Thursday, July 28, 2016

Soul Care

The question was posed - What does ‘soul-care’ mean to you?

I don’t even have to pause to think about it. 

Ask and ye shall receive isn’t referring to things. It’s about desiring wisdom, not just knowledge. Wisdom is the food my soul needs.  Gaining wisdom is not an easy quest.  You can ask for wisdom but you can’t receive it until you are empty. Emptying out preconceived ideas and notions, beliefs and tenets long held can be scary and makes you feel vulnerable. Nevertheless, you have to be an empty vessel. And you have to be willing to accept that you will have to walk alone going forward. There will be little or no fellowship with like-minded souls. 

The preacher said, with much wisdom comes much sorrow. Nothing has ever been truer. If you desire the truth of God’s mysteries, the big view, not a detailed description of the tail of the elephant, you have to be prepared to walk alone.

It’s a process and a solitary journey because the more you know, the more you find there is to know. And then, once you step through the threshold, there’s no going back to unknowing. When you commit to being able to understand that the tail is not even close to the whole of the elephant, you find fewer and fewer people who also understand. You may as well speak an alien language that no one can interpret. If you dare try you either get the sound of crickets or you are dismissed as a looney tune. Because, it is quite human to cluster to a concept that is accepted by the majority. 

Unfortunately, the wisdom of God is rarely the wisdom of the majority. 

Regardless you might choose to hang on to that which is anathema to the masses because deep inside, you believe there are others who need their souls fed with the wisdom that is not acceptable here on this plane and therefore not speakable, or sharable. You imagine they know even more than you and you want to talk about it but you have to keep what you have to yourself thus following the unwritten rule you know others must do the same as well. This dynamic of believing there are others makes it just a tad less lonely, even if you can’t talk to or share with them. So you read your Bible and a Scripture you’ve read fifty times and something new, unseen before, is added to your soul. And like Mary you ponder it and keep it to yourself.

Sometimes I wonder if it wouldn’t be better to be a dear-heart who lives the simple faith. Who depends solely on the love of Christ and the promise. That ought to be enough and it is actually. It is enough. Our salvation does not depend on our seeking wisdom. We are only mandated to live and share the simple truth of the gospel. Christ told His disciples there were things He could tell them but they weren’t ready. 

But it must be noted that once you have been exposed to quantum physics, freshman math is not quite as soul-filling. Milk or meat.

A.W. Tozer knew this and wrote about it in his essay The Loneliness of the Christian. 

I so get it. 

For Him,

“The loneliness of the Christian results from his walk with God in an ungodly world, a walk that must often take him away from the fellowship of good Christians as well as from that of the unregenerate world. His God-given instincts cry out for companionship with others of his kind, others who can understand his longings, his aspirations, his absorption in the love of Christ; and because within his circle of friends there are so few who share his inner experiences he is forced to walk alone.

The unsatisfied longings of the prophets for human understanding caused them to cry out in their complaint, and even our Lord Himself suffered in the same way.

The man [or woman] who has passed on into the divine Presence in actual inner experience will not find many who understand him. He finds few who care to talk about that which is the supreme object of his interest, so he is often silent and preoccupied in the midst of noisy religious shoptalk. For this he earns the reputation of being dull and over-serious, so he is avoided and the gulf between him and society widens.

He searches for friends upon whose garments he can detect the smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of the ivory palaces, and finding few or none he, like Mary of old, keeps these things in his heart.

It is this very loneliness that throws him back upon God. His inability to find human companionship drives him to seek in God what he can find nowhere else."

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Post I Wasn't Sure About

Michele Morin hosts one of my favorite blogs. To say she is a gifted writer and book reviewer is not even close to describing her skills. Her most recent post struck a chord in me and I had to post a comment. 

My too long comment could easily have been a post in my blog. But I’m not blogging right now, because. Because sometimes life spikes you to the ground like a volley ball and you have to pause and regroup. But a writer has to write, even if it’s only in her head so I did and then I couldn’t not let it out so I dumped it in Michele’s blog. 

And then I was conflicted with posting it in my blog anyway...or not. 

In the end, the writer’s war within usually ends with words let loose. 


He’s all of six foot one. He’s running as fast as he can toward fifteen. He’d skip it, if he could, and just leap into sixteen. The magic number. The age of freedom to drive. To bust out. To be unleashed. He thinks it means adulthood, but, of course, he isn’t mature enough to know he isn’t even close.

But stuck in this aching-to-be stage, he is a painful conundrum. He’s cocky, sometimes disrespectful, arrogant, over confident as well as sheepish, playful, rascally, full of self-doubt and fear. He puts up a good front but underneath he is mostly insecure. And in his fight with that he oversteps.

He lives big and out loud so he often makes bad choices and has too much money to spend on things he shouldn’t buy. He isn’t old enough, nor experienced enough to realize that being able to do certain things is not a license to do them without restraint. His motto is - live and have fun while you can. 

His bravado masks a lifelong struggle to prove himself because he is afflicted with ADD and struggles to keep up with school work. He thinks it makes him look stupid when, in fact, he is quite brilliant in ways others are not. Ask him to fix your computer. 

He seems tough and often gives off the wrong vibe even as he is soft-hearted and always was the compassionate kid who comforted the one who was hurt on the playground. 

He’s a foaming mixture of all the ways humans develop from infants to adults. He represents the person who, depending on the circumstances of his rearing, could become an evangelist or a serial killer. 

He’s a modern teenager with too much stuff, too much freedom, too much exposure to electronic information that he is not mature enough to process. 

He’s my grandson. I keep the communication line open and hold on praying that God will intervene during these teen years that have always been tenuous and difficult but now, in this declining age, are downright treacherous. 

Satan is questing.

For Him,


Wednesday, July 6, 2016


No matter how wrong things go, how much damage done, lives changed for the worse by decisions made and implemented, we still assume that letters attached to the end of someone’s name denotes some capacity of superiority over the rest of us. The letters are supposed to confirm and assure us that we can trust the bearer of the title afforded him/her by the designation. 

And so we trust that anyone who has earned the creds has done the hard work and thus has to know more than we do, and ought to be in charge of determinations that impact us. 

Unfortunately it is an assumption that doesn’t always add up or apply but we never seem to learn that it’s okay to ask questions and vet the history of those who have been awarded authority and power. Reagan is quoted as saying, “Trust but verify.” Not a bad strategy.

You see, the official title in a person’s name does not denote integrity, common sense, fairness, or even intelligence, for that matter. It only announces that one has done the bookwork, the studies and passed the tests and criteria as designed by other credentialed people. History reports examples of many highly unscrupulous, un-smart people who were able to pass tests and get papers handed in and then rise to lofty positions because they had the official creds. 

When you sit in front of a doctor, essentially handing over your life to his abilities, you can only hope he earned his doctorate at the top of his class. But what if he got it by the skin of his teeth and a small amount of sleight of hand? Perhaps he has not a smidgeon of intuitiveness about the vast variety in the human condition and how different diseases manifest in different people. Perhaps he is mostly just a pill pusher. 

When you swallow the drug that the doctor prescribed, you want to trust but you only hope the credentialed pharmacist put the correct pill in the bottle. 

When you are faced with a legal problem you sit in front of a credentialed individual licensed to practice law and you only hope he or she actually cares about your problem and is committed to being your advocate and does not simply see you as a way to fund his or her next vacation or run for political office. 

When you start your car or push the button on the elevator or turn on your microwave, drive over a bridge or boot up your computer, you automatically assume the credentialed engineers that designed all the components, knew that you would be safe from harm while engaged in using the results of their expertise and that those who watch over such things are qualified to do their jobs.

Unfortunately, credentials do not override the human factor and humans, regardless how learned, prove over and over again that the decisions of those who are put in charge, the ones with the letters behind their names, can and often do screw up, to our detriment. Sometimes even on purpose.

Drugs often hurt more things than they help but it’s okay because the credentialed chemists have a mandate to quickly put out new drugs to boost sales and thus credentialed attorneys reap the benefits of harmful death suits.

Lead is bad, in our water and our environment, so is mercury and asbestos, but there was a time when credentialed product designers freely used these poisons in paint and vaccines, until, one day, other credentialed folks determined people were negatively impacted and changed the rules.

Highly credentialed scientists and engineers have no idea where tons of melted deadly nuclear fuel at Fukushima has gone in the last five years nor any idea how to find and contain it or what the long lasting ruinous effects will be. Other credentialed people manage to keep this important information from the masses lest this knowledge might negatively impact global commerce. The uneducated, uncredentialed do not need to be bothered with such complex information. Their attention needs to be focused on global warming instead.

Credentialed politicians make laws for the rest of us while exempting themselves.

So, bottomline, on any given day, those who have been voted for or hired and assigned to make the rules for the rest of us, may or may not know what they are doing, may even have dark agendas designed to elevate themselves over us and that exposes a reality about humanity in general. We just don’t know. We hope, we trust, we count on those who claim to know more than we are as good as they say they are.

The disconnect here is that accountability is missing in action nowadays. Credentials should not mean that bad choices and decisions that damage others is a free pass just because. Even the highest decision maker in the land should be accountable. But that’s not how it works anymore.

One day, though, there will be accountability. For everyone.

For Him,

(Hebrews 4:12) For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.  (4:13) And there is no creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and laid open before the eyes of him with whom we have to do.