Thursday, January 28, 2010

just from Jesus simply taking

I babysat a 3-year-old boy on Tuesday. He slept most of the time, but at one point he began to cry out. I went into his room and sat on the edge of the bed.
"What's wrong, Cesario?"
He just kept crying. I rubbed his back and asked again, "What is it, buddy?"
Then he stretched out his arms to me and said, "Uppy." I lifted him up and he completely melded into me, without hesitation, his head on my shoulder and his arms on either side of me. He just lay there, and I began to sway. I hummed the only song I could think of: "Nothing But the Blood of Jesus."

As I rocked this little boy in my arms, whom I held so close to my chest, I thought about how completely safe he felt. He was completely dependent on me. Maybe he'd had a bad dream, or maybe he'd just opened his eyes and been afraid of the dark and quiet. Whatever it was, while he was by himself, he was scared. But in my arms, he could rest, because it wasn't up to him. I was there. Cesario trusted me with his entire well-being, which allowed him utter rest.

What would it look like to be like a 3-year-old child in Jesus' arms? What would it be like to trust Him so much, that all fears and worries completely disappear in His presence, and we realize, "He's here. It's okay now"? What would it look like to rest in Jesus? I want to know that complete lack of fear that comes with trusting in the Lord. I want to rest in Him.
"Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders." (Deuteronomy 33:12)
I asked Cesario, "Are you ready to lay back down?"
There was a pause before his little brown-haired head shook "no" against my cheek. I didn't expect him to think about it, then say, "Why, yes, I suppose that is sufficient. I'll lay back down now." And, in fact, I preferred he wasn't ready. I wanted him to feel safe forever.
Thursday, January 14, 2010


I think about quite a few things throughout my day. Never mind that I have 7 classes, meetings, an internship, and global warming to think about. These are a few things that have been on my mind the past few days:

Socks. My parents bought me a bunch of socks in August. The company's called "Wigwam" and has a huge sale every six months in Sheboygan. I wear a pair of these socks, thick orange ones that reach my ankle, when I go to bed, because when my feet are cold I can't fall asleep. I call them my "bed socks." On night I forgot to put on my bed socks, and I wore these brown socks (still Wigwam) with cream-colored argyle on them to bed. The next morning I didn't think about changing them (because they weren't my bed socks!) and I ended up wearing brown socks with my black dress pants. They were a distraction to me all throughout church.
"And Jesus gives us hope...."
My socks don't match.
"...not just for eternity...."
"...but also for right here on earth...."
My socks are not matching RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE!

Tea. I know I should be more refined, and rave about Tazo or some Indian tea with herbs, but my favorite tea is Bigelow's Lemon Lift. I tried Chamomile tea yesterday, and the very smell made me uncomfortable. Not to mention the color is reminiscent of what you find in the snow after a very hydrated dog has passed by. Drinking Lemon Lift is like drinking sunshine that spreads throughout your body and shoots out your fingertips and toetips, like in Beauty and the Beast when the Beast is transformed back into a prince. (And a very unattractive one at that. But looks aren't everything. He was rich, too.)

Jesus/The Lord of the Rings. I think about TLotR a lot. My mother scolded me as we watched the trilogy over break when I kept quoting things before they were said.
"'Do not trust to hope."'
"Do not trust to hope."
"'It has forsaken these lands.'"
"It has forsaken these lands."
Like a good eight-year-old I resorted to silently mouthing the words. Like a good mother she could hear my lips smacking and knew I was trying to get away with it.
My point is, I have these movies memorized, and they come back to me all the time - sometimes applicably. This morning I thought about struggling, and how much I have been struggling the past few months with the same problem. I get so frustrated with myself, because why can't I just be done with it? Like when Frodo's laying on the mountain at the very end, and he tells Sam, "There's nothing, no veil between me and the ring of fire!" (To which my dad starts singing, "I fell into a burning ring of fire..." Kind of a mood ruiner.) And Sam says, "Then let us be rid of it, once and for all!" Sometimes I think, "Let me be RID of IT!" I think about Smeagol's argument with Gollum, and how, when Gollum finally left, Smeagol bounced around shouting, "Smeagol is FREE!" How much I would love to raise my arms in victory and say, "I'm FREE!"
But. The third or fourth time I saw The Return of the King in theaters (I'm telling you, I'm a maniac), just as Frodo is standing on the edge of Mount Doom with the Ring, the woman behind me said in aggravation, "What are you waiting for?" Then Sam shouts at Frodo, "What are you waiting for?" And Frodo, who has been completely taken over by the thing, slips it on his finger, saying, "The Ring is mine."
I have this burden, this sin, this hurt, this desire, whatever it is, in ring-form hanging around my neck. And I want so badly to "cast it into the fiery chasm from whence it came," but I also don't want to let it go. I want to be rid of it, I want to be free, and the audience is shouting, "What are you waiting for?" Why can't I just let go? What hold does it have over me? How can I still be holding onto something so destructive, so oppressive, so hurtful?
Sometimes I wish someone could rip it from me, just take it and throw it away. I often wondered why Elrond didn't just push Isildur in the fire himself when he had the chance. Or Sam could've pushed Frodo in. Or someone could've pushed someone into something JUST TO END IT ALL.
But Frodo had to do it. It was his burden. No one could've done it for him. But you know what I love about that? He had people with him, beside him, for him. In Sam, who carried him up the mountain. In Galadriel, who appeared to him in a vision and offered him a hand to lift himself up. In Aragorn, who fought battles to protect Frodo and enable him to succeed.
And you know what? Frodo did succeed. Gollum had to bite off his finger, and he was almost swallowed by lava, but in the end, he's rid of it. In his own words, "It's done. It's over."

Wow. What does this mean? Did you even read all that? Sometimes analogies make situations really clear and understandable to me...but they don't make dealing with the situation any easier. If anyone had told Frodo, "Hey, bearing the One Ring is kind of like..." I'm not sure he would've said, "Oh, in that case - TOSS - all done. Who's hungry?"

I just want to keep all my fingers.

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