Monday, March 10, 2008

“Hello, this is an important message from – Financial regarding your unsecured debt. We can help…” I hung up the phone. It might be an important message if we actually had any debt.

Mom accused me of making her bed again, this morning, but I just shrugged. I hadn’t even been in her room, yet, but a high-watered corner suggested the culprits—Lydia and Lydia. As I cleaned my bathroom, I listened in on Lydia’s dramatic reading from John, rendered perfectly from the Laundry room through the air ducts in the ceiling. Perhaps that’s not quite how I imagine Jesus’ voice, but the Pharisees nasally complaints were right on target. It’s been a bit difficult to feel as though I’m stuck in a broken record—still going through John with Amber, now into it with Lydia, and the family just started in for breakfast the other day. It must be good for me, who likes to finish. Poor Lydia discovered the meaning of anti-climactic after Renee’ and Lydia’s departure this afternoon.

My entertainment for the evening consisted of supervising Josiah’s muffin creation, while fixing supper. No one in my acquaintance uses a spatula quite to the same effect as he. “Look at how soupy it is!” he complained. “Should I add more flour?” I grimaced. “I’d recommend following the recipe.” Josiah’s spatula clattered to the counter. “Since when?” he demanded. Well, I do. Recommend following recipes. For other people.

My way has been level for some time now, and I find my prayers growing cold and stale, along with my heart. Reading the Word is easy. Relatively. Studying it is hardly difficult. But prayer is painful. Deserts always find me in the level places. My mind keeps slipping away to do other things, to busyness, to distractions and leaves me kneeling and vacant on the floor of my bedroom. Other’s words play through my mind: “My eyes are dry, my faith is old, my heart is hard, my prayers are cold”, “I struggle for tears when I pray…but You sweat blood.” Passion meets me in the peaks and valleys, but in the level places—in the deserts—I grumble against the Lord and whine for meat to eat. “Lord,” I cried today, “Just keep me focused on You! Whatever it takes!” In the very next step a pebble broke loose under my feet and went rolling—down.

Perhaps this is the very valley which I have been dreading.

Lord, the mountains give me views,
And yet, the fogs of height confuse
Sometimes it seems my way more clear,
My heart more pure, Thy hand more dear
When I am in the valley.

If this descent is where Thou lead
I’ll follow Thee with joyful tread.
Thou makes my feet like those of hinds
And proves Thyself to be more kind
When I am in the valley.

Lead me to the valley.


mm said...

your poem has hints of my favorite Psalms(18) in it. I think you are a woman after Gods own heart. Like a David, you chase after God. Isn't it funny that when we are in the valley we need God, and when we are on the peaks we notice God, we can see Him. The stars are so clear on the mountain, the air so fresh... but the dessert is where the Spirit sent His Son to be tried and tested, to see what He was made of, to gove others an example to see. Swords don't get made without the fire, the hammering, and the grinding. ...enough talking now, it's time to eat. Be blessed as you die for life! ;)

Good post btw, and I like the artsy shots, very mysterious - we can never see your whole face.

Jason Plett said...

"Perhaps that’s not quite how I imagine Jesus’ voice, but the Pharisees nasally complaints were right on target. "
Very funny scribbler, but seriously. Do you think that God would actually have to verbalize with us to communicate, or just put thoughts in our head? Does he speak english? (yes I understand omnipotence, and he can speak all language) More of a rhetorical, for example how would I seperate Gods voice, from my own creation in my head?

ScribblinScribe said...

mm--The testing of our faith produces endurance, for sure. And endurance will have it's perfect result, that we may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (From James 1) So true! And a beautiful promise to look forward to! David was certainly at his best while under persecution. In ease and plenty he slipped and fell. What a good reminder you have given me to embrace to wilderness.

Hope you enjoyed your lunch. ;)

Jason--I'm hoping the Lord will give me an extra dose (or three) of wisdom to answer your questions. In the past, according to scripture, God certainly did speak audibly, sometimes to a person who shared it then with others. Now that we have much of that revelation in the Bible, I believe that we should look to it to "hear" God's word. He certainly is still capable of speaking audibly. He certainly still speaks through His living and active word--the Bible. For those who want to "hear" from God, I would recommend inundating themselves in the Word. To know God through His word is to understand His character, so that we can evaluate the thoughts that enter our head based on who He is. Are they from Him? Do they reflect His perfect character? I know that in me there dwells no good thought, apart from His Holy Spirit. I can be pretty sure that, when God's word comes back to my mind throughout the day, it is the working of His Spirit--God speaking to me. Yes, in my mind. Yes, in English. ;)

I hope that's what you were looking for? If not, just demand a better explanation. :)