Monday, 28 November 2011

Becoming Desperate...

Right now in my English literature class we are reading some of the works from a writer named John Donne. I can admit that poetry doesn’t always grab me but there are some poems that catch me off guard. They strike me in ways that it’s hard to believe a poem can. Last Thursday we read one of John Donne's poems and at first I didn’t like it because it made me uncomfortable. My friend loved it and so we talked about it after class. Then it wouldn’t leave me…all weekend long it was there. I have to write it out…..

“Batter my heart, three-person’d God; for, you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town, to another due.
Labour to admit you, but Oh, to no end,
Reason your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy:
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

John Donne ~ Holy Sonnets

This is a violent sonnet. The writer is basically asking God to be violent with him until God is everything to him.

Does it make you uncomfortable? 

My professor compared the word “ravish” in the last line to the word “rape”.
I hate the word rape….I hate it for all it represents. I hate that it’s become slang in our culture and we use it as a joke. That word gives me shivers. I don’t understand how you can take a word that represents such torment and invasion of someone’s will and use it in your everyday humorous language. It just doesn’t make sense to me.
Rape is a violent word. It represents becoming powerless and you will being overcome by someone.
Is this really what the writer means?

I read his words and I can feel his desperation for God to invade him. He doesn’t want his will to win even if it’s painful and it has to be broken.

I don’t understand this kind of desperation. If I were honest I would say that it scares me. I don’t know if I could say these words to God? I don’t know if I am desperate for him.

As I’ve been contemplating the state of not only my life but of our culture, I’ve been thinking about how easy it is for me to go through my day without depending on God at all. When I really need Him then I can depend on him but how often is that?

I am a blessed woman. I have food, I have shelter, I’m getting a great education and I have a family that loves me. I am not really in desperate need of anything and I don’t really want to be.

But the thing is that I want to be desperate for Jesus.

I want to love Him first; I want to know Him so much deeper than I do. I want Him to pour out of me and I want to say that I’m desperate for His presence. I want Him to invade my life but am I desperate for this? Maybe I’m scared of what that might mean? Maybe I’m not sure how to not just say it but to live it? I don’t just want to go through the motions of saying I need Him and saying that I love Him but not living in this reality.

And I don’t know where all of my questions and theological issues fit into all of this. How can you be desperate when there are so many things you don’t understand and when sometimes you’re honestly afraid to trust Him because you might get hurt?

I don’t know.

I don’t even know if I’m expected to have this desperation? Is it only for the few that can handle it? If I want to be desperate then am I just asking for hardship, and am I shallow if this makes me not want to ask for it?

I’m left somewhere in the middle of all this stuff, overcome with my shallow faith and my inadequateness.

And yet somehow His grace covers me, 
even in this place. 

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The Ugly Meter...

If you know me than you know that I’m an Apple guru. I may have even been the one to convert you….helped you see the light. There’s been many that have been stuck in darkness that I’ve led to see the light and those Apple users have never turned back. Once you go Mac you never go back; it really is that simple.
I’m straying from my point, sorry.

Today I was surfing the app store on my iPhone. I’m not an app queen, of course I enjoy using them but I’m not on top of the latest and hottest apps but I decided to look around today. I found some gems – the “Timmy Time” app, the “Starbucks” app, “The Gas Buddy” app (shows me where the cheapest gas is) and the “find my iPhone” app but there was another app I came across that I chose not to download for some reason.  It’s the “Ugly Meter” app and here’s the description:
“Do you ever wonder if you’re ugly and your friends just don’t tell you?
Do you have an ugly friend, and you just don’t know how to tell them?
The Ugly Meter takes your photo and scans the details of your face to give you a rating of 1-10 on the Ugly Scale. If you rate a 10, you probably have a face that only a mother could love. Depending on how bad your rating is, the Ugly Meter will comment on your looks! Who’s the hottest? Now you can find out”.

And we wonder why we have a society filled with people who hate themselves? 
We wonder why we have kids growing up with self-esteem issues? 
We wonder why we have so many relationships failing when they’re built purely on outer beauty that fades?

In case you’re not quite convinced that you’re beautiful, why don’t you allow an app to give you a good dose of truth?

I’m so glad someone out there has created yet another app that proves just how shallow and degrading our society is. Instead of looking to the creator of the universe who constructed our innermost parts, who knows how many hairs are on our heads and whose thoughts about us outnumber the grains of sand, instead of looking to Him we can now look to an app to give us an accurate measure of our worth!

It’s disgusting really.

It’s disgusting because we have taken a word that was not meant to be purely physical and made it just that. “Beautiful” has become an analysis of our face and of our body, when what it should look at is our hearts and our minds.

I care for a lady who is severely disabled. I know that when someone who doesn’t know her sees her, they wouldn’t call her beautiful. But I know this woman’s heart, I know her quirks, I know the sound of her laugh and the touch of her gentle hand on mind.
I know her and because I know her I know that she is one of the most beautiful people I have ever met. She was knit together by the master, He sees her and He knows her heart and He calls her beautiful.

And He does that for me too.

I had coffee with a friend this morning and in a rare occasion I opened up about my own insecurities. I told her that I don’t usually feel beautiful and that most of the time I feel that no one could possibly ever love me. It’s easy for me to tell someone else they are beautiful and to share with them all the reasons why I think so but when it comes to myself I just can’t believe it is true.

And maybe it has something to do with the idea of the Ugly Meter, maybe I have a very distorted idea of what beauty is really all about and maybe I’m not the only one?
Perhaps the lies rooted in the Ugly Meter have seeped into our culture so much that they’ve also seeped into our hearts and we don’t even realize it.  

Beauty is more than what we’ve made it.
It’s not skin deep and it’s not a rating on a stupid app.

And I think that might be the message that some of us need to hear right now, in this moment. 
We need to breathe it in, let those word go right to our very souls.

I need to do that.

I think we all have this longing to be known and understood and to be accepted even with all of our flaws and our faults. I’m not quite sure we will ever meet anyone who can love us and fulfill the desire of our hearts the way we hope for. I think only Jesus can meet that need. I think He’s the only one who can come into the deepest places of our soul and wash away the lies we’ve come to believe.

And when we let Him in, I think He will speak these words over us…

“I made you and I know all about you. You don’t have to try to hide. Who you are is enough. You are worthy of love and you are loved. I see you and I call you beautiful”.

So the question becomes:
When the creator of the universe notices me and when He calls me beautiful,
why in the world would I need to buy an app to do that?

Yours truly,
~The Kindred Spirit 

Saturday, 12 November 2011

A Fall Update...

I've been in the city for almost 3 months and I haven't written one single word on here. I thought I'd have more time to write but the challenge of going back to school has certainly been keeping me busy. I'm adjusting fairly well to the city life except for the whole not going out between 3pm and 7pm due to CRAZY traffic's no lie....Toronto traffic is nuts!

A little while ago I was considering adding a Philosophy minor to my degree so I went to speak with one of the Philosophy professors who somehow convinced me to major in Philosophy! I added a religious studies minor onto that so I now have the best of both worlds. It's been really neat how I feel like God has just orchestrated things at Tyndale. I never would have applied to major in Philosophy in a million years but not that I'm here in this environment I'm learning that Philosophy is such a great fit with my personality and the inner workings of my mind. It fascinates me how God moves us into the places where He knows will be best for us and it's not something we could ever figure out on our own.

So that said....I'm now a Philosophy Major and with the addition of the minor plus all of my transfer credits I'll be at Tyndale for the next two years hopefully!

I never would have been so engaged in my studies if I decided to go to University earlier. College was a whole different ball game, much more mind is being stretched beyond belief now and I feel as though a lot of my world view is in pieces on the floor and I'm entering into the intentional and somewhat uncomfortable process of trying to figure out which piece fits where. It will be a lifelong journey but I think it makes for a more meaningful and rich life. It's slowly changing me.

There are so many things I could write here....things that I'm grappling with and oh so many new "city lessons" I'm learning....and I'm sure I would put more effort into pouring them out here if I didn't have so  much reading and paper writing to do! It's the life of a student I guess!

Words can't express how thankful I feel for this time in my life. Time to learn and think and be in a different place. It's such a gift.

Along with my lack of writing I have also not been taking as many pictures as I would like hobby of photography has also been put on the back burner a little bit but I have managed to capture a few shots of the first few are just a few favourites...

I got the opportunity to hear Rob Bell speak and even got to meet him....a very special highlight for me! 

This is of the most amazing people I have ever met...she is one of the lovely people that I get to hang out with everyday! 

The Civil Wars, one of my favourite musical duo's came to Toronto and played at The Pheonix, I was front row....and boy was it fantastic! 

There really is no music sweeter! 

I hope fall is finding you well....and I hope to be able to write a bit more when things slow down.

Grace & Peace,
Darc :)