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The boy only wanted to give Mother something
And all of her roses had bloomed
Looking at him as he came rushing in with them
Knowing her roses were doomed
All she could see were some thorns buried deep
And the tears that he cried as she tended his wounds

And she knew it was love
It was one she could understand
He was showing his love
And that’s how he hurt his hands

He still remembers that night as child
On his mother’s knee
She held him close and she opened her bible
And quietly started to read
And seeing a picture of Jesus he cried out
“Momma, he’s got some scars just like me.”

And he knew it was love
It was one he could understand
He was showing his love
And that’s how he hurt his hands

Now the boy’s grown and moved out on his own
When Uncle Sam comes along
A foreign affair, but our young men were there
And luck had his number drawn
It wasn’t that long till our hero was gone
He gave to a friend what he learned from the cross

But they knew it was love
It was one they could understand
He was showing his love
And that’s how he hurt his hands

It was one they could understand
He was showing his love
And that’s how he hurt his hands

*************
Every time I hear this song, I keep picturing a dance. I may have to work on this.

Yesterday was alright.
Tomorrow will be too.
Today it was a fight.
Tonight it just hurts.

Barely gave it a thought
Until we had that talk
To my mind it was brought
So tonight it hurts

I thought I was moving on
I thought that it was over
I thought the dreams were gone
But tonight it hurts

I thought I’d been saved
I thought I was free
But right now I feel caged
So tonight it hurts

I could try to dance it away
I could dash reality
But it’ll return another day
Because tonight it hurts

“Where are You?” my heart screams
I turn away in anger
You aren’t there, so it seems
So tonight it hurts

Please tell me that this will end
Please show me You are there
Hold me in Your arms again
Because tonight it hurts

Please tell me that You love me
Please wipe away my tears
Let me know a moment of safety
Even though it hurts

I can do all things with You
You will strengthen me
I know these words are true
Even though it hurts

If You by my side will stay
I know I can forgive
So that maybe, hopefully, one day
It will no longer hurt

“We talk of ‘taking up the cross’ or ‘having a cross to bear’ as though God somewhat arbitrarily gave each of us some pain or trouble just to make things difficult for us, to stop us having too easy a life of it. Not so. Just as evil is more than the sum total of human wrongdoing, and just as God’s victory over evil is more than the sum total of subsequent human loving, so our ministry of reconciliation is more than simply the words we speak and the physical acts we perform. We ourselves, as whole persons, are caught up in the process in ways beyond our understanding, so that our suffering, whatever it may be, becomes part of Christ’s own passion, of God’s own passion, and as such brings healing and reconciliation at levels and depths beyond our imagining. Our task is to be faithful to the calling of the cross: to live in God’s new world as the agents of his love, and to pray that the cross we carry today will become part of the healing and reconciliation of the world. We will not understand in the present time how it is that our pain, our illness, our heartbreak, our deep frustration, is somehow taken up into the pain of God and the healing of the world; but if we offer it back to God that is precisely what will happen.” – N.T. Wright, For All God’s Worth

Could this be the reason? I hope so. Otherwise I’m at a loss.

Is there a more over-used phrase? I’m starting to doubt it. It always bugged me when I worked at Chick-fil-A. A customer would ask me how I was and by the time I answered they were looking at the menu figuring out what they wanted to eat. *sigh*

It bothers me at church too. (Although I’m guilty of this, so I can’t be too harsh.) People walk by and as I’m rushing by and they’re rushing by, the following exchange occurs. “Hi, how are you?” “Good, how are you?” “Good!” And by the time the last “good” is uttered, we’re usually at opposite ends of the hall.

I know, it’s a reflex. It’s a way of being polite. But to me, it’s not polite. It’s rude. Because you’re being false. You don’t *really* care. Or maybe you do but for some reason you just can’t take the time to stop and really ask. So wait until you *do* have time. Because a lot of the time when I answer “good”, what I really mean is “ok”, “not so good”, “eh” or “LIFE SUCKS!” 😀

And like I said before, I’m guilty of this too. Especially with those people who you’re not really good friends with but you see often enough that you kinda should care. But I’m working on not asking unless I really want to listen. Otherwise, I’m just a hypocrite!

So, how are you? 😉

I’ve been dancing since I was 5-years-old. My mom put me in a class while she went to Jazzercise. (Ok, maybe it was more of a tumbling class at that age. But I got to wear a pink Little Mermaid leotard, so I was happy. 🙂 ) But it just continued on from there. I’ve done everything. Ballet, jazz, tap, modern, (“exotic” but that’s a different story!), etc. It’s the best form of exercise, IMO. Give me that over trying to balance on a ball and do sit-ups anyday!

My actual involvement in classes was sporadic. Ballet and tap in 3rd grade, jazz in 5th, ballet again in 7th, jazz again in 8th, modern somewhere in there, etc. But even when I was in class, I was using what I had learned and making up my own dances. This became something of a hobby for Annie and me in high school. We’d make up dances and teach each other and then others would get involved. I doubt any of us really remember the steps now but it was fun. Since classes cost money and I’m more than a little short of that, I still can only make up my own stuff. But that’s fun. I watch others and learn from them.

After 15 plus years of dancing, my body is trained to move. It can get somewhat embarrassing in stores because I won’t even realize I’m moving until 5 or so people have walked by staring. 😀 But I hear music and it’s like I can’t help it. (Which made me standing on the risers in choir a little dangerous. Heh.) There are times I’ve wished I went to a Charismatic church so that I could dance without getting kicked out. (How *did* I end up in a Baptist church anyway?!) After the last cantata, Andi Hogan saw me dancing around on stage with Hannah and asked me if I’d like to dance for church sometime. I said yes but this was unfortunately right about the time I was transitioning to The Dwelling Place. Oh well. Maybe I can talk Shane into it, once we get a building. (I might kick someone if we tried it in the Mayes’ living room. lol!)

When I dance, I lose myself in the music. Other people may as well not even be there. (Unless I have a partner I have to work with.) When I dance, it’s the only time I feel free. I feel at peace. That’s *my* time. God is never more real to me than when I’m dancing. (Well, except for being on the beach. 😉 If I could dance on the beach, I’d be in heaven.) Cheerleading was a little different since I had to yell stuff *and* move. But there was still an element.

I’ve been dancing with Reegan recently. I’m sure the neighbors have been highly entertained since the room we dance in has a big ol’ window that faces the street. But I don’t care. Those are my favorite moments with her. We have our fast song and our slow one. Eventually she lays her head on my chest and we just sway. I can close my eyes and pretend that there’s nothing else around. It’s just Reegan and me and the music. And Jesus, of course. When I think about Jesus with the children, I like to picture Him dancing with them. I don’t know how accurate that would be. But that’s ok. That’s my way of making it real. It’s my way of connecting.

So that is why I dance. To feel free. To feel peace. To feel close to my Father. To worship Him. A long time ago, I posted one of those surveys on my xanga site. You know, “Name 12 Movies You Like, 11 Friends You Have, etc” One of them was 7 Ways to Win My Heart. Near the top of the list was “dance with me”. And I don’t mean bumpin’ and grindin’ like at that wedding. That’s a way to make me want to get away from you. But dancing like Reegan and I do, and letting me feel safe and at peace, that’s a way to win my heart.

So maybe I’ll never dance in church. (Well, while people are there anyway. ;-)) Maybe I’ll never have someone “win my heart” by dancing with me. But that’s ok. Because this is my form of worship. Singing is fine. Preaching is fine. Serving is fine. But when it comes down to it, if I can dance to express my love for Him, there is no purer way.

This is my prayer for you tonight, my friends. For those of you who are hurting or struggling. For those who have to work. For those who are sick. For those who are fine but just want to know that someone is praying for them. This is my prayer for you. Sweet dreams!

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work or watch or weep this night, and give Your angels charge over those who sleep.
Tend the sick, Lord Christ;
give rest to the weary,
bless the dying,
soothe the suffering,
pity the afflicted,
shield the joyous,
and all for Your love’s sake.
Amen.

(Emphasis mine)

I see you sitting there…so together
But inside the tears keep falling.
I see the anger, the disappointment.
Inside…I hear a voice that’s calling.
At night’s end…you pretend it doesn’t matter that
there’s no one
waiting at home.
Well, I know that it matters, because I too
am alone.
Now for everyone that ever hurt you.
For every tear that fell from your eyes.
Here and now, I’d like to apologize.
I’m sorry for the many nights,
You spent staring at the phone,
I’m sorry for the birthdays, the holidays.
Just the days you spent alone.
I’m sorry for the other women,
That made you feel less than the queen that you are.
I’m sorry that he reached for the moon,
When in his hand he held…a star.

Here and now, with my soul…with my
heart…To you I apologize.
I’m sorry he never listened to what you had to say.
I’m sorry that when you needed him most,
He just turned and walked away.
I’m sorry for the first time you said,
“I’ll never love again” –
I’m sorry for the first time you said, “God
forgive me…but I hate all men.”
I’m sorry for all the times you needed to be held,
But he was never there.
I’m sorry for the scars, that no medicine can heal.
I’m sorry for all the times he swore truth,
But you knew every word he said was lies.
Let this be a moment of healing……
Here and now………
I apologize.

I’m sorry he used your body,
Seeing you as nothing more…than a notch on his belt.
I’m sorry that no answer came,
When your heart cried out for help.
But most of all…I’m sorry he took you for granted.
Never realizing…the Strength…the Beauty…the Glory…
The Wonder…that is YOU.
But to you I say, “Don’t give up!
God has something special in store.
To you I say, “Love is around the next
corner, Behind the next door.”
And this time, God will give you just what
Your Heart is asking for.
Lord knows..We all make mistakes
We’re only human after all.
Just don’t be so angry that you turn your back
When true love calls.

This morning on the news, this story came up. I still don’t know what to think. A 22-year-old married to a 14-year-old in Nebraska. Matt and Crystal, with permission of their parents, got married after finding out that Crystal was pregnant. They now have a 1 month old baby girl.

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
– The Velveteen Rabbit, In Humanity

If that’s what it takes to be real, then bring on the loose joints. If stumbling through the valley is what it takes to appreciate the mountain top, bring on the valleys. If going through the dark night of the soul is what it takes to achieve a life of love, bring on the dark nights. I have weathered storms before. This one is no different.

I’m angry at you. I struggle not to hate you. Do you know why? Do you even care? Do you even remember? Do you know what you did to me? Probably not.

You’ve gotten on with your life. You go to church and work and date and hang out with friends. I doubt you’ve given it a second thought. I doubt you’ve given me a second thought.

I doubt you lay awake at night, haunted by images. I doubt you cringe every time someone of the opposite sex touches you. I doubt that in order to survive you’ve become so cynical you can barely get through a wedding. I doubt you’ve forgotten how to love. Then again, I don’t know if you ever knew.

Did you know what you were doing to me? Did you realize the ramifications? Did you just not care? Did you care that I was scared? Did you care that I felt dirty? Did you care that I felt used? That I still do? That I feel like I’ll never be clean again?

Because of you I have felt worthless. Because of you I have felt like I don’t deserve kindness. Because of you I have wrestled with forgiveness. Because of you I have fought love. Because of you I am scared of men. Because of you a hug makes me tremble. Because of you. Because of what you did.

I hate myself for letting you control me. I hate the fact that you still have power over me. I hate that what you did can still determine how I feel. I hate it. I want to hate you. But I can’t. Because I serve Someone greater than you. I serve Someone Who tells me to love my enemies. And even though I don’t always understand, I have to trust that He has my best interest in mind. That somehow my loving you will bring Him glory. Because He doesn’t make me feel worthless or dirty. He cares when I’m scared. He cares when I’m lonely. Even when I can’t accept His love, He still gives it. Unconditionally. You took almost everything from me. But there is one thing you can never take. And that’s the fact that I am His child.

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