“You cannot find the way of the Cross. Jesus must lead you there…” Martin Luther

mountains nature arrow guide

Photo by Jens Johnsson

Oswald Chambers says “The Cross of Jesus Christ was the greatest and most profound collision of God and Sin”. In my sixty-three years of life I am still often astounded how I cannot grasp all that The Cross of Jesus means to those who choose to follow him. For you see it is a choice. Jesus never pushes himself on people because He knows that to be his follower there will be a cost.

In Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book, Meditations on The Cross, I found myself pierced in the heart at my lack of true discipleship. Oh, make no mistake I am a born again child of God, regenerated and adopted into the family of God through Jesus’ blood shed for me however, having knowledge of that and thoughts and plans of my own on how that should go and how that should look I am learning to abandon.

In Bonhoeffer’s book he quotes Martin Luther and this quote absolutely “gutted” my spirit and has also transformed my idea of what following and obeying Christ means…I really don’t have the words to express what I have realized.

The Martin Luther quote, “things must happen not according to your own knowledge but rather immerse yourself in the abandonment of understanding and Jesus will give you true understanding. You cannot find the way of the cross. Jesus must lead you there like a blind person. Not the work you chose for yourself, not the sufferings you think up for yourself, but what comes to you contrary to your choosing, thinking, desiring, that is where you must follow, there He is calling. There you are the pupil, there is where your teacher, your Savior has come and is found.”

“So, this Great Collision between God and Sin, this collision absorbed by the heart of God is what the Cross of Jesus is. The world shook, the foundation of hell and death were defeated forever.”  Oswald Chambers

 

What the Cross is NOT is an act of martyrdom, in the sense that there is no “defeat” on Jesus’ cross. Only victory with the greatest price paid that eternity past, present, and future has ever known. The Cross is the central event in time and eternity, and the answer to all the questions of both. Nor is the Cross of Jesus something that “happened” to Jesus. He came for this exact purpose when he made His covenant between the three persons of the Godhead to become flesh and dwell among us.

Oswald Chambers says, “The Cross of Jesus is not “a” gift from God rather it is THE Gift from God! The Cross of Jesus is the literal act of God’s Holy judgment on Sin.”  Most Christians are familiar with these words but I tell you when I pondered on Martin Luther’s quote above regarding Jesus leading me like a blind person to His Cross, bearing my own cross of sin, selfishness, and vain knowledge I was undone!

In an ongoing study but now a  conclusion to this small putting together of words that cannot satisfy what I am trying to say,  The Cross is not the horrible end of a pious life, but stands rather at the beginning of community with Jesus Christ. Every call of Christ leads to death of self with the promise of eternal life in Him. You cannot know the way of the cross. I cannot make myself a disciple of Christ with my own knowledge, my own pursuits. It is only in following Jesus to His Cross that we will know the “Power of His resurrection” and eternal life. Lift up the mighty shield of faith for there are battles daily in this world but Jesus the God/man Redeemer of all is leading the way!

 

Oh what a Collision of God and Sin, my sin happened on the Cross of Jesus. The Cross of God. Oh my soul rejoice for the Joy of my Salvation has been restored!

 

(Credit to Oswald Chambers and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther, and the Holy Bible.)

 

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The Lover of My Soul…a tribute to my sweet Mother who has gone to be with the Lord…this is what she taught me all of my life…I love you Mom and will see you again in God’s perfect timing…

 

cross-sunset-sunrise-hill-70847.jpeg

Photo by Pixabay

I lift my eyes
from all that is broken
from the ashes of idols
from lies that are spoken

I lift my eyes 
from this earthen vessel
from unanswered questions
from the unfulfilling morsels

I lift my eyes
the window of my soul
to the heaven’s Creator
to The One who has control

I lift my eyes
where my Faith will be made sight
at His appearing I will see
The Defender and Lover of my soul
has His eyes on me

I dance on the ledge that is way too high…

woman standing by one foot and holding flare stick near trees

Photo by Wellington Cunhao

When I wanted to dance on that ledge that was way to high

when I was a foolish naive woman child

You did not judge me rather you told me to try

when the summer storm cleared the sky I cried

 

I cried because I made mistakes and had deep wounds to show

I cried because I grieved the things that had ravaged my soul

I cried because I am grateful that you never let me go

You said whenever you are ready I will take you home…

and never more will you cry…

 

I still dance on high ledges because life is a thrill

I cherish my wisdom and my fine woman skills

I gladly now bow to you my Lord and King

So whenever you are ready my heart will take wing…

and I will be home with you…

 

The Lillies of the field sing for me

The waves of the sea are my dance

The stars in the heavens are my guiding light

As I dance on the ledge that is way too high!

 

 

 

No Shadows can fall where there is only light

silhouette of person in green grass under the sun during daytime

Photo by Pixabay

 

Standing here under the brightest moon

I sense your presence like a cozy room

I feel your holy antiquity yet you make all things new

and now traveling North is true

 

 

I look over my shoulder at the past

and it is vanquished forever into long lost night

It never was what mattered to you at last

and no shadows can fall where there is only light

 

The Key Hole

antique close up door iron

Photo by Lukasz Dziegel

Peeping through the key hole in someone else’s dream

I thought I saw the answers to the meaning of deep things

There was no life-size rabbit or a balded man named Oz

There was simply Light blazing brighter than the sun

The Son, He is the King with lovers all around him

He cried, “everyone is welcome” but some people would not have him

Then once the door was open the King said, “Please come in”

His loving arms enveloped me can I sing that song again?

 

On either side of Him stood two beings…

silhouette of person s hand touching water during sunset

Photo by Emre Kuzu

His face sparkled like a multi-faceted diamond. A face that blazed like the sun yet different. A pure white light with flashes of blue, silver, and gold. It hurt my eyes so badly to look at Him but I could not, would not turn my face away. I did not care if I went blind. This face is the One I’d been waiting to see all of my life. His face was all I could look at as if in a trance; like when starting a fire in the Old World. Mesmerizing doesn’t begin to describe it. The blaze was so bright that I could not see anything of His other features at all.

On either side of Him stood two beings, they were a coll alabaster white, not bright white, not shining in any way but pure and cool looking. They each stood facing Him never moving their face from His. They did not speak. They were powerful creatures, I could tell, they were strong and sure of their purpose. They were creatures with a human face that I could recognize and at least seven feet tall and had wings that were about six feet tall and four feet in width. Each feather gently folded into the next. Once for just a second I saw their feathers slightly ruffle from top to bottom and could see these were strong wings. Wings that never faltered  when they flew or fought in a battle or stood at attention. I was afraid.

I was so afraid that my legs could no longer hold me. I was eager to kneel down. It felt good to kneel before Him because in the Old World with decaying knee joints I could no longer kneel in His presence. All the while my eyes were burning severely from His brightness. I felt strong in the kneeling as if I, like the two creatures, am created for this very thing.

Then the most incredible thing happened…He knelt down on His knees too and when He did it was the face I knew it would be. His face. The face of softness and kindness. The face of antiquity yet new and fresh. His eyes were not like our eyes. His eyes were not blue, brown, green, or hazel or gray or any of those colors…they were simply Light.

He took his hand and palmed my cheek and spoke to me. The words he spoke I will not share with anyone ever. They were words just between us. Words I had thirsted for since I was formed in my Mother’s womb by my Father’s sinful Adam’s seed. They were words beyond redeeming love, words of My Story with Him, of understanding with healing and further instruction of what is to come. They were words I had never heard spoken before, another language if you will. They were Peace and oh what joy did flood my soul.

At that moment the same blazing light that came from Him entered into me and my eyes no longer burned at all. My sight was inconceivably and brilliantly clear. I belonged there with Him…every “longing” I had ever known in my Eternal Life and even before in the Dead Life stood right there in front of me. Each one of them actually existed before my eyes and each one was finally satiated beyond measure. He smiled at me and pulled me up from my knees and that is when I felt the scars in His hands. Those beautiful wounded hands took mine and we walked among my life, my dreams. As He held my hand in His I knew I would never have to be separated from Him again.

He said, “let’s walk along the place you loved the most in the Old World.”

Gently without fanfare or fear I heard that beautiful love song of waves washing upon the shore. The smell of salt water and life teemed all around me. There was no stench of dead sea life or decay of any kind just the scent of cleanness. The colors of the water was too wonderful for words. Again, I want to keep this precious moment private…this was our beach, just His and mine. We stayed there and looked for shell and other jewels that were of a beauty and colors I have never seen. We waded into the water and even though it was Ocean water we could drink it and it tasted sweet beyond honey. We picked some living anemone flowers and held them and then put them back unscathed into the water. They swam around His feet as if to love on Him. Oh it is a glorious place We sat down in the sand as white and soft as a cloud and we held hands and rested…

 

 

Unencumbered by manipulation…

grayscale photo of the crucifix

Photo by Alem Sánchez

As I prepare my heart during Lent season heading toward the Holy day of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ I keep coming back to the thought of The One in whom I put my trust.

All of us “trust” something or someone, as as a result, we worship the very thing we are trusting.

Dr. Hud McWilliams says, “for a relationship to be authentic, one must realize that a choice has to be unencumbered by manipulation.” (no fear, no rules, and no behavior that merits you favor). “

Looking back on my youth I have come to realize many of my relationships had an element of manipulation or my own agenda in them but now I see that Jesus never manipulated people to engage with or follow him.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:2

God gives us the ability to openly choose Him through Jesus Christ.  No manipulation, no winning a lotto, no position of prosperity or health. So, I remain humbly astounded that my relationship with God can be truly free and without manipulation…

and then I can breathe…

 

air atmosphere blue blue sky

Photo by Skitterphoto

I suddenly wake and can’t see anything

I start throwing my fear around…

I  open the window

I look for the sun for any signs of the spring

and then I can breathe again

I can feel each Holy  breath…

 

I hear my babies laughing

I smell roses drifting on the breeze

Deep inside a sweet voice whispers

what have you to fear?

and then I can breathe

I can feel each Holy breath…

 

At night I gaze up into the heavens

I hear someone call my name

I laugh at the man in the moon

and peace comforts me again

and then I can breathe

I can feel each Holy breath

 

 

 

Exposure

art blur close up colors

Photo by Garon Piceli

I lie down under the burden

      of the courage that I lack

For you to see the sin in me 

      cannot be taken back

It is my greatest fear at times

      you might finally know

The dark and filth I tasted once

      I never want to show

Exposure of who I really am

     could it drive your love away?

After all you’re only human      

     dare I hope that you would stay?

The truth of exposure that I fear

     is a mystery not of loss

But a debt that is fully paid

    willingly hung upon a Cross

The girl on the side street…

astronomy dark dawn dusk

Photo by Matheus Bertelli

Once I was the girl on the side street flashing in and out of the dark. I was taught a role to play for the well being of my family and for my Dad’s livelihood.  I played it well. Such a mix of tender family moments peppered with the fear that maybe Jesus didn’t really come for me…

…now the ocean’s wind catches each regret, each sin, and sorrow throwing it into the eternity of a perfect God to be forever forgotten.  In the light of the moon a young woman, who thought the stars would stop shining above her found the Maker of the stars and the freedom and love and the lullaby when He sang a Holy song baptizing over her in waves. So now I am drifting, sailing and it was you who came for me.

On that day when the sun tipped over the edge of the earth and spilled colors like buckets of orange, pink, and violet as a reminder of the power of Holy light. The young woman once ravaged and scarred by guilt and shame found joy in the warmth of The Son. Lifted from the darkness you came for me.  You hold me in your arms and by your own wounds, scars, and stripes you heal me. The girl on the side street finally came home…