19 June 2010

Notes and Memos

I have said that a writer will use whatever means available to write. This is what happened as I sat in the storage closet with 306 bags. I found a “Notes and Memos” sheet taken from a calendar. These are a portion of my notes and memos.

Today, it is a day of testing. But you know that “the testing of your faith produces steadfastness, and let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Tension is a strange concept; it is the pulling until taut, leaving little room for grace before breaking. One area of tension, grace is taken from all sides. Yet when all are sides of tension, there is no grace but directly from God Himself. May He indeed pour down His grace in abundance, convict us to forgive, even as He has forgiven. God, may you push us to love, for You have loved first and best, and steadfastly.

I find it difficult to pray, but not to breathe. Would that it were easier to lift an honest cry to Christ my Savior, even before breathing. And yet we humans, myself, I am fickle, sinful, and weak. Lord, teach me to pray.

Our Father, who is in heaven,

hallowed be Your name. (santificado sea tu nombre)

Your kingdom come,

Your will be done on earth,

as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those

who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

There is a man who comes regularly to Jeff. Street. Perhaps God uses him to continually break my heart and keep me humble. I have heard it said that the phrase “this breaks my heart” is overused. Perhaps when I use it, I mean the feeling one has after this:

...this physically healthy man’s fragmented story spoken in clipped and parceled syntax, glorifying the church and her people

(he had a head injury, and had to re-learn English)

...his near-chant of “glorifiable, glorifiable, glorifiable” to ward off sinful thoughts by others’ irreverent speech

(he thanks us every day for letting him “be a part of this. be a part of this church”

...his sincere listening to what we say, though his response is often less than intelligible

(he thanks us every day...)

Offering the simple kindness of listening digs deep into me and asks that I open up to this man’s hurt and to his story. Allowing myself to feel, because this is all I can do outside of praying for this dear man. My God, care for him.

They say that mercy, if truly mercy and not pride, hurts. I ask that the Lord teach me to hurt. Let not my heart harden slowly to You, and then to my neighbor. The two commands are linked, to love the Lord your God and to love your neighbor as yourself. May His grace be evident in me.