Mercy Cuts So Deep

Sometimes I cannot forgive And these days, mercy cuts so deep If the world was how it should be, maybe I could get some sleep

While I lay, I dream we’re better, Scales were gone and faces light When we wake, we hate our brother We still move to hurt each other.

Sometimes I can close my eyes, And all the fear that keeps me silent falls below my heavy breathing, What makes me so badly bent?

We all have a chance to murder We all feel the need for wonder We still want to be reminded that the pain is worth the thunder

-Jars of Clay-

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The spirit of creativity always strikes at quaint times. Like 6:30 in the morning after getting 4 hours of sleep. If the world was how it should be, maybe I could get some sleep…

I considered going back to bed, but was lured into the thought of hot coffee and an hour of quiet, sleeping children. It’s hard to resist the siren call of silence sometimes.

And I can’t shake my thoughts. Pesky, persistent, beautifully haunted thoughts. These thoughts and bittersweet memories are stirring my hibernating emotions. I feel like I cannot control the coming and going of my fervent feelings. All I can do is embrace them when they come, and wait in a semi-stable state until they return unpredictably. I think it’s my brain is going into self-preservation mode to protect from being in a constant, overwhelming state of emotion.

This morning, one thought is staying with me as I reflect on my past and all the pain, hurt, beauty and nostalgic-filled days I have lived through; and it’s this thought that brings me comfort, even when my deadened emotions cannot be jolted back to life. This thought is: I don’t have my life figured out, but that’s okay, God does. That might be a simplistic statement, but it could not be more true.

I think everybody in the history of humanity has fallen into the trap of thinking they have their lives and life itself figured out. Nailed down. Tightly categorized and philosophized. Then life goes sideways. People leave you and hate your guts. You wake up to the fact that you are being abused or abusing others. You lose faith. You find faith. You have everything taken from you physically and emotionally. You stare into the jaws of responsibility and reach inside to find your inner strength but come up empty-handed.

Then you either come to the end of your self-preening and break to be remade by the ever faithful potter, or you keep polishing the outside of your sepulcher, and prolong the inevitable end of oneself.

I won’t pretend that being self-righteous is a one-time thing. I cry when I think of all the self-righteous ugliness inside of me that has spilled over into my marriage, relationships, and daily life. It’s an hourly and even moment-by-moment struggle as a human being, whether you are Christian or not. There’s never a clearly defined line between being humble and being self-righteous and thinking you can tell yourself and others how to live life and predict success, happiness, and salvation.

But this I do know and rely on: even during the darkest nights of my soul and the bleakest times of my life, even when my faith was shredded on the floor and my heart hard and full of hate, He has been my anchor, and He has been my tether. He never breaks, He never lets me go. He is ever-providential and ever-caring.

So, after seasons of self-pride and nights of undoing, I am learning to say with Job.

Then Job answered the LORD, and said,

I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.

Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.

Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.

I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.

Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.