Monday, March 23, 2009

to pluck a string (psalm)

The prisoner sighed in his cell. Shackles clenched his wrists and ankles, limiting his movements around his hole in the wall. A small window scraped out of the cell dripped some life into him, but was nowhere near quenching his thirst for freedom.

Some food was shoved through a small opening in his cell door. His diet for the past couple of years has been bread and water. When he first arrived, it tasted like carpet, but eventually his taste buds had grown to accept the meager meal and now had no problem devouring the food. He would settle with the bread in front of the small window and gaze at the sky. The prisoner especially liked sunrise, when the sky was a canvas drenched with beautiful colors. New hope for a new day...

He picked at the chains that bound him. What would it feel like to run again? To fly without anything holding him back? He longed for a taste of... something new. He would give anything to escape.



The prisoner walked the streets, disgusted with himself. Everyone was staring at his chains as they chinked across the pavement. Why couldn’t he get rid of them? They never left.. The chains... The sin... Always rubbing his faults in his face... Always leading to more. Yes he was ugly, inside and out. Yes he had broken the law many times. Yes, he was going mad. Yes, he thought he was reaching the end of his rope. Yes, he wanted to give up.

He grew weary and plopped onto a bench. He tried to conceal his chains as best he could by tucking them under the bench, but he was sure it did no effect. Wind tickled the grass about him. Wind was free...

Flocks of people passed him and entered a tall building to his right. It was beautiful architecture. He admired it until his eyes read the sign. A church.

Mixes of emotions boiled inside him. Fear. Anxiety. Anger. He wanted to leave his bench and slip away to a more private spot where he wouldn’t be judged.

A jolt of anger choked him. Christians were a bunch of fools that had created God for their sake. They said they didn’t judge, he thought, but just wait. He would walk in front of the church and see how many people’s expressions would change. He would see disgust and revolt. They would quicken their pace and proceed into their church, where they wouldn’t be disturbed by him, an urchin scraped off from the street.

He stood and began walking by the church. He smirked at the sounds of his chain at his feet. Let them see what he truly was. Would they still smile? Still accept? Of course not. He was dirt. They wouldn’t welcome him.

“You there!”

His stomach twisted. Was somebody talking to him? He slowly turned around. A man of about thirty stood on the porch steps, grinning at him. He wasn’t wearing a suit, but a sports jacket and nice jeans. The man trotted down the steps and grasped the prisoner’s shoulder. “Want to come in today?”

Surprise swallowed the prisoner’s words. This Christian had foiled his plan! They were supposed to put him out with the trash... Not take him in.

Not waiting for the prisoner to reply, the man dragged him up the steps and into the church. No. No no no no no. He didn’t want to be here. He couldn’t even remember the last time he had been in a church. He didn’t want to be with a bunch of good-doers. If that’s what they were. All this was fake, right? There was no such thing...

“How about I stand with you in the back?” the man asked.

The back. The back was good. Maybe he could slip away. The prisoner mumbled an okay.

A song started. The prisoner scanned the sanctuary. Three guys were busting it with electric guitars and another on drums. Since when...?

People started to clap. Oh no. He would not clap and be regarded as a fool... The man next to him started to clap. The sea of congregation clapped. Clap. The prisoner looked at the door behind him It was only a few feet away...

The congregation sat down. There was his chance of escaping. The pastor, or he assumed it was the pastor, stood in front of a podium and welcomed everyone. The prisoner fidgeted. But he decided to listen.

The sermon began. The pastor’s words were comfort. No. He would not be taken in by these Christians. He would resist there ways.

But...

The sermon continued, and the prisoner couldn’t help but listen intently.

The congregation stood. Another song ebbed from the people. The hundred people gathered there sang. A hundred voices flowed into one. One voice.

He figured he could try... He opened his mouth.

To sing forever would not be enough.

A trickle of song escaped from his lips.

Your grace has broken every chain.

Broken every chain.

His chains.

His sins.

The song and voice started pounding.

O praise the one who paid my debts.

They began to hammer at his chains.

And raised this life up from the dead.

One voice. One love. Singing. Hammering.

My heart sings a brand new song.

The prisoner, the beloved, looked up at the enormous window at the front of the church. Light caressed the sanctuary. Caressed him.

A glow was ignited inside him.

To sing forever will not be enough.

A love was ignited inside him.

Your grace has broken every chain.

Tears brimmed.

The beloved lifted his hands. No weight. No chains.

Free. He lifted his feet. No chains.

All the glory to You.




"To be noticeably different, you must choose the ways of God, not of this world. You should be unlike something or somebody else. We are to be made alive in Christ. Choose to stand out to be noticeably different even when your friends choose to blend in... You make the choice.
What will you choose?"

Disciple Now 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

feel the heat on your shoulders.

An ocean of blue sky,
A splash of shade,
Clocks set to springtime,
Nestled between trees,
A pinch of new leaves,
Black bark,
Petals that turn into butterflies,
Explosions of flowers,
Birds decorating the sky,
All stirred with music,
And throw it all out under the sun.


It's like her vision is set to green.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

sixteen

Another chapter of her life was completed on Monday. She is now sixteen.

On her last day of being fifteen, she tried to reflect on what she has accomplished so far.

Once she turned sixteen, she thought, "Screw this---I'm fine."

She's been spending more time outside and less on this computer; she's starting to find a bright screen lighting up the dark room less appealing than the blossoming outdoors. Everything is now a nice, light green, by the way, and flowers are exploding everywhere.

And overall this is very drab.

So she's going outside, where her eyes can quench their thirst for nature.