in crimson

Monday, August 17, 2009

"For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart — These, O God, You will not despise." (Ps. 51:16-17)

The Questions came this weekend, asking if I love enough; I don't. The human kind of love I own, love that is wrapped up in my dust, easily distracted, is not so easily maintained. They asked if I loved Jesus enough; I hadn't been writing about Him, thinking about Him, including His name enough, they said. They challenged Redemption, invited Shame, suggested remedies with Fear's recommendations.

Three days it took to pour them out. Once I began, they came quickly, but the getting there, that was the silent, the torture time, the first two days... Like walking through mist upside down toward a cliff that fell up. Then my husband's chuckling grace-full "Hello, human" and the world righted and I found my place in it, not expert, not spiritual, not sensual, not perfect, too broken - but loved and not despised.

Here, Love wrapped Himself around Fear and squeezed it silent, dropping red around me, fulfilling the Law with Grace whose name is Christ-crucified-for-me, satisfying wrath, offering more than I deserve or return. I could feel again how I need Him. How I need this Faith, this Redemption, this comfort that comes from Him even when I don't know how to reach for Him.

Thank God that He loved me while I was yet a sinner, that He Himself has declared me righteous - and it is not my own to maintain. He stirs my heart, fills my vision again, restores, renews.

Monday morning rises, and I am dust again, slow to love, sure of Him though I am unsure of me. Oh, it is hard to live here when I want to "grow" and to be "spiritual" and to gain the affirmation I crave.
"Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.

"I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.

"The arrogant are attacking me, O God; a band of ruthless men seeks my life — men without regard for you. But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Turn to me and have mercy on me; grant your strength to your servant and save the son of your maidservant.

"Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me."

- Ps. 86:11-17
Once I asked God who I was. There was so much going on inside me, I didn't know.

His answer surprised me:

"For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Cor. 5:21)

Yes, falling crimson round my failing heart, the sign of His goodness, the righteousness of Christ - the Grace to be both human and His.
One choice
One tree
One fall for humanity
One lie
One liar
One bite is all death required
One great regret
One squandered chance, and yet
One hope
One day
One name above all other names
One bridge between then and now
One way to discover how
One price
One tree
One drop of crimson covers me

- Nichole Nordeman, Crimson


L.L. Barkat said...

I really loved this phrase, hiding in the center of everything...

"dropping red around me"


Anonymous said...

One of my favorite verses (1 Cor. 5:21) and I LOVE that Nicole Nordeman song. That piece is one of my favorite classical pieces to play on the piano and then when I first listened to the album and realized she'd put words to it I almost held my breath!

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