blurred lines. and eyes to see.

Last summer right around this time, I started wearing glasses for the first time in my life, and a few short months later developed cataracts on both eyes. Preparing for surgery in the coming months. I am seeing a daily change in my capacity to function, as lines continue to become increasingly blurry, and life is filtered through a perpetually foggy lens. To be honest, some days it is very discouraging as even the simplest of things are requiring assistance.

Even now, the letters on this page are fuzzy…not quite so crisp…

Since the beginning of this year, we have all witnessed and even experienced, discourse of unusual proportion. Lines have been drawn in the sand, and there seems to be no position, even that of understanding and empathy, in which a person can stand without retribution. As voices get louder, reason is but a distant echo. There is only either/or, with no room for “and” statements or discovery of common ground.

As a Christ-follower, I have become painfully aware of my complacency in standing firmly on a foundation of biblical truth. Living in America, there has been little pressure to truly know what the Word of God says; to hold my opinions and beliefs up to the light of its truth. Watching my Christian brothers and sisters around the world being persecuted, even martyred, for their faith, I have marveled at the tenacity and conviction with which they have clung to the eternal hope of Jesus, and have consistently wondered if I could even stand for a moment under such conditions.

Such tension has remained comfortably distant until now.

There is a season, there comes a time, when we must shift; when our lives require consideration and evaluation solely through the filter of faith above that of family, culture and familiarity. As my vision becomes decidedly dim in the natural, my soul is becoming more and more awakened to that of God’s Spirit. Sitting under the weight of the myriad voices around me, I am learning to listen more carefully to the song of my Jesus. Left or right, up or down, in spite of often intense waves of emotion, my daily choices and positioning must consistently align with the Word that He has given. If my life is not sifted through the lens of faith, I will surely fall.

While the world might be seemingly spinning out of control, there is nothing new under the sun. Rage, anger, hate, spite, power grabbing, evil, control and the like have been a part of the human condition since the dawn of man, and yet the love and restoration of God has never moved. We must allow ourselves, now more than ever, to measure all things against the weight of His truth. It is here that we find our compass, our plumb line, our bearings.

Lord, as our physical eyes fail, give our spirits eyes to see….

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due north

I woke up this morning with a bit of a heavy heart. Sometimes old wounds can surface and we find ourselves processing, or at least re-packaging them again, in spite of years of work, forgiving, praying, therapy….

Wounds leave scars.

Years ago our family was building a log home. We had been living in a three-car garage with no plumbing for a few years at this point and the prospect of work beginning on the main house was more than exciting. I had seen the plans – mom and dad had shared them all – and there were some features I was more excited about than others. I know they felt the same.

One of said talking points was a mud/laundry room coming in from the back side of the house, leading to the kid bathroom. Having four children on five acres, and a husband, all in and out every day, I can only imagine how thrilled my mom was that the mess would be centrally located and not tracked all through our home. When the day came for the inspection after the cement foundation was poured, it was determined that the contractors had read the plans incorrectly, and where the laundry room was to go, would now have to be the stairs leading to the basement. I remember making all sorts of alternative solutions, desperate to find a way to make this dream of mom’s possible. And, I remember angrily admonishing my dad to hold them accountable to fixing their mistake; that our family shouldn’t pay for something not done correctly…

No mud room.

Over the years that followed, in addition to myriad other things, the mess was a constant point of contention. While I know it’s not the reason my parents divorced, I wonder about the added weight. The proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back.” Little decisions made throughout our lives can have unseen consequences.

I wonder about the moments I have been selfish or complacent to what someone else needed. I can certainly reflect on the many times that choices others have been made with little to no regard to my heart in the matter. Even something as relatively small as not finding an equitable household solution or common ground in communication, can have a wearing affect long-term.

While it is certainly not without it’s potential shortcomings, how beneficial would it be to have a game plan? A plumb line? What could it look like if we weighed our words and choices against a standard of generosity? Preferring one another? Sacrifice and grace? Empathy and understanding?

To my dad, that mud room was just a room. To my mom it meant peace and joy -hours of work and endless moments of frustration eradicated. Oh, what it would have meant for him to find a solution for her…

Consider today where you can create margin for the success of those you love. Pray for revelation as to where your shortcomings or blind spots are actually causing those closest to you to fall. Humility, grace, empathy … all these things extended to others bring about peace, unity, and deeper fellowship.

Make a plan. Be intentional. Love well. Set your eyes due north and go.

Shalom.