I am uncomfortable in my own flesh. It feels foreign and heavy to me.
My eyes gently examine the room. I can see them all so clearly. These people are the dewdrops of Heaven. My heart is grieved for them. Their Father is here, but they cannot see him.
I sit among these people and although I scarcely recognize a face in the crowd I feel my spirit stir with love and adoration. These strangers are my brothers and sisters.
I gaze at them with warm eyes. I can see only them. To me they are no longer people, but a heart that beats for the unseen Beloved. I can feel that beating. Despite any talking or music or singing I feel the unearthly presence of Jesus. He is here.
If only we could see with new eyes, inhuman eyes. Surely there is a mass of angels here. If we heard their voices exclaiming joyously it would be too wonderful to stand. Can you imagine that?
A room of angels singing with ignorant humans joining the praise. Then again we know they are here. They’ve been waiting for all of eternity just to sing with us in this moment.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
I am tired. This weight I drag along, these unspeakable horrors that sit so heavily on my back, it is all killing me. Even though Jesus owns me, his blood covers me, still the Devil sits like a crooked crow waiting for me. He is constant. Sometimes I wonder about this crow and how it hasn’t managed to destroy me yet. Even during worship I hear the cries behind the lyrics. Our pain is so great that we do not merely praise God. We weep in his presence. We lament for our lives because we are not with our Father. How long this life feels while separated from our Beloved.
That detestable crow makes us cry out.
This earth is so cold to me. My flesh freezes. All day long we seem to just be. We exist here. We keep busy and distracted. But there is a reason why even at night sleep seems restless. It is because we do not belong here.
The awful crow beats his black wings and my hand twitches. I brace myself for the ugly thoughts. They come with twisting fingers and lopsided smiles. Words full of poison come flowing into my consciousness. Now it seems the people around me have vanished.
I still feel the heart beating.
I search for God, but my eyes are blind with sin. I cannot find him. The call of the crow makes me shift uneasily. Maybe it is not a crow, but instead a lion. Here I am as the gazelle. I am greatly afraid of the predator lurking in the brush, but I know not where he prowls. It’s always too late when I see the glowing eyes.
The heart still beats.
If I could have any moment with Jesus it would be better than any day lived on this earth. Far surpassing any kind of temporary and unsatisfying pleasure. I love him. I know it and wish I could mark myself permanently so that all who saw me would know instantly where my identity lies.
But how do I tell Jesus about my darkness? My spirit is faint. Must I tell my brother how crooked I am? Surely I will melt into sadness before the words even pass my lips. I do not trust Jesus to help me even though I know I should. I hear that crow and I drift into madness. Fear guides my life and my dreams scream with deathly howls. My own mind is a snare. I confess my weakness and I abhor my sin with grit teeth.
I am drifting along like a wrecked and abandoned ship that just won’t sink. The waves rock me and I crave my imminent ruin.
Still the heart beats.
My shame causes me to feel naked and exposed even when I am clothed. My guilt weighs on me and pushes my gaze to the floor. I cannot sustain eye contact with most people because my sorrow is too great. Their eyes are like blades pressing into my skin.
Don’t tell me I am terrible. I already know and it feels like death in my body.
Why don’t I trust Jesus? How long have I believed the lies whispered to me by the Devil? I instead rely on medication or people to rescue me from my dread and fear. Even though I keep turning to these sources for closure I am always denied. They have never eased my depression or lifted me out of the darkness. They have only made me stay in this awful place. If I were drowning they would offer me more water.
The guilt of my sin convicts me even though Christ has forgiven me. Such a low creature like myself deserves to suffer.
The heart still beats.
Be silent now and I will tell you the truth. I belong to God because of Christ who has saved me. My future and all aspects of my life are not my own.
Satan lies and taunts, snickers and threatens, but Christ loves me. Let the world pass away, but let me have Christ. I must rely on Jesus for help, forgiveness and truth. He must be my counselor in all good things. Medication, people, food, distraction and anything else undo me.
I want to truth Jesus. Has he really waited all this time for me to notice I’ve been running from him? So now I must confess.
Dreaded worries about my life and health remain stagnate in my mind. Irrational thoughts parade in my mind. Shame, oh the wretched presence is condemning. It has been years that the Devil has sat on my back. He creeps into every thought and fantasy. Always dragging his claws against the cracking glass that encompasses my heart.
The heart still beats.
The Devil will never own me or my life. Too long now I have welcomed him. Too long now I have accepted sin into my mind. I think it’s time these shackles were taken off. I think it’s time I stop looking for help everywhere else in this dying world.
Jesus, let your name not be anything but glorious to those who know you. Let me speak to you, brother, you’ve waited long enough to hear this.
I am broken inside. I am tortured day in and day out by sin. I am filled with anger and grief over my failures. I have run to fantasy because I crave strength, love, acceptance and adventure. I have fled to humor because I crave love and acceptance. But the fantasy always leaves me drained and the joking keeps me from being known by anyone. I hide behind the laughter. All I can hear is crying.
I have betrayed you by resorting to self-hatred and malice over my sins. I have made myself taste so much pain and resentment because I know it’s what I deserve, but the truth is that I deserve so much worse than this. So much worse than anything like this. I crave forgiveness and justice, but I cannot create them I must receive them from you.
I have hidden in lust and obsession because I crave love and intimacy. I have remained in anger because I crave justice. I have been addicted to fear because I am ashamed and weak. I crave freedom and truth, but all I have known are lies and imprisonment.
I do not rely on you so I slip. I have no positive reason for the fear except that I wanted to suffer for my sins. I wanted what I thought an evil person like me deserved. The truth is if I truly received what I deserved these words wouldn’t be written.
I would be dead.
The heart still beats.
I am selfish with my dreams. I care not for anything just let me hold your scarred palm. This is all I need. How worthless everything is to me. How pointless and foolish! Everything has become like dust in my hands.
I withdrew from you and developed a false audience, musical euphoria and fantasy because I crave acceptance, friends, love, security and purpose. My back peddling has only drug me from the one person who could help me.
Do you see it? It flickers like static and leaves a dull blaring in my head. It is doubt. Forgive me and please take heed because there is more to the fear. I have not trusted you for security, strength, truth, peace, guidance and help. I ran from you, Jesus, and thus destroy myself.
Please, the heart still beats.
I sin all day long. I am weak. I make bad choices. I can’t save myself. And thank God for this. My joy in these ill behaviors is that I know for certain what I am. I am sick. I need a doctor.
Please forgive me for these sins, Jesus, including the obsessive thoughts and lust. It is sad, Jesus, because he is a beautiful person. It is only my shame that has pushed me away from people. God I am sorry I ever looked at one of your sons in this way. My shame cannot even allow me to speak the boy’s name. I retract his name here, but confess it to you aloud.
Please be my helper and my savior, Lord Jesus. Let nothing and no one ever try to replace you again. Jesus, forgive me my sins and take my life. You are too beautiful for this damned world, but we are blessed because you came here.
Let me unravel, Jesus. Let me stop avoiding people and stop being afraid all the time. Let me devote my life to you so that when I die I will be content knowing who my Shepherd is. Let me rely on you and seek you always whether in trouble or in peace.
I have been blind, Jesus. To think all this time I could have rested in your arms.
Let me rest now.
Let me stop running.
Take these worries. Take these fears. Take this shame, Jesus. You make the heart beat. Let me be forever changed. I am a new creation. Let all the universe declare your majesty.
Brother, I love you. Be my savior again.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” John 3:16-21