Friday, July 31, 2015

If we risk...

Dear God,
This is Kelley.

We're thinking about stewardship again, Lord...
Here I stand before You, my Savior
Here I stand, and, yes, I know
All I have and am is from You
My life, my self, all I have I owe.
And this the avenue You have chosen
This church, my parish, where I am called to be
I am called to give, to support, to grow, and
I am called to stretch the bounds of me.
May we rise to the occasion, Lord, and realize that it is precisely this decision in which You will work wonders within us ... if we risk. May we stretch ourselves up to You. May we realize our security lies in You. May we know this isn't about our church, its finances, or who's asking. This is about You and each of us. It is personal, intimate, and absolutely crammed with potential for adventure with You!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Morning comes...

Dear God,
This is Kelley.

I fall apart so easily, Lord. One sentence from another can break my strength, fasten itself to one of my insecurities, and eat away. Feeling taken advantage of, not valued by another, not seen for what I so want to be true about me -- that hurts. And I want to react in anger, pull away, toss my efforts into the trash and find another place to give. I rail to You; I rail at You. I question all my beliefs. I let it get in and question me until everything falls into messy pieces, and I have no idea what to do with it, so I go to bed and try to rest. I leave it at Your feet, kicking it a bit as I walk away...

And morning comes.

And so comes Your command:  Write Exodus. Write poetry. Do your jobs as best you can. Keep your eyes low. Don't expect. Don't work it out. Trust.

And I pray morning prayer...
The Spirit of the Lord renews...
I have been sustained by you ever since I was born...
The Lord is my strength and my refuge...
 And then the words of my favorite prayer...
Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to you, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated unto you; and then use us, we pray you, as you will, and always to your glory and the welfare of your people; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
And I accept the grace You hand to me. I get up, knowing I carry You within me, and begin my day.

Thank You, O Lord!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Trust

Dear God,
This is Kelley.

The Bible isn't big on women, Lord. They are given, traded, blamed, threatened, and You don't seem to care much to correct the perception. When You came, yes, You had women around You, but Your words, at least the words we've been raised to know and memorize, don't correct or even point at any of these condescensions. Much like the gay issue, You bypassed it.

I don't know why. But I do know this -- when I've come at You with guns blazing, ready to accuse You, ready to throw You off as some misogynistic arrogant ruler, I end up placated. My weapons always end up on the ground. I stand before You, knowing better, knowing You, and I shrug my shoulders as to why things are as they are, but I trust there's a reason. You're working this out. And the women and girls who are treated badly because of this misinterpretation, I feel and think they'd be treated just as badly or worse without it.

The world still seems to revolve around the white male. I know plenty of men, however, who wish they had just a fraction of the influence this truism refers to! But, seeing how You are, Lord, I think they should be glad they don't. There's something about that kind of influence, that kind of power that just isn't right.

Your kind of power is right. It is quiet. It is underground. It is fierce. I have it. All those who try to know You and love You have it. We all learn as we go along each day how to unearth it and wield it well.

Emerson said it best:
All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

You, Lord, and our feelings

Dear God,
This is Kelley.

It's odd, Lord, our feelings. They rise and fall, twist and turn; they control some of us but are ignored by others. Some of us use them to make decisions. Some put reason in the decisive seat, reason alone. How often do You work to affect our feelings? How often does Your Spirit reach down and poke at our emotions, to get our attention, to influence, to nudge, to caution?

I'm in Chicago with my daughter. Our feelings tap off one another like bumper cars, sometimes sliding quickly and jerkily. We're so connected at once and then we're off, out on our own, taken with feelings the other isn't even aware of.

I don't like that -- my daughter having feelings I'm not privy to. But, that is life, yes, Lord? It is growing up, for her. It is kind of a cutting off, for me. It is what I raised her to do, at first awkwardly, but now quite confidently, reading, interpreting, acting on her feelings. Now she's bumping them off others, some I know, some I don't know, deciding what will and won't effect her decisions.

I remind myself You are present in those feelings of hers, just as You are in mine. Operative. Alive. Speaking. Moving. Guiding. Teach her, Lord. Bend her ear to You and how You move. She walks on holy ground, unawares sometimes. We all do.