Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Reflections: Isaiah 1



I think at one point something convinced me that I was better.
Then when I tripped I fell on my own sharp crown and a whole bellyfull of mess fell out. I sat and I played in it and may have called it good. I locked myself into a cage with it and kept everyone else out.

It has been my own, my precious mess. I have held it close and thought how much I loved it... How it justifies me. 

Then in one horrific moment I realize the absurdity of it all. I see the sheer mess around me ... my insides disgust.

And to become acquainted with my brokenness is a personal horror story I wish on all my most beloved. To learn to worship with the best of them... worship though it hurts to hear my own voice, it is so ugly to me. To praise God when we suffer ... even if it's only suffering for realizing our wretchedness.

To realize that the best way to follow the World's command to love myself, is to follow relentlessly the Lover of my Soul, is to realize the answer to self-hatred. 

We must transcend self-hatred, but not by calling the ugliness beautiful. We know we're supposed to love ourselves somehow, so we do it by saying there is nothing wrong, we accept ourselves, even exalt ourselves as we are ... or is this just me? I call a puss-filled hole a picture of perfection.

He has offered me a solution, a life raft. He has not condemned me, but He has redeemed me. He has loved the creature somewhere inside my emptiness, pride, ugly black greediness, He has mopped up the poison that has spilled from me onto His beloved. But He has not said "it is okay." He has said to cast it off! Cut off the hand that makes you sin! Realize that sin is gangrene, and it will fill you up and take you over unless you chop it off. ("Sin" is anything I am willing to have replace my God. I do not have to kill or steal or sell myself or fill my veins.) Nothing is too precious to sacrifice if it stops the spread of the poison. Do I believe this?

I can identify that I have broken ways of dealing with relationships, my body, my pets, my time, my money, my work and my God. I am broken in every way possible. I am false and I put up walls. I am so tired of my surroundings being in disarray and reflecting my spirit sloppiness. My car, my bedroom, my bathroom, my desk -- always a shambles. Why am I always making myself miserable?

But this is the ugliness of me. I wanted to be famous, to be popular, to be the best. I wanted to tell people things they wanted to hear. And here I am, filling a window with words. Only, this is what no one wants to know about me. And this is what I must embrace and see that I am poor. I am walking -- not just wounded but sick. I am holding on to these festering limbs. Just let them go. Let the gangrene be removed. Accept that it will take time to heal. Receive a genuine replacement, not a prosthetic. Something far more real and something beyond this decaying realm. 

I will tell you something real, which is that a God exists who will not let you stay in your mud hut and play in your filth as the walls burn down around you. He will plunge in and drag you from that putrid hole, though it sets Him on fire. He will calls things by their right names: good, good; evil, evil. He will demand the evil be emptied from you, wiped off of you, banished from your presence. He will fill you, plaster you, drape you with rich righteousness. And He will do this even if it hurts you bad and even if it kills Him. And it will, but He will do it anyway. 

Did you imagine you were loved this much?

 5Why will you still be struck down? Why will you continue to rebel? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
6
From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but bruises and sores and raw wounds; they are not pressed out or bound up or softened with oil.
 7 Your country lies desolate; your cities are burned with fire; in your very presence foreigners devour your land; it is desolate, as overthrown by foreigners. [...]
"What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?" says the LORD;
"I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams  and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats. 

12"When you come to appear before me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts?
13
Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. [...]
24Therefore the Lord declares, the LORD of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel:
"Ah, I will get relief from my enemies and avenge myself on my foes.
25I will turn my hand against you and will smelt away your dross as with lye and remove all your alloy.
26And I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning.
Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city."

 27Zion shall be redeemed by justice, and those in her who repent, by righteousness." (Isaiah 1)

1 comment:

Saundie said...

This is good, Sydney. Thank you! It reminds me of C.S. Lewis- "We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."