Warning… honest ramblings are ahead…
I can’t shake something I read today in my early morning quiet time. You see, on good days, I get up, drink hot coffee, sit at my big farm table in the middle of my semi-dirty house and open His word. These are the days when babies didn’t cry me to sleep the night before, or mornings I was not woken up by a swift kick in the face from my two year old, these are the days when things go smoothly, so you know, they are rare and sweet, like water to my parched and dry soul. When this happens, and I meet with my maker, just for a few minutes, my barometer sets, my center is found and I am a much better human… not to mention, mother.
Today I read this verse, Romans 15:17-18
17Therefore in Christ Jesus I have found reason for boasting in things pertaining to God. 18For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me, resulting in the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed
I am not sure why I am questioning my faith, or my words, or my child rearing, but lately this has been forced to the forefront of my thoughts. I am still madly in love with Jesus Christ and His gospel of grace and salvation, but I question my actions, my goals, my faith purpose. Have I become a missionary of the church, promoting the growth of my own community, and the linear progression of a denomination or have I been madly sharing what Jesus has done for me, and sharing HIS story written out for you, for me. Is the gospel on my lips, are my actions soaked in grace, and is my love steeped in compassion or am I bitter that my community is stale, that my feet are heavy and that my lips are sealed?
I begin to reflect on my words, on my actions and He starts to draw things to the top, like dross needing to be scrapped and sifted. When do I boast of things pertaining to God? How do I speak of what Christ has accomplished through me? How do I get in arguments about the best approach to small groups and debate over numbers and discipleship… have I been given any authority over these things, or am I simply comissioned to share with others what Christ alone has done through my life? Why have I deemed myself a critic of the church, and when did my opinion suddenly matter… possibly never, but I like to hear my own thoughts out loud, I guess.
Like Paul, so solitary and to the point, how can I scale back my one focus, to speak only of the miracles in my life accomplished by the one who made grace possible? Maybe this was root of that first forbidden fruit, the desire to know all the answers when all the answers are His. We aimlessly struggle to climb the steeple ourselves, to figure out what the “church” is to look like, when really, it’s just loving others and loving God. With open arms Jesus came as a friend, as a teacher, as a healer… he did not come with an iPad and a calendar to exemplify a CEO or a CFO, these titles are projected onto him by our nature to build a babble out of the church. We must stop killing ourselves to make our faith communities taller, bigger, wider so that we can be “closer to the heavens” and remember that the Holy Spirit dwells within each body all the same, great or small, 2 or 2,000.
Where He is, there is freedom (2 Cor 3:17)… is their freedom in your body, in your church, on your staff… do you have freedom, do you have grace, do you have a place to experience the power of being vulnerable and to ask for the healer to heal?? Today, I am seeking freedom in my own faith. Freedom to explore outside of the box of tradition I have painted around myself; freedom to flesh out his call to simply make disciples and not to build corporations; freedom to praise Him with arms lifted high and a head hung low, as I am humbled by his love for me when I am but a sinner… all day, everyday. As I look in to the mirror and see a transgressor, HE looks on me and sees a prized possession, just as I am.
So here I sit, posing questions with no answers and yet finding freedom, because the questions I pose are erroneous and HE is the only answer, always.