I feel it. It’s similar to anger. It’s like stubbornness. In the end I know not what it is. My body contains a deep stiffness. My mind is quiet like a room of people has all suddenly fallen to whispers. Small voices.
Even now I find it hard to write. The words float around in lazy drafts. They disregard me when I approach. Indeed it feels like sleepiness. Could it be my spirit has fallen asleep? My body seems dull. All the senses are warm. Nothing is important.
Jesus, I see the cracks in the glass of my heart. Now let me be humbled and tell you what you already know. Let me show you the darkness that I nurture. Let me bring you to the demons in my life. Let me be weak now so that only your strength is here.
I am selfish. My God forgive a blind fool like me! How abhorrent I must be. How can I stand to even take my next breath? Oh, everything I touch turns to ashes. I am so full of sin I hide my face from you so my eyes will not be blinded.
Look, please, I must tell you. These dreams that I have…I don’t want them anymore. My eyes are open and I can see. Everything that I touch, think and say is tainted. I know that dreams come from you as all other good things do, but Jesus, how can I ever serve you if I am evil?
“When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.” Luke 12:11-12, Matthew 10:19-20, Mark 13:11
My sins are a burden to me. I am constantly afraid. How can this be possible? Didn’t I agree to follow you, Jesus? How then can these shackles still be here? Have I put them on myself? I am like the fox caught in the snare. I will chew my own leg off to be free, but when I get loose soon I will bleed to death in the wild.
I know I must say them. I must recite my dreams to you like a child just learning the alphabet. I blink and twist and try hard to remember them. They are new to me somehow and it is hard for me to focus.
Cinema. Movies. Film. The director, the writer, maybe the actor.
Books. Screenplays. Novellas. The writer, the author, the storyteller.
England. France. Scotland. The wanderer, the adventurer, the preacher.
Laugh. Grin. Gesticulate. The comedian, the standup philosopher, the fool.
Words. Breathe. Eyes. The speaker, the giver, the messenger.
Love. Red. Silence. The bride, the mother, the woman.
Jesus, my body is so soft right now like I am already asleep. I need to be awake again. This world makes me ache. This world makes my heart weep like the wife of a drowned fisherman.
I tell you that all of my dreams have become snares to me. Everything I see has darkness tracing it like the chalk drawn on the ground where a murdered person fell. How can you trust me at all?
The Parable of the Ten Minas (Luke 19:11-27):
While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’
“But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’
“He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it.
“The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’
“‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’
“The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’
“His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities.’
“Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.’
“His master replied, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’
“Then he said to those standing by, ‘Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.’
“‘Sir,’ they said, ‘he already has ten!’
“He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away. But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.’”
Jesus, I am so sorry that your servant is wicked. I only take from you. Have I ever given anything to you at all? I know that I must not grow weary of my sin. I can never stop drinking from this cup. I understand so terribly and painfully just how much I need you. But now my heart screams. My soul wails. This world is decaying before my eyes.
Your people, Jesus, your people! Why are we so distracted? Why do we flee from you? When will this horrid nightmare end? I must wake up! Wake up! Stop sleeping through the tests and stop sinking in shame!
Jesus, please, I confess to you my sin. My fear is a sin! Oh, I know this to be true. I am afraid, I worry, I am anxious however you want to say it matters not. It is all the same. If I trusted you, if I accepted your forgiveness, if I accepted your peace, guidance and protection…would I be afraid?
No. Fear would flee from me like a deer when it sees the glint of the barrel.
No more of this, I beg of you! No more wasted time in this place of discontent and phantoms. All of these things that I worry about and give my body to wrestle with…they never come true. The devil has never told me one true thing.
“Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.’” John 8:42-47
I belong to you. I know that I do. This knowledge is not my own, but from you. I know that my heart beats for you. I fail you…all the time I know it. My heart is broken by this. I am always running from you. My very flesh screams for you to abandon me because of my wickedness, but if you did leave me what would I have left?
“‘The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.’” Deuteronomy 31:8
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” Psalm 121
Jesus, I pray that the dreams that we have are not for us, but for you. I pray that we serve you all the days of our lives for this is the only good thing to do with our time on Earth. Let our hearts be light and free from guilt because you died for us, Jesus. Let this sacrifice not be in vain. Let us rest.
I pray that we are not afraid. Who is left to be afraid of? I know the words. You give them to me.
“‘So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.’” Matthew 10:26-31
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:4-8
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:15-17
“‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.’” John 14:27
Jesus, I do not want to sin in this anymore. It hurts to be so scared all the time. What is worse is the evil of it. Truthfully I confess that I have been sinning. I have been consumed, strangled, crushed by fear. It is a sin to be in this state.
No more of it. Let your words be my waking thought and my nightly wonder. Whether hurting or laughing or alone or with company…let my thoughts be on you and your ways. Jesus, let me never, let us never forget what you have said. Not in just the verses above, but in your Word. We are not supposed to live in fear. We have been freed from such pain. Remind us always of your presence which will be with us all the days of our lives.
“‘But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.’” John 14:26
Our lives are not our own. Let us live for you and only you. Every thought, deed and word must bow down. Jesus, take my dreams, take everything that I am. I give up. I can’t do this anymore. I give up. I surrender. Be my savior who died for me.
I am grieved because I remember the past testimonies I wrote. I didn’t realize they were selfish. I sometimes think that an amazing story of impossible things could be enough to humble someone. The pure amazement and wonder I always thought would convince some, but I know that this is not so. You speak to man in one way and then another. Only you decide who will listen.
Let your will be done because we are so foolish we could never understand it.
Jesus, I don’t want to be afraid anymore because it is a sin. I confess it. Please forgive me.
Wake us up.