are never alone but that God is always with us, always cares for us, and always speaks to us, then we can gradually detach ourselves from the voices that make us guilty [dwelling on the past] or anxious [fearing the future] and thus allow ourselves to dwell in the present moment. This is a very hard challenge because radical trust in God is not obvious. Most of us distrust God. Most of us think of God as a fearful, punitive authority or as an empty, powerless nothing. Jesus’ core message was that God is neither a powerless weakling nor a powerful boss, but a lover, whose only desire is to give us what our hearts most desire.

To pray is to listen to that voice of love. That is what obedience is all about. The word “obedience” comes from the Latin word ob-audire, which means to listen with great attentiveness. Without listening, we become “deaf” to the voice of love. The Latin word for deaf is surdus. To be completely deaf is to be absurdus, yes, absurd. When we no longer pray, no longer listen to the voice of love that speaks to us in the moment, our lives become absurd lives in which we are thrown back and forth between the past and the future.

If we could just be, for a few minutes each day, fully where we are, we would indeed discover that we are not alone and that the One who is with us wants only one thing: to give us love.