Fridays and Good Mornings -Seeing Jesus

Faith, grace, praise, Prayer, Trust, Uncategorized

I could have more morning time and be elated, really I could.

My Bible, pencils, coffee and big dog waiting patiently.

As I read, journal, think and thank.

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Happy about it or contented in the ease of moments doesn’t really express how much I’d like more morning.

I’m in the Book of Numbers, refusing to skip it along with Leviticus this time.

It’s passage and passage of muddling through;  if, but, sacrifices and rules, regulations and particulars.

When I was a teenager, I dated the preacher’s rebel grandson. We sat in the back of the church and changed the words of the hymns to dirty songs.

What a sinful rebellion, I followed along.

We loaded up the church van on Saturday mornings and we all had palm-sized booklets, stories of Jesus we’d been coached to share.

I wanted to be there. I wanted to be a follower of the rules, a follower of Jesus.

We told the story of Jesus because the preacher told us to.

Most of us, I believe not knowing Jesus really at all.

At least not me.

Still, we were good pupils of the teachings.

We were compliant. We were afraid. We were forced.

And so, I’m reading Numbers, a Psalm, and now the Book of John.

Because I want to.

Psalms recalling the greed of the people led from wilderness, through a parted ocean sized sea, fed manna from heaven and water from a rock.

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Safe, rescued and led; yet, longing and discontent.

These followers of law, empty, defeated and angry unwilling to subsist in the provision of God through his reluctant leader, Moses.

Never able to attain enough, be enough, walking straight, stubborn and stoic enough to see themselves worthy of the ways of law.

Following rules, striving for perfectly, afraid to believe in grace.

I’ve been there.

A child in church with an angry leader who wanted us all to go to heaven, but didn’t really believe we could.

I wonder now, who formed his shame-filled mind.

Caused him to preach shame and remorse over mercy, love, acceptance.

 I came to know the love of Jesus in my thirties.

A desperate need has become a peaceful seeking.

I’ve been confounded to understand more

The grace and favor that require no merit at all.

Yesterday, I read about Judas bringing the soldiers to Jesus. He’d spent time with the Twelve, handpicked to follow.  He was despondent, yet calmly submissive over the coming day of His sacrificial death.

Some had slept when asked to watch and pray.

Peter promised allegiance, then denied being acquainted with Jesus.

3 times.

Judas brought the soldiers to the quiet of the garden and Jesus calmly told them all, I’m the one you are looking to capture.

Then Jesus, knowing all that could happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?”  John 18: 4

I imagine his arms open, as if to welcome their violent intrusion.

I hadn’t thought of Jesus as courageous before I thought of dark, angry soldiers intent on his arrest.

I sat in the quiet and filled the margin of my Bible.IMG_0740

Sketching a lush garden of flowers, Jesus facing an army of men seeking to destroy.

If you had told me I’d be coloring in my Bible 30 years ago, I would have denied it.

It would be one of those rules I’d be terrified of breaking.

I would still be telling the story of Jesus, a good story from a little booklet, afraid to get it wrong.

I’d still be telling a story, prompted by shame.

I’d be telling the story, cautionary, spurned by forceful warning of Hell.

I’d be telling the story of one who never knew grace herself.

Never believed in the courageous, sacrificial arms wide open love of Jesus.

It would not be my story.

My story of now.

Of mornings with Jesus.

Answered prayers in His name.

And simple, graces and glimpses unexpected of heaven.

Like Mary Magdalene searching an empty place on a hopelessly longing and grieving morn.

Looking up to recognize the Savior as he said “Mary”.

Her story is mine.

I have seen the Lord.  John 21:18

 

 

Linking up to Tell His Story

my good walk

Faith, Prayer, Trust, Uncategorized

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Somebody must have come along early that murky morning.

Made a little bridge from boards to ease my step to the shore.

To the skyline of  blue over pinkish orange sunrise and smooth sand.

So, I stepped lightly over the little dune and glanced towards the water, then lifted my head up towards heaven to begin my day.

To begin my walk.

My good walk. Hopeful and clear.

Somebody saw the muddy, grown up mess and bridged it with cast aside boards to beckon me to the shore.

To encourage my steps towards good

I’m remembering my grandma and her marked up Bible and the vision of her in the lamplight every night, steadfast and determined.

Remembering the traveling pastor who taught me of grace and welcomed a single mama to the tiny little generations of family run church.

Remembering the Easter egg hunts and the grace of the little ladies who loved on me because they loved on my children.

The black station wagon that pulled up to the house and picked Heather up for Sunday School at the home of me, the single mama, trying to make it alone.

Feeling scarlet and scorned. But a bridge was built towards my good walk because of a little black station wagon and a grandma and grandpa.

Heather loving little Poplar Springs Baptist Church, a bridge to my good walk.

And Austin a toddler, sitting as quiet as a little old man.

Another bridge…a clear and easy path to my good walk.

Friends like Debra who never rejected, always prayed.

Family who waited to see my good walk, the walk of faith and strength.

So many bridges to the good walk…path clearing people, beckoning me lovingly to follow along in their following of Jesus…on the good walk.

Good Friday, what a good walk, a long and torturous walk to the cross.

Jesus, miraculous, beautiful, merciful Savior

Saver of lives, redeemer of scorned and sinful,  friend of sinners and thieves, followed by many as he walked on earth and then followed by few as he chose the surrendered walk, ultimate sacrifice to bridge our wrong, to make clear the good way, the good walk.

 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3:16-17