I am grateful that love is it's own reward. Love is a mighty big word. To love people is to celebrate with them, to forgive them, to believe in them. I love learning. I love my stuff, my guitars, my home, my pets. I love my family, my talents, and my need for love, because it brings me back to people, and to God. Love is it's own reward. If I know this, then forgiveness becomes a prize rather than a pressure. Forgiveness is a gift of grace, not something I can simply be determined to do, but it is a consequence of love. As I "press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God," I realize more and more that Love. Is. It's. Own. Reward. It's worth doing, and being, even if it brings more suffering than success. And God's name and God's nature is love. So to love the Giver more than the gifts He brings is the secret to a life worth cherishing.
Today's word: Trust
Trust that everything will be alright.
Trust that for as many people who seem to be against you, twice as many are for you.
Trust that you have what it takes to accomplish great things in this life.
Trust that if you don't accomplish great things in everyone else's eyes you still matter. Take another breath....that's great. That's life.
Trust that a power greater than yourself has everything under control- and His name and His nature is Love.
Trust .... do you have one to share? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
You are salt. You are light.
Love to all....
So you know what’s crazy? Lately I actually feel myself deciding how I will change, and am changing, and how I will not. Life has happened with gale force, and it does not ever get to be the same again. I could let this toughen me, make me stone. I am stronger, for sure, but it seems like I have choices every day, almost every hour sometimes, as to what my heart will keep.
I am going to keep trust. I refuse to become the person who is afraid at every turn of being betrayed, abandoned, or let down.
I am going to keep compassion and empathy. So much love and grace have swirled around me and embraced me like a tangibly intangible Spirit-hug. I want to be the kind of friend my friends have been to me.
I am going to keep my song. Music has come alive to me and in me again, like air setting me in motion when I thought I was paralyzed for good. And I’ve learned to dance! I’m not that great, but it sure feels good. When I was a child and "I prayed the Lord my soul to keep," guess He did. Thank God. Blow up the world, but my heart is indestructible.
Life is good - and I love you.
Here's a song for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6fA35Ved-Y
Never let anyone speak with your voice, not even someone you consider to be a true friend. Don’t let anyone think they know you so well that they can tell everyone what you would say or how you would feel. You could end up with someone else’s foot in your mouth, but it’s your reputation that will be on the line.
Lately I’ve been learning to reach out more, to let people, even friends, get to know me better. I didn’t know I was hiding, but to hear them tell it, I am some kind of mystery. Funny, I feel so exposed and obvious, but self-perceptions are tricky. It’s a little scary opening up. I’m coming out. I need to make an announcement to the whole world....”I’m a... Kim McLean.” That’s it. That’s all I got. Left handed, maybe gifted.
I am shy by nature. But I’m also strong. So I guess that must make me hard to read. I love people. People are fascinating, wonderful, flawed, and funny. I have this secret wish that I could help everyone never to have a broken heart. I may be arrogant in assuming everyone does, or will, and, really, I’m not so sure about that anymore. Some people are just happy. Some people are just mean. (Philosophical breaker just tripped). But I don’t mean to be presumptuous. I just want to play a song or write a piece or find the words that comfort. It’s my thing. Ironically, I’ve been called “aloof” which goes with “mysterious” I suppose. It’s because I watch. I listen. I pay attention as I peek out into the world from my safe cave - and all this gigantic stuff I feel for humanity seems lost in the dark introspection intended to love and heal.
Lately I’ve been learning something about the “Wounded Healer,” the one who wants to help others because she herself feels broken. That’s too much me, I know, but I wrote my own prophecy in a song once called “Unapologetic.” It says, “I am not broken like before, I will apologize no more.” My tragic sensitivities seem to disconnect me when what I want is connection. So, alas, I am learning at last to use FaceBook for myself. It’s really been me talking this time around. Anyway...the true Healer gives from the overflow of her own wholeness. I knew that.
So I guess you could say I don’t know how to market myself very well. When you don’t speak up for yourself, others tell your story. This week, yet again, someone told me something about me that was not me at all. Things I’d never said, things I’ve never felt or done. Words had been put in my mouth. It’s my own fault, but I say that with compassion for myself. I just don't tend to speak up, but I'm learning. Never too late, right? I assume the best of others, so I assume it goes both ways. Watch me. Listen. You hear my story in the songs. The narrative I am creating may not be glamorous, but I do the best I can. I probably study too much. I pray alot, play alot, say the wrong thing alot, and don’t smile nearly enough. I devote my life to small causes, but I dream big. I am real, nothing fake, if you want to take a closer look. Not a marketable trait, but who cares. Just know that I love ya. That’s all I got.
I titled this photo: Are You Mad? wait...what?!
I wish I could offer encouragement to everyone hurting or disillusioned or broken or even just stuck in status quo. I find strength in these words from a very famous passage:
“Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”
I guess I always take this to mean I should do these things, as though a person could. Thomas Merton wrote an amazing thing once, in New Seeds I think, that said if I am in the Presence of God, then I AM love. You can’t DO love; you can BE love. Cool thought. I carry it around in my heart-pocket. I take it to mean that if we are being the humans we are created to be, in God’s image, then love happens.
Today though, these verses hit me another way. Personified love. Love is talking to me, telling me it will be patient with me in my failing, kind to me in my weakness, and bear my pain with me. And love will celebrate life with me. I think it hit me this week because of a song I’ve got in heavy rotation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwB9EMpW8eY . It’s called Stand By You by Rachel Platten. A friend shared it with me, then I shared it with my son as a mother/son promise, and now I’m sharing it with you. But when I hear it, I feel like Love is talking to me, and everything will be alright. And it will be.
I knew there was evil. I knew there was good. I just didn’t know how much of it blasted through people in one form or another pretty much all the time. One or the other. Narrow it down. I knew people were capable of astounding good, unimaginable acts of kindness, self-sacrifice, and humane compassion that is as Christ-like as Jesus himself. I also knew about Hitler, Stalin, Scrooge, and the Boogy-man....but I underestimated the power of darkness when it somehow gains access to shiny people. Regular every day non-history making foul play of the soul destroys the beauty of humanity one petty move at a time. Who knew? Who knew so many people would buy into it? You know, bullies have a way of gathering an audience of low-self-esteemed soldiers, afraid to shine in their own shadowy schemes, or worse yet, to shine in the light they were born to be. Jealousy may be at the root of most of it, some sort of poisonous hubris. Ego? Power? Narcissism? Fear? I don’t really know. I just know that many many people are quick to call something “demonic” but they scurry into the underbrush when that fury is exposed. And while detached people busy themselves diagnosing the wicked games of the vengeful lost, the innocent are left to fend for themselves. Let's get some backbone and take a stand!
Not to discount the spiritual warfare in it all. I get it. Maybe the devil looks like a red-tailed dragon, or maybe he looks like Al Pacino.
I love Ephesians 6 as much as the next Christian, but I am not the one quick to cite demons at play. I am, rather, becoming more and more aware that people do most of the work before the gremlins can even get their popcorn and find a good seat. Yeah. I think jealousy, un-forgiveness, bitterness, revenge, greed, laziness, bad habits...all of these things do the job of thousand fallen angels.
All of this to say Faith Hope and Love still rule supreme, and when all is said and done, Forgiveness will have the final say. The tragedy is in the time, the joy, and the work wasted in unnecessary suffering when something better was available all along.