Thursday, November 22, 2012

a week of thanksgiving - day 4- freedom, the heart of thanksgiving


"How glorious the splendor of a human heart that trusts that it is loved!" 
— Brennan Manning


So thank God for his marvelous love,
    for his miracle mercy to the children he loves.

Here is the deal,  I cannot state with certainty whether God swoops down and tinkers with our daily lives, intervening here, but not there. I cannot say for you whether or not he will or won't do something. I have my suspicious about these sorts of things but they are mine, and not a statement for all.

Before I had kids I may have been thrown off by this uncertainty, by not having a black and white answer for every situation.  But then I became a parent, read Traveling Mercies, heard Brennan Manning speak 6 feet from me and  humbly and gratefully embraced a beautiful shade of gray that I had been eyeing since childhood.

Very clearly God showed me that there was no formula. He was not a voodoo doll that I was supposed to poke and prod just right, convincing him with my righteousness or good behavior or appropriate groveling into giving me what I wanted. He wasn't waiting on me to get it right, to say the right incantation,  to give the right amount of money, to host the perfect bible study, to poke him in just the right way.

No, as it turns out, he loves me {and you I do believe} as we are, where we are. And as Brennan Manning says -That we are deeply loved by Jesus Christ and we have done nothing to earn or deserve it. And we never can and never will.  And we cannot do anything to make him love us less than deeply and miraculously.

All of this is to say, that once I stopped playing God like a voodoo doll, once I stopped believing that I could earn or lose His love and grace, I was freed in way that allowed me to love others, to live out of  a heart of thanksgiving because there is nothing like feeling in every inch of your being that you are loved. Period. (Not that this makes me a saint, or perfect or delightful all the time at all. I still have my shadow side believe me. But I hope that I am more willing to look at it and bring it into the light where it can be seen for what it is and turn it loose.)

To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, the light side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side I learn who I am and what God's grace means.- BM

When you stop walking around trying to find love and earn love from everyone, when you stop thinking that the world is peppered with egg shells and land mines and that you might just blow it forever because you didn't put enough in the offering plate or choose the right job or take the right route home, it is amazing the freedom you suddenly feel. Freedom to love others, to show mercy, to give thanks. When you believe down to your very core that you are loved and there is nothing left to prove or earn, it is amazing how suddenly you can stop thinking about yourself and how you are screwing it up or knocking it out of the park and start using all that energy to show love and mercy to others. You can't help it. Once you are sure that you are loved, really, really sure -you want everyone to be free, to stop carrying around shame, to stop beating themselves up for never meeting the mark, to stop being angry for what could have been if only they had____ .

 Because the truth is, we all miss the mark somewhere.  We are all imperfect. We are all broken. We all make bad decisions from time to time. 

"I want neither a terrorist spirituality that keeps me in a perpetual state of fright about being in right relationship with my heavenly Father nor a sappy spirituality that portrays God as such a benign teddy bear that there is no aberrant behavior or desire of mine that he will not condone. I want a relationship with the Abba of Jesus, who is infinitely compassionate with my brokenness and at the same time an awesome, incomprehensible, and unwieldy Mystery. 

This Thanksgiving I am so grateful, so thankful for my whole life. For this whole year. For the hard and the easy, the good and the bad. For lost farms and broken bones and book deals and new jobs and the same house. I am thankful because whatever good happened and whatever bad happened I am still blessed. I am blessed because I am loved. Down to my bones. 
Loved not because of the good choices I made, loved not in-spite of the bad choices I made.
I am just loved.
And so are you.

Happy Thanksgiving dear friends.



1 comment:

  1. beautiful post-happy thanksgiving to you too! blessings~

    ReplyDelete

ok, really. tell me the truth... do these comments make me look fat?

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