The Darkroom

Darkroom1

It has never been darker than it is now…

It is easiest to embrace darkness or at least a season of it when we know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.  In my case, it seems the tunnel has no end.  In just a few weeks I will be 36 years old and single.  I am a woman who loves God and people.  I am a woman who is educated.  And as I stated, I am a woman who is currently single.  Single, meaning, unmarried and not in any type of relationship; like none whatsoever (feel free to insert smile with me).  This is not how I would have written my story.  And this is when the room becomes dark.  However, beauty can come from darkness.

A friend recently reminded me of darkroom photography and the necessity of the darkness to produce a beautiful image.  What remains compelling during this process is the that the photographer chooses complete darkness, thereby willfully controlling the level of light.   Who chooses complete darkness?  I certainly would not.  I would choose to know what is ahead; when I will marry and how many children I will have.  Others might choose to know when they will land a new job and see relief from some of the financial strain they are experiencing.

Unprompted by me, God has chosen to produce a beautiful image of my life which remains unseen.  I am still in the darkroom and as this birthday nears, it feels incredibly dark.  Darkness ensues as I dodge the [at times unbearable] question that never fails to be asked of me more times than not, “Are you in a relationship (while being stared at with a hopeful gaze)?”  It has also been said to me, “Maybe your standards for a guy are just too high; you should lower them.”  Darkness surrounds as I think about the very real limitations of birthing children and how my age plays a part in that.  #Realtalk  Darkness looms as I think about the number of times, 8 to be exact, that I have joyfully stood as a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding, yet long to celebrate my own.

Although I can not see what awaits me, I await with great expectation for the beauty that God will reveal in me.  I know that this beauty goes beyond external and that the Lord is beautifully crafting my character.  It is incredibly dark in the dark room.  It is even lonely in the darkroom.  But it is beautiful.  I am daily being made more beautiful and that is beautiful.  During this season of singleness, I reflect on my most valued “possession” and the sweetest of things I hold dear and that is my relationship with Christ.  There is no season which parallels the opportunity to grow in intimacy with Christ as that of singleness.  I want to love and know God deeply.  Maybe the darkroom has produced this desire.  It is here that I am learning the very hard life lesson of being most satisfied in Him and Him alone.

In the silence and tears, the poem, “I will wait for you,” by Janette…IKZ of the Passion for Christ Movement (P4CM) has echoed the sentiment of my heart; and it still does.  Watch the video Here.  Janette…IKZ just celebrated her 1 year anniversary of marriage.  This poem is so moving to me because I have walked with and prayed with a lot of “Janette…IKZ” in my life.  Women who have also held firmly to the promises and standards of God without relenting to the pressures of our society which makes everything sexual and says to satisfy your desires however and whenever you see fit.  To these women –  I will not name you, but I will thank you.  Thank you for being examples of hope to me; even as I am “processing” in my darkroom.   Here’s to 36!  Another glorious year to behold the glory of the most beautiful one I’ve beheld – Christ Jesus.  Maybe I will behold the beauty of new man this year that will also captivate my heart (feel free to insert smile again).  Until then…I will wait.

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!  Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”  Psalm 34:8

Paralysis of Injustice

Marathon Runner I have never run a marathon and I do not intend to add this item to my bucket list.  However, annually, in our city of #Cincinnati, thousands of people gather in support of “The Flying Pig Marathon.”  Why it’s called the Flying Pig, I do not know; however, I do know that marathon runners can teach me something about pushing through the pain to get to the finish line. In a brief conversation with a friend, I encouraged her to remember that the fight for justice is one in which we may not see victory in this generation. I was unaware how true these words would be since the untimely deaths of #SandraBland  and #SamDubose occurred at the hands of injustice just a few months after I made that statement. So, why keep going? Why keep advocating, fighting, resisting the status quo and encouraging others to do the same? Because we all win when justice wins and we all lose if injustice prevails.  This only becomes glaringly clear once you have been the recipient of injustice.  It is different when it is your daughter or son.  Quite different when people of your ethnicity are repeatedly treated unfairly by those hired by the public to protect and serve you.

As communities come together to search for solutions to the growing racial and socioeconomic chasms in their cities, the effort can become overwhelming; even paralyzing.  I have wrestled with the reality that this work makes one tired; tired of being patient.  Tired, because the goal seems so far away.  Sometimes so tired that I feel like my body will give way to the stress and emotional drain of it all.  But then I think of former “marathon runners” in the fight for justice and I learn the following:

  1. Tiredness is normal and to be expected.
  2. Proper expectation of the journey ahead, preparation, and pace are all necessary for sustainability in this race.
  3. [Emotional] fatigue increases the desire to betray your mission.  In a marathon, comfort, not the cause (or the goal), becomes most important to us when we experience fatigue.  For the “justice runner” this shows up as apathy and the idea that things will always remain the same.
  4. “Justice runners” experience many of the same stages of marathon runners.  This funny video highlights the 8 Stages of Marathon Runners .  In the video, stage 6, which is known as “The Wall” shows up most frequently when it feels as if “nothing is happening” and justice appears to have reached a stalemate.

I want to encourage those who have committed to the cause of justice to press through and as you press through, DO NOT become bitter WHEN CHANGE TAKES PLACE AT A LESS THAN DESIRED PACE.  Bitterness separates us and can so quickly become hate.  And hate drives us to make horrible decisions against mankind that are often filled with regret.

BLMI learned recently that justice begins with love.  What do I mean by this? Well, when we love someone, their value becomes significantly higher to us.  Their value is not dumbed down to their skin color or the amount of money in their bank account or whatever external thing that can easily divide us.  When we love a person, their value becomes based on a common thread we all have; humanity.

Sometimes the paralysis of injustice remains because we have chosen not to love.  A friend of mine recently wrote a blog post,  A Poem: Tomorrow is Not Promised, Love Today, which challenges us to choose love.  It is a choice.  We can not choose how long we will be on the earth, but we can choose to love those we encounter.  After reading her post, I acknowledged that the path to racial reconciliation and justice is paved with difficult conversations, offense, and even anger; but NONE of these things should stop me from moving towards the goal.  In fact, I must remember to lead with love and this can even mean laying down the “right” to “be right” if it means losing the opportunity to reconcile.

If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.  –  1 Corinthians 13:3 [NIV]

Prayer Isn’t a Placebo

 

I’m guilty.  I’m guilty of treating prayer at times as if it is a placebo pill.  Placebo – a harmless, unmedicated preparation given as a medicine merely to humor a patient, or used as a control in testing the efficacy of another, medicated substance. At times, it has been easy to take “a dose of prayer” for a particular circumstance without sincerely believing that this “method of treatment” will be effective.  These moments of unbelief speak to my humanity.  There is no other intent of the placebo than for it to validate that the actual drug works well.  Selah (think about that).  Even the placebo points to the real thing. And even in my time of unbelief, God responds, reminding me, that He is the real thing and that praying in Jesus name is not a passive, powerless action.  You see, God isn’t encouraging us to pray, just to humor us with “one more thing to do.”

Now, on to prayer and its power.  I have read several blog posts and comments [via social media] of people expressing anger or hopelessness at the state of our nation and then saying, “I’m tired of Christian people praying…”   “Don’t black people have have the right to hold a grudge over what happened in Charleston?”  “Why do we (Christians) always resort to prayer?”  When I heard this, something in my stomach turned because it seems that we have forgotten what the secret is in our secret sauce; IT IS PRAYER.  It is prayer to a God who is all-powerful (omnipotent), all-knowing (omniscient), and all-around (omnipresent).  Let me provide further clarity.  The main ingredient in our secret sauce of prayer is faith in a God who is faithful. Immutable.  So consistent, that he makes #StephenCurry free throws look inconsistent.  It is uncanny how much we can trust in ourselves and at times, how little we trust in God.

Prayer isn’t a placebo.  It is the most powerful weapon we have in dismantling the work of the enemy when dealing with heart issues.  Beloved, some of the most daunting issues of our day are heart issues.   Injustice is a heart issue.  Racism is a heart issue.  Pride is a heart issue.  Lust is a heart issue.  Greed is a heart issue. Bottom line, sin is a heart issue.  All of these issues are presented with the possibility of mending by taking them to #thegreatphysician, Jesus Christ, and allowing Him to operate as He sees fit.

Perhaps in all of the privilege we have in the world, the privilege to communicate with God directly holds no greater honor and no greater power.  This indeed may be the best “non-secret,” secret weapon we have as followers of Jesus Christ.  Let us not forsake this opportunity to commune with God.  To bring heaven into the ordinary.

“As an instinct, prayer is a response to our innate but fragmentary knowledge of God.  It is like a note in a bottle to “whatever gods there be.”  As a gift of the Spirit, however, prayer becomes the continuation of a conversation God has started.  If that conversation proceeds, as in the best of conversations, praying becomes meeting with God – heaven in the ordinary.”  – Tim Keller, “Prayer”

Prayer can be seen as a placebo if the action alone is not connected to the reality that God is with us. In us.  Desires to converse with us.  Be with us.  It is no different than a parent than desires to know, really know, how their child is doing.  At times, the parents may already really know what’s going on, but they see the opportunity for much deeper connection with their child as they are allowed to simply bring the concerns of their heart to their parent and leave them there.  The greater hope we have is that as we present our concerns to God, He listens, and He always responds with our best interest in mind.  Sometimes His response is yes and other times it is no (or “not right now”); but, it is the best response for us at the time.

I have seen the hearts of men and women (even my own) change through prayer and force-ably tackle heart issues.  In a previous blog post written, Just Cry – Tears for Charleston and the Black Community, I exhorted people to simply allow grief to be a first step in the healing process regarding the #charlestonshooting.  I believe prayer is a close next step.  Whenever that next step happens for you.  As a Christian, prayer positions us to respond in a way that glorifies God.  This may cause repentance, righteous indignation, or respectful dialogue for some.  Prayer powerfully moves us away from bitterness and closer to reconciliation.  No placebo at all.  In fact, quite effective in producing change.

Prayer may appear passive, but don’t be fooled, it packs a powerful, “one, two…punch.”  Prayer is teaching me the wisdom in speaking to God first in order that I might more effectively speak to others.

“We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.” 2 Corinthians 10:4 (NLT)

Just Cry – Tears for Charleston and the Black Community

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When a dear friend loses a loved one or when you have personally experienced  loss of someone near to you, there is significant wisdom and solace in having friends who are just able to be present with you.  Some of them rest in the place of empathy, having experienced the same loss, and others are just present and grieve because you grieve.  They ache because you ache.  They find little time to offer solutions or wax poetic about the meaning of life because in that moment you simply ache.  In that moment as a person who has lost someone you love, you simply want and need the space to cry.  To grieve.  To lament.  This in fact, is a healthy part of the process.

During the past hours, many of us have heard the media accounts of the #Charlestonshooting at a church in South Carolina.  Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church is a church that represents so much rich history for African Americans in South Carolina and it was a key part of the Civil Rights Movement.  It was at this church, that a young man of caucasian ethnicity, came into the church, was welcomed and sat among the congregation throughout an hour long bible study and then he shot them.  When I heard this, all my heart could do was ache.   And all my heart could do was grieve.  As a young woman who is a member of a diverse church and has attended many mid-week bible studies, who has deeply benefited from friendships of people who do not look like me; I could only ache.  His intent was clearly to harm people in this group because of their black skin.  Yes this is 2015.  Yes, we are here again.  Have we ever really left this place?

It is quite difficult to change a mindset that has been embedded in our nation for generations, but it is not impossible. It will take time and grief.  So, as I think about where we are today in America, I ask those that are friends of mine, those that love me, those that have a heart for justice, those that have a heart to see the gap closed regarding present day inequalities in many social and economic strata of our society…I just ask you, this time, to be silent.  Sit with me. Grieve with me. Pray with me.  Cry with me because innocent people who gathered in a space that has been deemed safe and sacred to worship and to pray, maybe even for the souls of those like  #DylannRoof, were shot in cold blood.  And when I see the reports, I understand that it could have been me sitting in a pew at a bible study in a place that I deem sacred.    This.is.not.just.some.other.story.  This.can’t.just.be.another.story.

At this point, I don’t need data to show me how things have improved racially in our country.  At this point, I don’t need comments about this being an isolated incident..  At this point all I ask is that you just cry with me.  That you allow the space for me to grieve the loss of people.  Of lives.  All lives matter and many people in the past have been targeted because of what they look like.  But in this moment, I simply grieve because in a place where a young man received the very opposite treatment from those he was among; treatment of love, of acceptance, of caring, of common humanity, he chose to kill because of a superficial difference.

To grieve is human.  So, please, don’t try to fix this one.  Don’t offer me any solutions.  Just let me cry a little or a lot. Grief is necessary in order to continue to stand for justice.  It is the road oft traveled by those in advocacy work.  Our passion for justice must be deeply rooted in our passion for humanity.  If you love people, how can you not love justice?  So today, I fall to my knees in prayer and in grief so that I can continue to stand and be a voice for those who have experienced and continue to experience injustice.

The very last lines of a poem I heard today written by #BrittiniGray sums up my sentiment.  “…Just cry for my people when they die.  Cry for my people when they die.  Just cry. Just cry when they die.  Cry for my people, if you can just cry.  That would be enough.  Until you are ready to get into the rough stuff, save your words and your rationale because I have no space for it.”  – Brittini Gray,   Brittini was one of the artists performing at The Summit 2015 (summitforchange.com).

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.  A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. Ecclesiastes 3:1,4

Cloudy Christianity

Cloudy

I don’t fully understand the scientific benefit of the clouds, but I do know that when they fill the sky, they produce ambiguity…

For the past month or so, this ambiguity has showed up as I have struggled to pray, sense the presence of God, and have faith for mountains to move in my life.  This has caused all kinds of unrest for me.  Sleepless nights.  Aching heart.  I asked the Lord, why are there clouds?  And why is it so cloudy for me right now?

If there is one thing I have learned as a follower of Christ it is that His ways are not my ways. And, while I may lack the ability to see His purpose in a particular circumstance, there is no doubt in my mind that every event in my life is purposeful; whether I understand it or not.  This speaks to the greatness of God and the smallness of me.

I recently returned from a trip to Chicago with friends to celebrate graduation from Residency.  Big ups to my friend T! Maryland stand up!  I digress.  During this trip a unique series of circumstance occurred as we drove from Cincinnati to Chi-town.  The arduous journey produced a deep desire for McDonald’s french fries…so we stopped in Indianapolis, IN to get some.  I will tell you how I knew we were in Indy a little later.

Fast forward to 10:30 pm and we arrived safely in Chicago!  With great excitement we all jump out of the car and proceeded to grab our purses and belongings.  It was at this moment that one of my friends realized that she had left her purse at McDonald’s.  And it was not the McDonald’s around the corner.  As a natural introvert and sleep deprived “type A personality,” everything in me “screamed” at the impending discomfort in the hours ahead.  The group collectively decided to drive back to get the purse…problem is, no one knew “which”  McDonald’s we had eaten at.  Come to find out, Indiana loves it’s McDonald’s.   There were so many locations there.

The rest of the story as follows highlights all of the amazing ways that God took care of us.  As you read, you may begin to see that God’s vision is clear.  He lives ABOVE the clouds, where it is always sunny and clear.   He ALWAYS has a God’s-eye view!

So this is the abbreviated version of what happened:

1. I happened to still have the receipt from McDonald’s which I remember preparing to throw away at the restaurant after ordering, but this time I didn’t.  By the way, no one else had their receipt.  This is when we realized that the purse was in Indianapolis, IN…3 hours away.

2.  We used the info on the receipt to call McDonald’s and amazingly, the purse had been located and given to the manager.

3.  We left Chicago at 11:30 pm or so to head back to pick up the purse.

4.  At approximately 2 am, I randomly asked if we had enough gas in the vehicle to make it it Indy.  At first I was told “YES!”  With this answer, I almost went to sleep.  Fortunately, for all of us another friend looked again and said…”WE NEED GAS!  The gas light is on…” Then there was a long moment of silence realizing that we were in the middle of no where in the wee hours of morning…and running out of gas.

5. Panic mode ensued for many in the car.  We found a gas station that was open, only to arrive at the exit and it was closed.  Under construction.  WHAT?  One of my friends tried to convince us that we could “drive through” the closed exit which clearly had barricades! In fact, it appeared that workers were in the process of adding more tar to the road.  Her rationality went out of the window because of fear. Cloudy, right?

6. We drove an additional 3 more miles to a gas station at the next exit which is clearly closed. THE LONGEST (and quietest) 3 MILE JOURNEY OF MY LIFE.  The lights at this BP gas station were off and so we thought, we would have to call AAA at this point.  We only saw the lights above the pumps lit, but thought we’d check even thought it looked bleak.  I distinctly remember the same friend who wanted to ride through barricades proclaim in that moment that, she needed our “faith game” to be on high! We thought the pumps would have been shut off if the store was closed. Thankfully they were not!  This was a time during the trip where everyone offered to pay for gas!  #wontHedoit

7.  When we arrived at the McDonald’s and picked up her purse.  Not one item was stolen!

There were so many life lessons learned about God and the way in which He loves me and cares for me through the cloudiness of this experience.  God always knows when the “next exit” of life is AND if we rely on Him, He will get us safely to our destination!    He can and will block other exits that  we should not take – for our own good!  That “blocked exit” may look like a closed door for a career opportunity, an engagement that does not result in marriage, or the short sale of a home that you have invested serious dollars into.  When I fly, my favorite moment on the flight (especially if it is a cloudy or rainy day) is when the plane breaks through the clouds  and begins to fly above them!  It is breathtaking!

Although this trip ended with sleep deprivation, each one of us returned to Cincinnati with our hearts a little fuller and our faith a little higher.  Remember, break through is just above the clouds. As a follower of Christ, I am learning to have faith in God’s provision and plan even when there’s ambiguity.  Cloudiness isn’t all bad; it magnifies the clarity of God.

“Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” – Romans 8:26-28 [MSG]

Fat and Happy

20150226_102724-1I imagine that there is not much we can learn from a fish, but, lately I’m finding that all of God’s creation speak; yep, even those that don’t literally have a voice.  Charlie, my betta fish, belongs to a unique breed because their belly is only the size of their tiny little eyeball.  Even with this physical constraint, betta’s will literally eat EVERY TIME they are fed.  They will actually gorge themselves to death!  Why?  Well, when betta’s are in their natural habitat, they do not know the next time they will eat and so they eat every time there is food even when their bellies are full.  This is their nature.  In some cases, if unchecked, betta’s will go “belly up” even though they are fat and happy.  Strange, right?  Not really.  Charlie, my fish, swam happily around his tank in this state until I learned that my excessive feeding was putting his life at risk!  Poor Charlie.

Charlie reminds me of this current life and how many in our culture, including me, have a tendency to pursue life on the fast track.  That pursuit can become all consuming.  Similar to the betta fish, consumption is in our nature.  The fast track is loaded with stuff and little substance to sustain.  The pursuit of more things.  In fact, this desire for more things has a direct projection towards greed.  Greed is cancer-like.  Recklessly invading the body without regard for what is damaged in it’s path.  Cancer fights and destroys the very thing that brings life.  It would seem lofty to say that greed can destroy us.  Only lofty until greed comes face to face with your family and the destruction is seen first hand.  Sometimes the idea of greed is left to those who are wealthy.  Let’s not be so presumptuous.

I recently read that “the preoccupation with striving, getting, and accumulating is NOT LIMITED TO UNBELIEVERS or those with six figure salaries.”  This struggle resides in all of us.  The idea that once we are “fat,” that we will then be fulfilled and even satisfied with this life.  This next bit of truth serum is brought to you by a woman who has learned that being financially fat won’t make you happy.  Cynthia Heimel, a woman who knew several movie stars before they became famous spoke of their ill placed desire in things to satisfy them and make everything ok…

“I pity celebrities, no I really do – Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, and Barbara Streisand, were once perfectly pleasant human beings. But now their wrath is awful. I think when God wants to play a really rotten practical joke on you he grants you your deepest wish and then laughs merrily when you realize you want to kill yourself. You see Sly, Bruce, and Barbara wanted fame. They worked, they pushed and the morning after each of them became famous they wanted to take an overdose. Because that giant thing they were striving for, that fame thing that was going to make everything OK, that was going to make their lives bearable, that was going to provide them with personal fulfillment and happiness had happened and they were still them. The disillusionment turned them howling and insufferable.” Cynthia Heimel, “Tongue in Chic” column in The Village Voice, January 2, 1990.

Truthfully, the myth of money (or anything outside of Christ) fully satisfying us is just that – a myth. None of us are any different.  Deep disappointment awaits us all.  This world alone was not meant to satisfy us.   We were made for another world.

So, what should we do with this deep disappointment?  We should look not to be made fat, but to become fulfilled in Jesus Christ alone.  Relationship with Jesus Christ is enough to satisfy us.  That is it.  Simple and increasingly difficult to do in this life.  As a single woman, I know that the things I desire today, such as marriage and family, will one day disappointment me in some manner.  I will at some point feel unfulfilled even in that exciting season because people were never meant to fully fulfill us.  So, I take this truth and hold on tightly to it.  Maybe that simple truth will help me to not hold so tightly to things and grasp more tightly the gift of Christ’s love.  Nothing wrong with the things we have been afforded in this life, such as cars, money, relationships; but are they consuming us?  Are our lives and schedules filled with only the pursuit of these things?  Has any particular “thing” moved from good to idolization?  We must ask ourselves if what we are consuming is killing us or bringing us life.

Although I don’t have many things, I am full.

“Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice.”  Proverbs 16:8 (NIV)

Still Dripping

passion of christ

I loathe moments where I am dripping wet and “partially dry.”  Moments when I’ve had to run to my car in the rain without an umbrella.  Or moments when I’ve finished a fantastic work out (like Insanity) and have yet to dry.  These moments are a bit frustrating.  My body is screaming for relief because it knows and longs for the mediocrity of comfort.  Nothing less, nothing more, than dry garments.

As Easter draws near, many around the world have given Jesus Christ the center stage once again.  Millions will gather in churches and hear accounts of the resurrection.  How Christ overcame death on a cross and rose from the dead in 3 days! This truth should be sobering and exhilarating at the same time for the one who has decided to trust in Christ.  Sobering because the death of Christ was not short and sweet, but deliberate and cruel.  Exhilarating because Christ ACTUALLY OVERCAME DEATH.  Death – the thing that grips our hearts so tightly because of our deep longing for the continued physical presence of those we love.  Death – the thing that looms in the future, but none of us can ever prepare our hearts for.  Death – the thing that also brought us life.

I recall a Pastor communicating that biblical principles are not intuitive; in fact He said that they are just plain ‘ole backwards.  As in, you would not normally behave this way…ever!  For instance, “…love your enemies and do good to those who hate you.”(Luke 6:27).  Or how about, “Whoever tries to make his life secure will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.” (Luke 17:33).  The counter intuitive nature of biblical principles remind me that I am powerless to consistently obey them without Christ.  And this is where our understanding of His very natural death and its production of an opportunity for a supernatural life (Him dwelling within us) is critical.   Christ died so that we could have life – eternal life.  He also died so that we could live life that has been reconciled back to Him. (Ephesians 2:13).  But repentance (turning away from sin and trusting in Jesus) is not a one-time event and Lordship (allowing Christ to be master of your life) is not just another trendy idea.  There is a real cost and freedom that comes with salvation for the believer.

I wonder what Christ felt like as He carried His own cross to His death.  He dripped with blood that would redeem our sins and grant us the opportunity to have a relationship with Him.  Drip. Drip. Drip.  All the way to Golgotha.  He became comfortable with being uncomfortable because reconciliation to the ones He loves (you and me) was closer than ever before.  Thinking about Christ and how He dripped blood (for me), not sweat, makes me want to live life mindful of His sacrifice.  I want to live out lent (LOL) all year long; not simply dedicate 40 days of the year to remember this unparalleled event.  In order to do this, I must continue to drip with the blood of the lamb.

Dripping is visible.  And the evidence of a changed life must visibly drip from us just as His blood did. Fellow believers and followers of Christ –  It is visible that we love Jesus when we obey His commands.  It is visible that the power of His blood exudes from us when we are loving, extending mercy to others, praying for our enemies, and allowing interruptions in our “busy schedule” for people and problems.  Let’s be sure not to count ourselves so busy that we walk out the door forgetting Christ’s agenda because we are holding too tightly to our own.  Christ wants us to be in the business of reconciliation.

Are you dripping?  Or are you dry?  Do people see you or do they see Christ?

“…Son of Man, I remember Your kindness
Son of Man, I remember Your love

Your mercy will be remembered forever
Your mercy will be remembered forever
Your mercy will be remembered forever

I still drip with the blood of the Lamb

We are trophies of Your mercy”

– excerpt of lyrics from Trophies of Mercy by Davy Flowers

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