Monday, October 26, 2020

My Heart is Broken

 My Heart is Broken

Jesus announced His ministry with the act of reading Isaiah 61, which includes, “…He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted…”. 

From the first breath, His first sermon, the first moment of controversy ~ Jesus is about healing the brokenhearted. Hearts broken by betrayal, ignorance, fear, sinfulness, and yes, even broken by misplaced religious conviction. And perhaps especially, by religious conviction.

We’ve all lived through more heart break than most of us would like to rehearse. We all have our stories. We all know the crushing sense of, “what the living hell just happened?” Some of us have diaries filled with our tear filled curses and secret weeping about, “WHAT THE…?!”

Betrayal sneaks up on us and hides in our sweet ideals of us always trusting, always relying, always believing. A broken heart begins with “knowing” but it ends with, “WHAT THE …?!”

So here’s my deal: after 48 years of ministry, staying the course, holding my values to a singular calling, shaking hands with a few political kings, and being courted by the same…my heart is broken. 

I felt it coming when I was asked to pray at a political rally in 2004 IF I gave my church mailing address list to that Party, but I refused to sell my prayer. I knew then, but I didn’t want to accept it. I wanted to believe, I longed to trust, and I was determined to win any opponents. 

By the way, I attended the aforementioned political rally and heard my replacement pray, in the presence of hundreds of people, and in the ears of a future “king”; but I knew the cost of what that prayer was for me. A cost beyond my heart.

So began my final lap around a race to remain true to my heart. My heart belongs to One, and I discovered the heart-breaking reality that my heart is not for sale. 

So in 2016, when nearly all of my spiritual family began to rally around Donald Trump as the prophesied Isaiah 45 Cyrus, I was nervous. I held my thoughts tight…I measured my words…I tried to protect my heart.

I thought that this moment would pass. I hoped that my spiritual family would arrive at something more measured, more insightful, and more fully aware of how our hearts could be captured by an image of our ideals wrapped around hidden illegitimate purposes. 

All hearts reach for dreams…yet, that’s where illegitimate sales people arrive with a sales pitch. 

For a moment, I need to reinforce my beginnings. My mom was healed at the hands and healing of a man who ended up in a tragic failure of his own fraud. I’m forever grateful for that miracle but I am also forever aware of that man’s frailty. It reminds me to stay true to my heart.

I came to a revelation of my current Kingdom convictions from a man whose back-stage realities were tragically reprehensible. While I remain grateful for the Kingdom this man revealed to me, I am also painfully aware of his betrayal. It again reminds me to stay true to my heart.

Now, an entire movement, committed to the Kingdom I deeply treasure, this movement now boldly and openly endorses President Trump as the *only* Christian choice, the *only* valid vote, and the *only* opportunity to save the USA. I have thought, I have hoped, I have believed…however…now, again… My heart is broken.  

I KNOW that Jesus will again heal my broken-heart as He has before. Every time my heart is healed, I become a better human. And I KNOW Jesus will remain the only power worthy of my heart and create a new heart for a better day. 

I am concerned that an entire generation watching this crisis will doubt the veracity and credibility of a church whose endorsement of President Trump sounds more like a confession of faith than a simple choice on a ballot. 

I am concerned that the gospel too often sounds like, “Receive Jesus, be baptized, and accept His choice of the Republican Party, and you shall be saved.” 

An entire generation has headed for the exits at that sound…and their hearts, and mine, are broken. 

My hope is that ultimately, this might just be the Good News in this broken hearted moment. Jesus patiently waits to bind up the brokenhearted who long for MUCH BETTER DAYS.

Monday, October 05, 2020

Racism: A Life Without Love To it or Through it

 Racism ~ 

It's a life without love TO it or through it. 

An aberration of a human being but not a human present.

A tree without branches.

A mountain lost in a larger valley.

A car with 3 wheels roaring down a highway at high speed.

A flower with no peddles.

A wedding without a bride.

A house with no doors.

A street with no intersections.

A train straining to reach full speed with no tracks beneath its enormous weight.

An orchestra on stage sans the musicians.

A song without a melody and missing a cadence.

We can live without love just as we could live without sleep...and we slowly become ghosts of exhaustion.

Why do we even bother to look at the extremists who shout? Because we can not help but stare...rubber necking at the view as our instincts shouts, "Beware! Be aware!" Or worse yet, "Could this be me?"

We watch and wonder, "Why?" and, "When will this crash?" 

And we suddenly know that any life without LOVE always fades into fear...fear of the other. 

We watch and wonder, "Is there any lack of significant LOVE in full blown within my own experience?"

Racism dies, line by line, the instant authentic Love begins its unfailing ferment within our soul.