So we all know Judas as the man who betrayed Jesus, but did you know he served as the treasurer for Jesus’ earthly ministry and sat in the seat of honor at the Last Supper? This was not an accident. Jesus loves His prodigals. He is constantly holding them near. Peter who denied Jesus three times was given the keys to the church of Jerusalem. Paul who outright persecuted the early church was chosen as the main witness to the Gentiles. Just when we think we are furthest from God, God is closest to us, calling us to come home.
Remember Sméagol from The Lord of the Rings trilogy?
He had that special ring that gave him great power, but in return for that power he invited Gollum into his life, an evil presence reeking havoc upon Sméagol’s soul. *Spoiler alert* His addiction to the ring ended up destroying him.
It’s easy to look at this poor, sad creature and write him off a pure fantasy, but the truth of the matter is we all have our rings, things that made us feel empowered or important, helped us survive, but in the end will end up destroying us.
Be mindful of these things. Each person has a different one. Often you can find it when it is taken away, so be mindful and aware. We are called to live an abundant life in Christ. Beware the roadblocks and thrive!
I reached out to take your hand
we caught a patch of slush and slid into a ditch,
striking the passenger side into a hill
but we’re fine, everyone’s fine
we pull out
rent a car
and book our time with insurance-sanctioned
and I’m holding your hand again
because things are just things,
but we’re fine,
so everything’s fine.
Why is it that, in Exodus, God tells us that
They created the deaf, the mute, and the blind
yet in Leviticus we turn around and push them aside?
Why is it, in Genesis, that God creates
both man AND woman in Their own image
yet we get bogged down in gender roles
and social norms?
Why is it, in Romans, that we can bank
our entire faith on the fact that Abraham
came before Moses
and so are justified by grace alone,
rather than by works,
yet keep trying to earn our salvation
and set up obstacles for others to jump over to do the same?
God is calling all of us into immediate and total reconciliation with Himself.
Are we bold enough to take Him up on His offer?
“Sorry to unload on you like that,” he said
“I’m glad you did,” I said,
“So many times we go through life,
carrying burdens, situations
not knowing who we can share it with
but not quite able to bear the burdens ourselves.
We lose sleep, become stressed
because we feel all alone.
Yes, we talk to God and that is a great place to start,
but we still fear the judgement of others.
It’s not until we tell another human being
and they meet us with open hearts and minds
that we can begin to lay our burden down-
or, rather, finally have someone
to carry that burden along
til the carrying is done.”
“I couldn’t do that, people are watching”
It’s exactly because people are watching that we must do it
Do what is light and love and true
For if we do not, if we are silent,
we silence the Holy Spirit inside us
the voice, our Jiminy Cricket,
that instructs on all that is pure and good and holy.
Do it so that people will see,
for their sake and for yours,
a taste of something good
Cathedrals used to use gargoyles to ward off demons
Samurai used ferocious masks to intimidate enemies
God use what scares me to sanctify me
So that the cathedral of my soul would stand firm
For eons in You.