Reject or Project?

 

This is another of my social experiments!

That’s how I used to see what happened if…. The ironing pile grew bigger or diminished    when labelled as a numbered ‘social experiment’,  Another example might be the bowl of uneaten breakfast cereal left on the kitchen work-top. Either you skivvy on and on, picking up all the things that nobody wants to deal with or you let everyone know that you’ve noticed and all you’re doing about it is seeing what they think their role might be when action is required… What were the results of these experiments? The ‘collective consciousness’ (to borrow a phrase from Nicholas Wolterstorff, I think,) of the family was “The experimenter’s tolerance level is less than ours. Do nothing (usually for months, if not years) and she will move the bowl of rotting ‘rice krispies’ herself.” The thing I learn’t from the general body of these experiments was not to do them. The tension and objectionableness of waiting for a positive result wasn’t worth the price it would have cost (me) to have dealt with the ‘test material’ e.g. unwanted cereal, unposted phone bill payment, pile of THEIR-clean-dry-folded-and-ironed- clothes-not-yet-put-conveniently-in-their-drawers-for-THEM etc! To accept that (I am) the skivvy; the person who wants to establish minimum standards and maintain them while nobody else is bothered either way would have been the less painful course of action.

What is this experiment about, then?

I want to explore, and to embrace rejection. ( Like I want to dive, ever again, into deep, clean, cold water, so pure and so uncompromising in its iciness that surviving and breathing through the shock of it consumes every neurone of consciousness) Could this be a project more worthy of pursuit?

What I’m recalling here is that rejection HURTS! Why do it?

Because love travels with the rejected through to wherever that journey leads. Not to is desertion. Ask any soldier or a hero or heroine of your choice. I recommend the story of Naomi and Ruth, off the top of my head. And we have all travelled that route whether we wanted to or not. As the object. The Reject.

Now how does that feel?

Go on recall it. Unrecognised? Misunderstood? Undignified? Have you since thought of what you wish you had said? Restored your pride with a flourish? Better that you didn’t.

This is just a random flow of exploration. I recall a letter I had from a conservation body. An organisation I had catalogued in my mind on the basis of a few random experiences, press releases and so on. They were demigods. I had an interview to work for them. A dream opportunity. You’ve probably guessed! No I didn’t get the job, but instead of thanking me for considering their post a worthwhile way to spend my time over and above raising my 18month old, they sent out letters saying that nobody had been selected for the post because all interviewees had been of such a low standard that they would have to readvertise. Well they failed to reach their objective as much as their interviewees did, then, no?

Ridicule. Age 8 or 9. I’ve seen it happen and experienced the withering scorn; public humiliation of a child because the teacher failed to see the vision as expressed in the work of the child who failed to see the unspecified expectations of the teacher. That is just abuse of power. Milstones round their necks! The millstone? Hewn from self-importance.

Sounding a bit familiar, now. Isaiah 53. I have drunk in some of the verses therein. Tears of relief and grief the chaser. Because whether we beleive in HIM or not, we believe in what he stands for here. The misunderstood, rejected (by fools), noble, worthy, loved and accepted (by Wisdom) one. Why so familiar and so loved until we are the ones who are blind and despise and mistrust? We repay rejection or misunderstanding with the same rejection. We are guilty. We are too small and feeble to accept, to embrace, to resore. By the same token that we did it to the least of one of these, when we fed or clothed or gave them a drink of water, did we not also when we rejected one of his little ones not also reject him? If he has given citizenship to any, who are we to turn them away at the city gates of our hearts, if our hearts are indeed his territory? That is why he had to do it himself, take the rejection so utterly upon himself. Ultimately, in his house, with many rooms, there is a place for all who accept him. We will not have any just objection to their presence!

The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone. Of this same, many roomed mansion?

Was it not so smooth and regular as the other stones? Did it go against the criteria of good stone selection according to the guild of master masons? In accepting how good are we at running with the unfamiliar, the irregular and the non-conforming?

To be rejected is to be at the frontier of redemption. It still HURTS.

This is an ongoing project.

I have listened hungrily to a song by the blessed ‘Rend Collective Experiment’ hoping to have a reality transfusion for some people I love from this truth into their lives, as yet an unanswered prayer;

‘ My Future hangs on this,

you make preciousness from dust,

please don’t stop creating me.’

Are we in our ‘seeing others as dust’ mode or have we seen their unique and stunning preciousness yet?

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Visit To Newcastle

Re: The two things you asked me, Tidge:

Firstly: What was I praying, Sunday night?

I had just spent the whole weekend having a tour of your new life; an ‘open day’ view of Catie in Newcastle. OK, yes, it had it’s glossy aspect; I didn’t have to attend a lecture and do one of your assignments! Nevertheless, we had a taster of the places, the people, the number of things you do, and how often, hearing of the many mornings a week getting up early to go to prayer meetings, amongst other regular slots. It wasn’t hard to imagine the late noisy nights in hall, at the other end of the proverbial candle, as you gigglingly returned the broken table leg to it’s hiding place in the kitchen cupboard. We did muck in with cleaning up  ‘polystudent festidensis’  in the communal area! This experience admittedly being considerably more rewarding, on meeting some of your flatmates, than the Damien Hirst ‘installation’ we viewed earlier in the weekend.

So, by Sunday evening, I felt I’d built in my mind, a well illustrated resume of your first term and a half at university. It was impressive. I compared the wholesomeness of your student life with what mine had been at roughly the same time. There was no comparison. I had a quick ‘fast forward’ impression of both our lives, and of mine since, as obviously, I have a lot more years on record! Suddenly I recognised that I could ask for more potential to be fulfilled and released, in my life. It was the starkness of the contrast, having seen myself at 19 and then you. So I just wanted to have more readiness, higher expectations of myself and life, less worry that I was unworthy, inadequate, rubbish…more grace outworking, more reliance on Jesus and therefore resiliance. I was celebrating all that God has been able to pour into you and through you, all the life that has flowed and all the rhythm that has been swelling the glorious heartbeat of heaven. This probably sounds crazy to you but I don’t know how else to put it into words. I was celebrating and yet suddenly dissatisfied with what I believed to be consequences of my broken and confused eruption from a sense of powerlessness, being passive, having an ignorant acceptance of the inevitable to insecure, somewhat rejected but nevertheless independent existance. I had such a long way to go, didn’t I? And I am glad that God has brought me this far. Yet I believe there is still much more! Life is full and I am very blessed, but during that worship I suddenly wanted to live more! So I placed all that before the cross. The past is dealt with, no more tears over that, at all. What I put before the cross was my whole history as a context, as if it’s a sealed unit. My now also, and myself. ‘Take me all: I want transformation beyond what is humanly possible.’

I have filled out what I actually prayed because when sharing this with another, so much more qualification and explanations seems to need to be given.

As I said when I was summoned by Mark, we sang the line…”my life is in your hands”… I was all the while participating fully in the worship. So I knelt down, because it was like a compassionate..”OK, I hear you,” from the father.

And secondly: What was prophesied over me?

Mark saw an annointing on me, and said he had seen it from the beginning of the evening. He saw the word ‘Deborah’ over me. He saw that there is a ready warrior in me, and related the example of Deborah agreeing to lead the Israelites into battle when a man would not go. So Israel was delivered into the hands of a woman that day. He saw that the specific area that I would stand against was the occult. I would not be alone. He saw it was as if I was walking down a hill and witches and demons were fleeing, and I was surrounded by angels who would protect me. (Quoted about the angels who encamp around the righteous.)

When he said these things I was not too grateful! I didn’t really want to have to go any where near the occult! Such a ready warrior!!! However, I will let it sit in the scales of my spirit and let it be weighed before the Lord. He prayed that whatever was not of the Lord would be forgotten. I think the bit about being a warrior is probably true. I have a spirit that becomes indignant for the things of God, especially his people and especially if I think they are getting spiritual attack…so….

Then I heard from Jenny, (I am grateful that God gave Jenny sight of my broken and softer side). She saw me in God’s hands. (C:) His hands were cupped all around me. The picture became even softer than that. As if I was in a womb, so fully surrounded and in such a place of sanctuary and safety and protection. It speaks into my spirit of acceptance as a wanted child also. Very healing.

So these are your questions answered. I hope that I have explained well to you, especially the first bit, but I fear the first bit will get a bit lost in translation.

The Season of The Word made flesh

Paul’s conversion; is today, Jan 25th traditionally a memorial of that? How the heavenly event is mirrored; Saul, full of venom and legal perfectionism, becomes Paul, subject of mercy and Grace, and so suitable then as an instrument of God’s Salvation to the gentiles.  The Holy Son of God was prepared for the sake of redemption to come and be made flesh in filth and even cursed as he took on sin, separation from the father, death. But He took victory from flesh, sin and death’s grasp for ever. Is now glorified with the Father and has dominion over every authority. The image on his side of the mirror is way bigger than Saul’s!

Ydy, hefyd, Dydd Santes Dwynwen yw e.

And what have I besides these?

I have received this same mercy. Can I imagine it like a robe? I can put it on and walk about in it. Imagine, the same robe of acceptance in the name of Jesus, as worn by the new apostle 20 centuries ago. Available for what price at Christies? Imagine the status, gained from being the one who could reach the top bid!

No need. I can’t buy this robe. It is bought at greater price than any multi billionaire can ever afford. As a fact, it hardly sinks in, but I know it is true and when I give this fact my attention and try to receive it my ‘humbleometer’ goes off the scale. I would probably die or become superhuman before I could comprehend the magnitude of this mercy and grace.

Yet dully perceiving, I’m skipping trying to get my head round it completely and I’m just asking this Holy God to hear these prayers. Just assuming he wants to answer because we’re related. He has become my Dad. I have become his child. (Yet the mind still boggles.)

I have been sorely pushed on the topic of evangelism. Please help me to overcome the accusations and guilt. Please just make it possible somehow for me to do the right thing. In relationship. I’m not an automaton and neither are any of the people I meet who know my belief. I believe God can speak to them in ways that I can’t. I can explain myself to anyone who asks. I cannot ram my faith down the throats of people who don’t want to share any of this ‘bread’ I have. They reckon thay have ‘steak’ and they pity my attempts to show them any banquets of truth and beauty and freedom. So courtesy commands discretion.

And in this context I ask for the salvation of Demitri and his parents. My parents. The Chippy’s parents and all their children and grandchildren. The tetrarch’s brother.

I thank you for the salvation of all the other family close to us and ask for blessing and protection. I thank you for our Esther and ask that all the price in suffering she pays, all the tears and loneliness be recorded. Because you do see and I ask for her name to be honoured in your Honour and her eternal footprint to be followed for generations to come. I trust that your righteousness and promices will be fulfilled in her life and she will have peace and safety because of her fellowship with Jesus.

Please give peace and foresight to the Chippy today. Let his work be good and your grace flow through him to the people he meets. Guard his heart that your life may be ever flowing through him. Give him sustainance in his inner man. Let him not slip or be turned from your ways, in the least detail.

Protect the Cherub with your love. Let no stress be harmful to her at work. Keep her confidence in you resiliant. Lead her in her thinking, please. Let her seek and hear your guidance in all the matters before her. Please Lord hear this prayer. Her life is so precious and You alone know what is best. I call on you for wisdom for her and let her love of you and your love of her shape her thinking and her character every day. Thank you.

This also for the Tidge. Keep her clarity and integrity in a safe place in her heart. Let no false ideas steal her inheritance in you. Let her be refreshed and find joy and peace with you and your people, as she stays close to You and your sources of Grace. Help her sleep and work. Bless her.

Please continue to watch over the Shuster and his path ahead. Let each step be secure in you. Let him lead others into pleasant places, learning from you and finding peace and their purpose. Please guide him in work and into the coming year, teaching him all he needs to know, and how to serve you with integrity. Guard him and protect him. Let him be alert, and trust you for all he will need.

Protect the weak and disenfranchised in our society. Help them not to become bitter so that even blessings are rejected. Let all who have and share, be blessed. Let all who want discover what they have and be blessed. Provide for the lonely what they lack, whether it be confidence to befriend, transport, warmth, interests in common. Take away prejudice in our society, but let each be willing to share with others and Lord, as all the people who know you ask for your Kingdom to come on earth as it is in Heaven, let it make a difference. let good overcome evil, one heart at a time. In Jesus’ name.

All this for Haiti. As with failing to understand Grace, fully, my mind reels at the suffering and the scale of the disaster. I can’t take it into little peices and rationalise. It is too big. God is bigger. Say that to any one of the people suffering from my western armchair. How could I? I do believe he is bigger. How does that translate? I can only pray. Thank Goodness only he can look them in the eye and say he knows and cares. I don’t have to say it on his behalf. It was the same with the Boxing Day tsunami. Thank you God for all the people, powerless and drawing on your power to face the problem and start to pull one person at a time out of the rubble. Thank you for the generosity of the destitute with a tap towards the destitute with no tap….God have mercy, and over to You. oh no..one more thing. Please let the politicians keep their promices. For the people’s sake.

Tomorrow it’s inspection day. Please let it go well. Please guide my decisions here. Thank you for the barn owl. Give him very succesful hunting over the gardens. Help us at HyC tonight, and be honoured in all we do.

Thank you.

10/32

arrow prayers (10/32)

Just bringing people and their constant need for blessing and your care into your light.

Karenina, make safe all plans and hopes for this Chrismas and put your protection and shine your countenance over her and her family. Thank you. Let the expectations for 2010 be fuelled by grace and constant prayer.

Chippy: healing, patience, love, joy and faithfulness. Open his heart, mind and eyes again to the refreshing of your presence and abiding Spirit. Please give him such new encouragement and deep peace, especially at the cottage in the next few days. Let his fatherhood be like a watering place, with homecoming and resting and celebration under fruit trees. let the camp be blessed with stories and fellowship that strengthen and lengthen the bonds within the family. Not yet is the season of fall. Let the summer be long!

The Cherub: Stacks of praise like riches in the hold. The big fleet full of treasures bound for your Kingdom is preparing for the journey. The accoustics of song and joy drown out the sound of the pounding waves: The waves will be harnessed to carry the ships and the sun in the  wind-filled sails is dazzling. The emblems of Righteousness and Humility inspire the crew. Blessing; blessing and hope and promice take them and love hold them on course. Be delighted, O Lord.

The Tidge: Thank you for the fellowship and trust in you that we share and the frequent wanderings together with you. Let it be a fruitful walk as indeed the buds and flowers have already held through some storms. Protect what you are doing and the fruit of each season. High yield for your glory, please. I will soon have the chance to hold her myself but even with one day to go, I ask for your arms to be about her always. Grace and the beauty of truth and holiness infuse her life to fullness! Thankyou.

Mary and Beloved: Seal all your promices into their hearts, to awaken the soul as the mind lets its proud guard drop. Prepare for the banquet when the ungrateful invitees have refused, bring in the hungry. Let the hunger bite! You alone can do good. You alone can make humble. yet she stands and knows she is already in the reception. Give her assurance and comfort. Her gratitude is precious to you. I lay all my ignorance down as I ask for your love and salvation to be fulfilled in them.

Onyx: Give her safe travels and use all she offers to you to bring blessing and glory to you. Protect and guide. Return refreshed. Help in the areas where she and others struggle with each other. So no blockages can clog up the flow of your Spirit of fellowship.

Joe T Shuster: Happy times and learning combine to refresh and bring joy in his family and his future life as your man. Discernment and passion balance to make all he does for you like the Sword of the Holy Spirit..with you not just for you, dividing between bone and marrow. Effective and loving in ministry and leadership.  Protect from distraction and strengthen in confidence in all you are in him. Let him lean on you always and never be deceived by the empty praise and kisses of jealous enemies. Thank you.

Esther, cara, Timothy, The tetrarch’s brother: Bring your mercy in healing and glory amongst them. Surround with your gentle hand of guidance. Thank you for hearing the believers’ prayers. Sustain them all with the power of your mighty Word. Let no accident or attacks of the enemy break through the shield of their faith. Your promises make this ‘Yes’ in Christ. So lead them on and lead them out onto the highway of your will. Let them walk in the light of your blessing always and know your wing of protection is over them. Let perfect love dwell amongst them giving no permission for fears to overtake. You are God. Let all be still until this is acknowledged if storms arise. Let the Emmanuel Christ be at the head of their home, watching them going out and seeing them safe at their return.

Other names I only have time to lift up before you: Marianne, Louisa and Polly and parents. Demitri: not forgotten but have neglected to ask again: outragous request that he grows to be a great man of god. Why not? Much thanks for all the wonders of your perfect work and perfect timing. Matthew, Tony and Gabi, Andy, Sorrell and family, The Taunton Raikeses altogether. The Emerys. Much to say thanks for here. keep on with so much answered prayer. If I’m not specific I won’t have set targets to check if they’ve been met!! However, they are in your care and this is all I desire to pray into. Your targets are so much higher than mine! Please amaze us at what you will do!

Right, I must go…so much to do. This is it till I don’t know when. Please cover everything and protect us all and let the world know your Love is here. The favour and salvation is all available now and we will celebrate his coming in the coming days. Let love prevail and wisdom be heard. Especially where it will produce results. Renew the minds of the people. Let them go and hear the truth preached. Let hearts be opened to you and minds seek your truth. I pray for the world..as an atom in the lip of a flea has some role in the life of the herd of Wildebeasts that roam the savanna….only less so. You however are God. Tis enough!