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Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal
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« wrecks, rainbows & reality | Main | stress and prayer »

do not cling

Lately I have been aware of places in my soul in deep need of grace. I shared some of those places and thoughts with some friends the other night. One precious new friend beseeched me to be gentle and find grace for myself. She said she would pray for me to find that grace. 

It has not even been 24 hours since then and already Jesus is answering. 

This harshness arises from the inner Pharisee (or critic) who stands in judgment of me. Her god is perfection. And when I don’t measure up, she swiftly pounds the gavel. She has relied on performance and approval to get by and to survive. She is hungry for grace but doesn’t know it all that well. 

For some time, in fact for seven years, I have judged our time in Honduras as a failure. Failure is a harsh word. The posture of the critic is even harsher. My eyes are coming unveiled to see what a tragedy it is to view it that way. It arises from an arrogant idea that I know what is best and God does not. I have judged His plan, doubted His care for orphans, and floundered under comparison of our journey with others. 

In reality, I am clinging to an idea of how I wanted things to work. I wanted to stay with those children and see them through graduation from high school. I hoped to never inflict upon them pain and loss. I wanted to keep living the dream of caring for them and fulfilling our calling as I understood it.  

After Jesus had died and was buried, the disciples stood around in the garden for a while. Then they went home. All but Mary. She cried as she stood there, and then went over and peeked in the tomb. She found it empty. She thought she saw the gardener and through teary eyes begged him to tell her where they had put Jesus’ body. When Jesus said her name, “Mary!” her eyes opened and she saw Jesus standing before her. ALIVE! 

He said to her, “Do not cling to me. Go to the brothers and tell them I have ascended to the Father.”

In that moment she transformed from a clingy, fearful, grieving woman to the first apostle to carry the good news on this earth. She let go of the reality she had wanted. Jesus is back. He is alive. Things can go back to the way they were. She grabbed hold of the future as Jesus set forth. “Go!” 

My hands are open. My arms are wide for the Pharisee to come in and receive warmth and grace. My eyes are on the horizon to see the path open wide before me.



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