Creative Expression – Mirror, Mirror

Mirror ShatteredDisillusionment (disappointment, let down, discouragement) works side by side with disintegration (fall apart, fragment), attempting to shatter your identity in Christ!

God often speaks to me short and to the point, choosing words that point to profound change and transformation if I choose to meditate on what He is saying at that time. His words can cut like a knife or flow like honey. Whatever way He chooses to bring them as a good Father, they bring confrontation and a choice to change. I still believe that a good Father, a really good Father, will speak to his children in varying tones of love. His words don’t always sound poetic or flowing. They can also sound confrontational and strong. Yet, again, love has many varied tones. That is a good Father. His words, always rich, full and right on time.

His words: Disillusionment fastens itself to disintegration! 

I sat and listen to what He is telling me. Then I close my eyes and receive an accompanying vision, a story from the Lord, filled with hope and restoration.

His vision reaches into the depths of my spirit, often where words simply cannot reach me. Let me share it as if I am telling you a story.

There she is standing in front of a mirror. It is me or it can be you. Looking, intently gazing at the image, she wonders about her life, questioning some things that are not easily understood. The questions are internal, not voiced but pondered within, as she stares at the image before her. She admits to herself that she really does not like what she sees. Outwardly, she appears content and happy. If she were to really admit it, she expected more than this in life. Disillusionment has left her fragmented, shattered, and wondering how to regroup lost time.

Suddenly the effects of disillusionment produce cracks in the mirror, right before her eyes. Her face begins to look distorted. Hope evades her for the promises are distant and ethereal, unable to be seen. Disillusionment crept into her soul, slowly but surely. The cracks show that hope has subtly turned to cynicism and doubt, wondering if God can be trusted. Would He come through for her?

She kept standing and looking at her image. Suddenly more cracks and distortions appeared right before her eyes. Any semblance of joy or beauty was gone. She did not recognize this woman. Everything is out of place in her life. She just kept staring, looking intently as she began to disintegrate, little by little, piece by piece.

That is what disillusionment does, you know. It fragments hopes, dreams and faith until all that is left is pieces of a life that are unrecognizable. The enemy, over years of accusations, kept asking the same question over and over and over. “Has God said?”

These words produced an inner disintegration of her very being, having her question everything she knew about God, everything she believed about God. Looking at herself, she knew that this woman, shattered and fragmented, is not the woman that she is created to be in Christ. She could not look anymore at this distorted image. Looking down at her feet, she saw sharp, jagged pieces of glass scattered all around her. There she was, fragmented pieces of a life that had once been full of passion and promise. How did this happen?

She looks up. The mirror is gone. Her image is gone. There is nothing left. Nothing. In that moment, reality hits illusion. This is when God is God or He is nothing at all, only a vague nebulous being in the sky that seems distant and unaware of her inner pain and struggle. This is it.

Pieces falling to the ground all around her, shattering into more minute pieces as they hit the ground. The mirror is gone. The image is gone. There is nothing left. Nothing. This is when reality hits illusion. This is when God is God or He is nothing at all, only a vague cloud in the sky that seems distant and unaware of inner pain and struggle and trials. This is it.

She looks down again at the pieces of glass, knowing that it was never supposed to come to this point of nothingness. There they lay on the ground. Time rushed in, life moved fast, like it always does. Live long enough and you will see this to be true.

At this point, silence pervades the atmosphere. Where are the tears? Too many have been shed. Where is the crying out? Too many years of that too. Silence is the appropriate response to this chaotic scene. She simply looks up and gazes. That’s all. She breathes. She sighs.

At that very moment of release, a wind begins to blow. It swirls around her, soft and gentle. The wind flows through the room and the pieces on the floor begin to move in the wind. At first, they rise up only inches off the ground, accompanied by a beautiful tinkling sound. Gradually, the wind increases in intensity and the shiny silver pieces strongly vibrate, hitting up against each other, yet they do not crack. They seem to have a momentum all of own, swirling and rushing around her feet.

The wind turns to a roar and it draws up the shattered silver pieces up and away flowing like a river towards the mirror form. Each piece hits the mirror in a strategic place. The sound is deafening to her ears. When they are all in place, the roar of the wind stops abruptly. There is only a deep silence. A silver-like river of shiny liquid suddenly begins to flow among the broken jagged edges. These pieces beautifully meld together until the mirror is restored to perfection again with no hint of any breakage.

All is silent. The woman cannot comprehend what has just taken place. There is fear in her heart, so she lowers her eyes, unable to look up into the mirror. She is apprehensive about what she will see. She breathes and looks up, slowly at first.

Me Jeremiah VerseTruth looks back at her from the mirror. Illusion has died.

Many of us struggle in time – its hopelessness, its pain, and all of the unanswered questions. These struggles erode our faith and belief in the reality of God’s love for us. Disillusionment leads to fragmented and shattered lives. We want answers. There are no easy answers. Life will still have many questions that evade our ability to understand it at times.

When there are seasons that I bottom out, seasons where my life just seems chaotic and random and void, it is at those times, He is real. He restores me and sets me on a new path of wholeness. I am richer for the experience. I can then encourage each of you to stand, when all hope seems lost, when grief overtakes you, when all is chaotic and crazy. Stand. Jesus Christ is real.

To Be Or Not To Be – Quotable Living

to_be_or_not_to_be_by_sharp_negative-d3f1qr5I am in the Ultimate Blog Challenge where I write for 30 days straight in my blog. I joined it because it is the right time for my blog and ministry, Rivers of Eden. Join me on this spiritual journey for the month of October. My focus is simple and it came through an ‘aha’ moment where I suddenly thought, after 30 years of ‘doing’ Christianity, it is now my time to ‘be” Christianity. I know, I know, the choice of words is off and a bit cliché, but you get the picture right?

Here’s a quote to get this journey off and running:

“Do one thing everyday that scares you.” Eleanor Roosevelt

Crap, that quote alone scares me for it catapults me into the midst of uncertainty. Do you know what births boring and mundane Christianity? Certainty in anything other than the reality of Jesus Christ. When you are so certain that you become a self-righteous robot who speaks without truly knowing the person of Christ. Christianity is about risk, adventure and relationship in Christ. So I am doing something scary right here, right now – getting out of the boat, walking on the water to Him, and speaking forth with honesty from my imperfect life.

I am a follower of Jesus Christ, a disciple of His life and His teachings. I love the Bible, I truly do. That is my BE. Now I will venture away from what I can only describe as my DO of Christianity into the great unknown. How to DO Christianity the wrong way? Assume a perfect position and put that mask of “having it all together” on for all to see, week by week by week. Don’t let anyone see the real you; that you are human and strive for perfection at times and thereby fall into a deep well of self-loathing because you actually dislike how you are, what you look like, or how you were designed. Do busy by immersing yourself in church culture rather than walking in intimacy with the Lord, even if it means going it alone. If you feel this is sarcastic, it is not. For me, it is simple truth.

My life as a Christian minister has been stripped down to acknowledging that I am standing in the unemployment line. Is that possible? Well for me it is at this moment. I am standing without opportunity, without ministry outlets, and without a safety net underneath me. It seems all my life I thought I would get to the point of ministry and have this traveling entourage, going to the nations, preaching at conferences, and gaining a strong following. Yikes, that sounds ridiculous, but it is true. Actually today I am born again, again, to use that cliché. I am standing in the unemployment line without a ministry, as I have said, but I am willing to take the bread of life as my substance in place of food stamps. I trust Him in this new place. That previous statement about the bread was so lame but I won’t delete it. It’s me! God pulled it all away for this season, took down any props building up my ego, and then left me standing to build again with hopes and dreams for my future to BE a Christian.

So the world is a wide-open field for me and I intend to discover it anew through the eyes of Jesus. I step out to BE in Him. What has Jesus brought to me? Books, books and more books. I am reading voraciously .I exit my cloistered life of charismatic culture and read and glean and listen and grow. And, that is how I found this quote for the first time in a book My Year with Eleanor by Noelle Hancock. I am devouring it, along with many others, reading about imperfection, failure, success and life. I am also going to use a lot of quotes this next 30 days that are opening my eyes. 

I pray you journey with me as I journey with Jesus Christ for the next 30 days and let’s see where it goes. My desire – eyes open wider to see with compassion, ears to hear the cries of people’s hearts, and a life that is willing to stop on the journey to experience life at a new level. I want to do something scary each day, led by the Spirit. And, I believe I will. Onward.