Wednesday, July 28, 2010

life

I think God has taught me a lot this summer about life. I have learned how to really live and thrive in the moment and not worry about anything else. I have learned how to take advantage of the extremely limited time I have here in Hawai`i and with my local friends. I think it's something that's definitely going to transfer over into how I live my life back in the Bay and in SLO. In addition, I think I've gained more courage and have been released from a lot of fear and apathy by embracing this "carpe diem" lifestyle; laid-back though it may be.

It's going to suck leaving this island.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

overthrown

It is rare for me to disregard my feelings and go with pure logic. I see so much value in understanding why we feel what we do, and how to deal with the root cause of our issues.

However, there comes a point when I realize that my feelings are so jumbled and difficult to pin down, that it only leads me in a cycle that is all about me and not about the healing that God wants to give me. Because of that, even though I feel like I don't fully understand how I feel and why I feel this way, I'm setting it all aside for the sake of the glory of God. I resolve to do whatever it takes to live righteously before the Lord, so that when I face Him, I will feel no shame.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

reconciliation

There is a great divide between how things should be and how they are.

This is perhaps most clearly seen in my interactions with the locals here. I have found an amazing community of believers who treat their brothers and sisters as well as everyone they meet with incredible intimacy, as if they're already ohana. I have literally never felt so loved, accepted, pursued and valued so soon after meeting anyone. There is a part of me that deeply resonates with this treatment; this was how we were supposed to experience relationships. Their lives are so fulfilled, so rich and so joyful.

And yet, there is a part of me that is deeply unsettled with this community. When you have an ohana that is this strong, sometimes Heaven only looks appealing because you know that your friends and family will be there. In other words, you lose focus on Jesus and your community becomes your idol.

"Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs."-Jonah 2:8

It's so hard for me, because there is a part of me that loves the community here so fully, but there's another part of me that is uneasy with the complacency the islanders have. People here are so welcoming and friendly, but they are also very apathetic.

It's frustrating, because I would love for them to share our vision; to step out boldly in faith to further God's kingdom. I would love to partner up with them in ministry, so that when we leave, they'll take over. But when I look at the Christian locals, instead of seeing outreach, I only see inreach.

It's like two different worlds that I live in-the part that longs for deep relationships and the part that brims with passion, ready to make a difference. I would like to reconcile these worlds.

Sometimes it's hard to figure out which is the bigger curse-constantly be pursuing improvement or complacency with how things are.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

long

I wrote this a while ago, but I re-read it again tonight and liked it again. So here it is. Excuse the improper grammar and lowercase letters. And the lengthiness.

definitions

to feel loved is to feel the embrace of the one you love in the sunshine wrapping its arms around you. it's a magical ferris wheel ride, set with a velvet backdrop and silver glitter glue stars and an extravagant full moon.

but really, to be loved is to be unsatisfied. to be loved is to be known, and yet still, never actually known.

to be broken is to be slumped over in your seat as someone mixes black into the colors of the sky, as torrents of failures, regrets, fears, and crashed hopes are rolled up into a bucket of red-faced, puffy-eyed tears. to be broken is to be on your knees, facedown, begging for mercy and begging for completeness. to be broken is to feel the touch of despair, to feel numbness and think that not even death could be this miserable, this desperate.

to be broken is to trade yourself for someone else's charity, someone else's compassion.

to be alone is to walk a barren stretch of dirt road, knowing you have brought yourself to that place of isolation and yet finding some sort of comfort in the fact that no one is expecting you home at any time. to be alone is to stand on the inside of the white picket fence watching moms with strollers, dads with ratty baseball hats, and sticky Popsicle mouthed tots on tricycles blur by.

but you know what? to be alone is almost a relief, understanding that you are really protecting the ones you truly love from your destructive nature.

to be restless is to turn your music loud enough to drown out your thoughts, but no amount of pure volume will be enough to numb your feelings. to be restless is to step into a room of your friends and after walking through the doorway, feeling the urgent itch to turn back around and retreat to a paint-chipped park bench alone with your thoughts.

to be restless is to see the world for what it really is-one fat empty lie. it's when we actually feel the need for fulfillment and satisfaction.

to be at peace is to walk in tall grass with the wind whipping at your white dress and hair while the hills and wildflowers compete for your awe. it is to lay your head down on soft, fluffy freshly-laundered white towels for a nap on the couch on a warm, carefree Sunday afternoon. it's the smell of fresh lemon blossoms meandering through the bright white kitchen.

but lately, peace has been more like swallows playing cops and robbers around the branches of the tree outside my window. i'm the cop chasing the robber, bobbing up and down and swerving around the tips of twigs and reaching my hands out only to catch maybe a feather or two from the peace that evades my heart.

to have hope is to cling to a bouquet of messily plucked daisies when the night strikes and the trail is unmarked. like a burning flame leading you on, it's something mysterious but benevolent, all at once.

honestly, to have hope is to pour out everything you have into another, and even after pouring out everything you have until there's nothing left, it's dying to yourself again and finding that there's still just a little bit more in you to be poured out.

But maybe this isn't what it's really supposed to mean. Maybe we were supposed to be whole, that perhaps we have been broken all the while without realizing it. Maybe my purpose here isn't done yet. Maybe instead of God changing my circumstances, what is really needed is a change of heart. A change of pace, change of perspective a little. Maybe God still needs me here, in this place of brokenness in which I have found my home. Maybe He's not done breaking me yet...

"To be alive is to be broken. And to be broken is to stand in need of grace."-Brennan Manning