IF:GATHERING registration is TODAY and then IF:LOCAL meetings will start popping up all over the globe. I wrote these words when I got back from IF:Gathering last year. It’s lengthy but WORTH it…He moved in that place and in my heart….
February 10, 2014
How do you unpack a heart?
I got home from the IF Gathering yesterday. I’ve heard many women say words like processing and prayer, journaling. I have been asked and I heard many say, “What do we DO now…with all this?” There will be writing, wrestling, praying going on the next few weeks and months over cups of coffee, tea, Diet Coke, plates of food, babies at the breast or rowdy tweens in other parts of the house. All of us, the Esther Generation, trying to work this thing out in our souls. And then out into the world around us.
I know how to unpack a suitcase. But how do I unpack my heart? I walked through my house last night putting away the “stuff” that I had taken to Austin with me. Makeup back under my bathroom sink, shoes in their slots and dirty clothes in the hamper.
But where do I stuff things like truth? What do you do with God’s love crammed so deep and full in your heart that you feel like putting one more thing in will burst it wide open? How do you process a life lived looking through the wrong lens? Where do you tidy up hurt and healing and the mess we’ve made of things?
I just don’t know…don’t even know where to begin to begin.
There are words rattling around my heart that won’t be silenced, shut up or put away:
Free people free people.
What IF we are the last generation to see this?
What if Jesus came to dinner to do an assessment? Would we be able to look Him in the eye and say we are doing the best we can for His people and to bring glory to His name?
Are we repenting? Do we even know what we need to repent for?
God did not DELIVER me from an eternity in hell to sit on my hands and do nothing. He delivered me so that I may LIVE FREE, bringing His love to this world and renown and glory to HIS name. I will not be held back or bound up by worldly issues/fears when my heavenly father, under whose authority this entire world moves, has commissioned me for MORE!
Do you have drawers in your house for these thoughts and questions and the feelings come along with them?
Do you pull out the drawer marked TRUTH and just tuck Ann Voskamp’s talk about us using Jesus, the North American church being like a prostitute in there? Close it up and come back to it if you need to?
How about Bianca Olthoff dispelling lies the devil whispers to us? I’ll file that one away under – EMPOWERMENT.
I’ve returned with more questions than answers, more full of Christ’s love and truth than I ever knew I could be…imprinted by worship that was actual worship…souls joined in praise and adoration of our Father, creator…burdened by the truth that He IS real and there are no second chances…we are citizens of heaven and as such should be living for eternity and not all that will pass away…and IF HE IS REAL then what ARE WE DOING?
Spinning our wheels on worry and regret….wasting hours on building things that will not last forever…numbing out to reality TV and overspending while children die for lack of food and medical attention or are sold into slavery…while mothers hand over their babies because they don’t have the resources to care for them and here I sit as one of the most resourced women in the world and I won’t lift a finger to help her…her who is JUST LIKE ME…her mother’s heart doesn’t beat different because her feet travel different sod or her skin is a different color than mine…how dare I think that me and my children matter more than her and her children at the foot of the cross? How dare I think that because I was born in a land of plenty it’s okay for me to turn a blind eye to her plight? To ignore the hurt in her world when the exact opposite is true. I was born with resources and abundantly MORE than enough NOT to pretend she doesn’t exist but to help her. To bring love and Christ to her…to meet not just her spiritual needs but her physical needs as well.
How dare I hide and dodge the hurt that comes from walking this world? Did Jesus do that? NO! Hebrews chapter 12 says:
For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
He walked heart first right into it for the JOY set before Him. Walking into the hurt brought the JOY…oh that my soul would be willing…that my soul would grasp His hand and go with Him where I don’t want to go…allow the hurt that only He can sooth…He understands because He lives there…He is with the outcast and marginalized and hurting and dying…He lets His own heart break there and minister to them. He’s not afraid, He doesn’t pull back, He doesn’t let someone else do it…PERFECT LOVE.
Perfect love is not tidy or easy or comfortable…it’s doesn’t luxuriate or sit back or wait until later…it’s all over us…all the time. It’s not hiding or turning its’ head or running the other direction. It’s walking boldly right into the middle of the mess and saying I’M NOT LEAVING. You will have to drag me out of here. Who ever said that we get an out? That we are blessed and that blessed means nice houses and cars and vacations and “yah for us”?
Our stuff isn’t proof of His love. It’s proof of our calling and responsibility.
Our houses are not just for decorating and being proud of. They are for holding people, extending hands, filling up with love and hearts and arms and legs of His people whom He loves.
Our cars shouldn’t just drive us to Target and Florida but to the hurting people. How about we drive our nice vans and SUVs to the nursing home or the soup kitchen?
Are our soft carpets and pretty rugs just for soft landings and keeping our feet warm or should we be on our faces on the floor repenting for using Jesus and for taking for granted everything we have; for misusing the gifts?
Jesus doesn’t love us more or better…His perfect, abounding love coupled with our resources and Esther power demands action and carries a load of responsibility we cannot possibly shoulder on our own. We cannot just set this thing down and walk away. We must grab HARD to Him and go…
I’ve struggled with what to say when people ask me about IF and what it was like or what I got out of it. That’s what I got. I brought home not only my suitcase but some other baggage as well. And it’s going to take me a while to unpack it.