Invitation over Vending Machine

This fall on my church retreat we were led through a meditation on the story of “Blind Bartimaeus.” This is a commonly used passage for the kind of Scripture meditation we were practicing, but I always find something new in it each time. It humbles me when I begin to think Scripture is old news or I have read it all enough; sometimes we just need a new approach, a new lens, fresh eyes. So as  I let the words soak over me, this phrase stuck out:

 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”  Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” Mark 10:48-50

“Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” The ESV uses the phrase, “Take heart.” The Passion paraphrase says, “Have courage! Jesus is calling for you!” 

I have spent some time thinking about why that particular phrase stood out this time as I read that passage. God’s call, the invitations He extends to us, are never something to be afraid of, mad about, or to drag our feet in response. It is always for our best. It always involves JOY, even when it involves major change or challenge. 

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Come Into the Light (or: For When You are Feeling Crazy)

Over and over again, I am amazed at my capacity to be a crazy person. Do you ever feel that way? The most recent run-in with my psycho side happened this past weekend. My two best friends texted and asked to get brunch. I was meeting with my mentor, so I said no and encouraged them to do it without me. Their response was, “what about tonight? Sunday?” Why are they trying so hard to see me? Their persistence had only one probable cause in my crazy mind: they must be planning an intervention. Clearly I had been a bad friend recently and they really needed to confront me about it. That is the only logical reason they would go to such lengths to spend time with me.

I’m serious. I am actually crazy! This is how you know your mind is not in a good space – when instead of believing that an invitation is because people like you, you think it must be because they need to confront you about all your flaws.

It helped me realize that I was feeling as though everyone else around me must be disappointed with or mad at me too; it wasn’t just these two friends I was worried about. I get into these busy seasons where I try to fit everything in, with the goal of pleasing everyone and meeting everyone’s needs – and instead I end up feeling like I most certainly am disappointing everyone.

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CONTINUE

Hey world,

Hey. Let’s all take a deep breathe together, shall we? Don’t speak. Don’t complain. Can we all, just for a second, sit together in silence? Can we take a moment to just be together? Yes, because when we do that – we take a moment in the quiet and see each other for what we really are – brothers and sisters. When we look each other in the eyes, and see each other’s hearts, we can’t hide anymore. We can’t call each other names or judge each other – we just see each other. For the love of Pete, stop posting mean things on Facebook. OVER IT.

It’s been a hard little while, hasn’t it? Let’s just be real about it – life is hard. There won’t be a time in the history of a broken world where we aren’t just that: broken. So let’s realize that hard will always be here, but what do we know about that? There is always good and hard. They are never separate.

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Out of Hiding

To be seen, and in that moment to know that I am loved immediately and fully, is the most overwhelmingly beautiful experience I will ever know.

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Dear Friend (a prayer)

Hey Friend, When I don’t know what else to write, it’s prayer. Really, whatever I am writing is a prayer. If it isn’t something I wouldn’t say to God, I shouldn’t be saying it. That doesn’t mean I don’t say certain four letter words, it just means I should avoid lies and trivial gossip and […]

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In All Our Glory

“I left that conversation, and I knew exactly what I wanted for the rest of my life – for nothing and for everything. I thought, how unjealous I am of anyone on this planet. All I ever want for myself is the kingdom version of me, the exact thing he is making me.” This quote […]

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The Lie of Disappointment

Expectations for myself this week: Do everything perfectly. Treat everyone perfectly. Solve all the problems, finish all the work, be everyone’s everything. All the while, with unending JOY and energy. Reality for myself this week: That all went pretty well…on Monday. Ever feel this way? By Tuesday, I was tired, definitely had not finished all […]

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Dear Friend (Part II)

In this season of Lent, we practice confession and receive grace and mercy from our dear Father. Sometimes it is really easy to sit in our sin and let it form a mold over us until it seems like that is actually who we are. I wrote this “letter” (just like this one) to all […]

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