"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Embrace your gifting

One of these days Brian will write his own story to this statement. Here is one of the thoughts I had for myself when He said God was speaking this to him.

Now, everyone who knows me knows that I am organized. I like to serve; I am all into common sense and getting it done. But I think I have another gift that I definitely haven’t embraced.

We talked about this verse in our training at MTI before we went to Africa:
17 This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Consider now! Call for the wailing women to come; send for the most skillful of them. 18 Let them come quickly and wail over us till our eyes overflow with tears and water streams from our eyelids. 19 The sound of wailing is heard from Zion: 'How ruined we are! How great is our shame! We must leave our land because our houses are in ruins.' “20 Now, O women, hear the word of the LORD; open your ears to the words of his mouth. Teach your daughters how to wail; teach one another a lament. Jeremiah 9:17-20

I. AM. A. CRYER. Not just a crier out the corner of your eye. Nope I am an all out blubbery, LOUD, convulsing crier. And have you ever seen one of those types of criers try to hold it in? NOT PRETTY.

The point of the conversation at MTI was somewhat about culture, comparing the more “middle-eastern” way of in the street wailing to our reserved western way. The point was also of the GIFT that sitting with someone and just crying is. Not offering unwanted opinions (Okay, I struggle with that!), not telling them it will be okay, not telling them to suck it up/hold it in/whatever. Just sitting, being still and weeping and even wailing with them.
Why would you want to? Tears really are cleansing-they are a release of the emotional, the spiritual. There is something to the “just get it all out”. And there is something to doing it with someone else, even a stranger. This is the side where I am much more comfortable, but yet, I still fight against it. I wonder what people will think of me, I wonder if I should go to someone when I don’t know them very well-what will they think? What will other people think especially if they know I don’t know them well? It’s my own silly pride that holds me back.

I also cry, or start to, often during worship. Not from my own worship per se, but from seeing other people’s worship. It moves me, it stings me-I desire to be in that communion with God. I am not just looking for an “experience” though. I want to be communing-be in relationship-be in awe-be in the throne room REALLY worshipping. Let’s face it, as a mom of 7, 6 of them in the row with me, I don’t get to be as focused as I want to be.

I cry when I think about death, as most anyone would. I cry when I remember loss, when I think of what would happen “if”, or in some cases “when”…yup-I feel the tears burning now! But as much as there is the sadness in those cries, there is an anticipation too. The verse Where, O death, is your sting? 1 Cor. 15:55 comes to mind. Oh yes-I expect a sting. But really-there is just this tiny bit of excitement about death. I am sure it would be wrong to say, but it’s a little bit of a jealousy! They (if a believer) would be with Jesus! They will be free of pain, cares of the world, struggles…really-can you not wait?? Where, O death, is your victory? Really-we are the ones in victory-we will be in GLORY when we die. CHRIST HAS OVERCOME DEATH! And if we are in HIM, so then have we!

As in the case of these particular verses, there is also the weeping and wailing over the loss, the ruin, the devastation-often from sin. I do have a harder time here. As the mommy I feel so distracted, even in prayer and times of worship for what the kids are doing (or not doing!). But there is a call to be openly wailing over the sins of the people (church). I have attended our prayer meeting at church on Thursday nights. It’s not a sit around in a circle and pray for each other type of meeting. There are people walking and praying, there are people kneeling and praying, there are people laying on the floor praying. And there is weeping. Weeping and crying out to God. No, I was not one of them. But I should have been. While in a different prayer group, we did do this-on the floor, weeping, letting the Spirit intercede through us. It was an amazing time. The sins of this world should be driving me to my knees to weep and wail for forgiveness and mercy.
And really, that should make you uncomfortable. You should be uncomfortable and wonder what is so bad that she is going on like that?! But you should not want to come over to see what is wrong and just comfort me-no, it should make you look at your own heart and the world and drive you to weep and wail too. We deserve death, destruction, GOD’S WRATH. But, so often, for so many, others' tears don’t make us think of that. It just makes us uncomfortable. And we want them to stop. Sometimes we even ask the pastor to tell them to stop doing it-because people aren’t comfortable.

So I will try to work out how to embrace this gifting. I don’t know what that will look like. I guess it is a good thing I don’t wear make up!

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