Friday, August 31, 2007

What Scares Me

Old Line

Five O’Clock People

Maybe you’ll never know why

I stare off into silence sometimes.

Maybe you’ll never see,

Maybe that’s what scares me.

I’m afraid of the times

When my honesty becomes unkind

I’ll learn to justify the words that my actions deny

It’s the same old line.

If it makes you happy

I’ll say that I’m fine.

It’s the same old line

Look in my eyes and I’ll lie every time.

The more that I try to explain

Only the questions remain

Take these words that I say and wash them all away

It’s the same old line.

If it makes you happy

I’ll say that I’m fine.

It’s the same old line

Look in my eyes and I’ll lie every time.

Maybe you’ll never see,

Maybe you’ll never see,

Maybe that’s what scares me.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Instant Gratification

This morning on my way for my morning cup of coffee I noticed an open box of Lindt chocolate. I have never been one to pass up an unattended open box of chocolates- so I took a tiny little sliver of this seemingly decadent rich chocolate and popped it in my watering mouth. To my surprise my expectant taste buds were met not with a smooth sensual 'party in the mouth' but a powdery, thick, chalky and overall disgusting sensation of pure unsweetened cocoa. Since it dissolved so quickly, I had to experience this feeling of dirt crammed down my oesophagus. I marched into the room of the owner of the chocolate and demanded an explanation...

I like my chocolate to be instantaneously gratifying. I don't care about the health benefits of that disgusting chocolate, nor does it matter that its what all those skinny people in France enjoy. No, I want to shove it into my mouth and have it taste good now.

I never liked Target stores for one reason. When you wanted to return an item, the customer care system involved taking a number. I HATE TAKING NUMBERS! I would rather stand in a line and wait with the others in full view of how much longer I have. Maybe its the logic of the insane, but since I can see the woman with her cart stuffed with things to return and the man with only a blender to take back, I can somehow prepare myself for the wait. But if you tell me to take a number and to take a seat I somehow can't tell how long I must wait. I can't nudge the slowpoke to take the next teller. I must just be patient.

Telling me to be patient rips my insides like vulture ripping open its prey. It hurts. Because I am working on it. I try breathing. I try focusing on something else. I try to practice my 'stop him with a single glance' smile. But I like instant gratification too much if I am perfectly honest and so I'll lose the patience I once claimed...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Seeking Truth

Step away. Keep your distance I can’t be what you want me to be. Right now there are things inside I don’t want you to see. So take your personal spotlight, shine it on someone else for awhile I can’t force a happy face and make sure it makes you smile. I can’t deny what I see or what I feel or what’s in front of me. So take your world of precious moments of make-believe that never made me believe in anything and left me with nothing to hold onto. Your quick fix and magic tricks can only disguised what I was going through. Now I am thinking it was, when it wasn’t. And now I am trying to rationalise what doesn’t come together and somehow doesn’t make sense. But, how can I convince them if I’m not even convinced? Everyone’s thinking it but no one is saying it, everyone’s saying it but no one is feeling it. Everyone’s feeling it but nobody’s seeing it so tell me how am I supposed to know what’s real?

~John Rueben

My sister is constantly looking for her shoes. No matter where she puts them, they somehow get separated by the shoe-stealing-monster that lives in our house. She’s not the only one either—my mom is forever searching for her keys. Even when put away, these keys grow legs and party around the house-never to be found again. It’s ridiculous but true. Everyone is always searching for something. Me, I searched for truth. And I found it when I found Jesus.

When you listen to the radio, you hear people lamenting over lost love and forgotten friends. The majority of the songs on the radio are dark, depressing and mournful. Dudes are rocking out singing words like these ones, “How am I supposed to know what’s real?” The emptiness that echo in the lyrics to that song resonate so deeply. My generation is searching for real truth.

Personal truth, sexual truth, spiritual truth- these are the topics you find inside the glossy magazines targeted at the 20-somethings. "How to be happy and fufilled" "how to find your own personal truth." We are told to look inside ourselves or to find fufilment through meditation. Some turn to their own personal power through Wicca, Buddism or Kabala and others to the media-fed new-aged mish mash of the three and yet they all have turned up empty. Obviously, 'Personal Power' is not an authentic truth- if it were they would not still be aching for authenticity.

I have a good friend who loves song lyrics. She searches them for bits to use in daily conversation and to justify her complex and confused spirit. One band said it best, "It's the wrongs that make the words come to life." Its the evils her personal life that make their lyrics authentic. But The Truth isn’t found in the lyrics of Metallica. Or Fall Out Boy.

Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life.” Jesus IS the truth. The Truth was nailed to the cross as payment for your sins—for my sins. The Truth defeated death and lives. When you find Jesus, you find the Truth. Its off your shoulders, no more searching, no more looking. Its right there. Its a solid truth- its not going to change with the newest passing fad.

This A.W. Tozer was quoted, “Without the way there is no going. Without the truth there is no knowing. Without the life there is no living.” Meaning without Jesus you have nothing worth anything. So seek the Truth. Seek Life. Seek Jesus- and find fufillment.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Elderly Lady in the Front Pew

I went to a church once- it was a dry, boring, dull baptist church. I was so bored I counted the tiles on the wall, the elderly people with grey hair versus those with obviously coloured treated hair and I even tried to attract the attention of the gentleman across the aisle. The service was nearing a close and the congregation rose to sing. One lady caught my eye. She must have been nearing 90 years old- and was barely able to stand.Her physical appearance was repulsive-soiled and tattered clothes, blotchy bruised skin and no teeth.

I struggled through this haunting sight. It kept me awake, she captured my thoughts and became the warden of my imagination. These are the first words I've written about her. In her repulsiveness I saw her beauty.

The Elderly Lady in the Front Pew

Crumpled twisted hands

Pained fingers straightened

Age spots; torn spots

Lifted in praise

Blue swollen neck veins convulsing

Bulging eyes masked by transparent eyelids closed

Withered; weathered

Teetering on unstable legs-

Captivated in exaltation

A scarred face watching-


Stagnant bruises fester

‘Glorification unravelled…

Grace stained’ meets beauty .

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hurry Up... and Wait...

I am waiting for a lot. At least that is what I tell myself. I am waiting for the kettle to boil. For my computer to stop being in its semi-broken state. I am waiting for my ID book so that I can actually drive the car I bought and stop relying on other people to get where I want to go. I wait to hear news of when my friends are arriving in town so that I can plan the amazingly awesome things we are going to do. I am waiting for next year so that I can actually study something I want to! I am waiting for deeper things too. Like immense God-given compassion for people… it always seems to elude my grasp. I am waiting for Jesus to finish the massive repair work He’s working on inside me. I am waiting for the day when I don’t think of what an idiot I was and is and the stupid mistakes I committed and commit-I guess I am waiting for the day when the extent of God’s Grace truly hits home.

I was reading through Hosea today and I stumbled upon a verse I had underlined eons ago. (jumping on a tangent) What I thought was interesting was that Hosea is drawing a comparison between Israel and the man the nation was named after (also referred to as Jacob). Jacob had his moments of being an idiot. He was greedy and conniving. He was exiled. However even though he was not perfect, he had an eagerness and thirst to meet and be blessed by God which allowed him to “wrestle with God” and gain the huge blessing from Him. So although Jacob was exiled (as Israel would) he came back with God’s blessing (BONUS!). I guess Hosea is suggesting that Israel would too. Then, enter amazing verse of amazing applicableness to my life…. “But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice and wait for your God always.” {Hosea 12vs6} Wait for your God always...

I think that I am ready to do a lot of things. I really do. I really think I do anyway. My parents have encouraged me to focus on getting married, even asking me the hypothetical question or two. And I think I might be ready for that. But life has a funny way of roadblocking my plans and I am seeing that my life plans are only a huge matter of timing. And I have to wait. Waiting is tough. It takes commitment, perserverance and faith that it will somehow work out...

But I'll wait. And I'll wait. And when all these things come into fruition it'll all be worth the time spent in preparation. Now if you will please excuse me the kettle boiled and I have to go hurry up and wait...


I am an ex-creature of the commonplace. By my very nature I do not like change. I resist and persist and will utterly refuse any type of alteration of routine. Yet, 3 years ago I was uprooted from my comfortable surburbian lifestyle in the United States and seemingly dumped in South Africa.To say the least my life drastically changed; no more 24 hour shops, or drive thru coffee shops. No more familiar faces, familiar cultures, familar languages... No more. And I resisted.

But I've adapted, as people tend to do- and began to desire change. I want to live, breathe and experience life to the fullest. Jesus once said, The thief comes to kill and destroy, but I have come so that you may have life and have it to the full (John 10:10). It's that fullness of life eternal that I look forward to...