The circumstances of my life in the past year especially (and the last 10 years generally) have mirrored the lies in my soul to the extent that they are almost always present to my consciousness. They actually dominate the way I see the world. The circumstances of loss, obscurity, depression and broken dreams have not caused this sense of doom as much as provoked it to the surface. Now the call from the Father is to deal with it.
I am in a fight to re-interpret reality using the resources of Christ and the Spirit. The enemies in this case are lies about who I am and what I am worth, lies that are intertwined with my very flesh from a very early age. All this makes them very difficult to overturn (impossible, really, without Christ) and even hard to objectively identify. They are so much a part of my vision that I always assume their reality without choice, without thinking about it.
The tools & categories I am attempting to use to identify and overturn these lies in the power of the Spirit are many, none of which can be very efficient without the help of other people. I rely on a small company of fellow warriors who are broken enough to remain close to God’s resources and are not frightened by my chaos and pain. Without community I would not make it, to be sure. I need to feel the touch and hear the voices of those who love me so that Jesus is “incarnated” afresh beside me.
I just wanted to talk briefly about a couple of these tools & resources here, in the hopes of gaining strength from them once again. They are all manifestations of the mercy of God towards me, to be sure. First, my wife and kids force me to deal with life on a daily basis, the regular “mundane” life of doing things together from chores to adventures. If not for my family I think I would easily sink into the darkness and never re-emerge. They remind me that this fight is worth fighting. Nothing less than my marriage and my children’s futures are at stake.
Second, habits of imaginative readings in the Scriptures are helpful to me. Propositional truth can not seem to penetrate the fleshly sinew of self-protective vendetta I’ve developed over the years. What is required is a more childlike approach, using a child’s tool, the imagination, to re-gain my humanity. Recently I was thinking of the passage in Mark 10:13-16 in this way.
And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, "Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them (ESV).
I imagine myself in this passage being one of the children who longs to see and be held by Jesus. I am prevented by my self-righteous self-hatred, which tries to make me lose heart and go home without trying to get through to Jesus. How the hearts of the children would break, thinking that the “rebuking disciples” must mirror how Jesus felt about them! I love that Jesus was indignant. He got furious over this misrepresentation of his heart for these little ones! Symbolic of the childhood I lost through abandonment, I let myself-as-a-child enter the arms of Jesus and listen for his blessing. Can you hear it? It must sound something like this: “Thank you Father, for this unique and exquisite creation! I love this one as if he were my own son!! Be blessed, child, the Father is very pleased with you!”
I want to live in that place.