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Love Song, I — Calling

Iam the oldest of eleven children. Ten siblings ~ all of whom I love with every breath, every prayer, every passing day.

Boxes stuffed with letters line closet shelves; photos surround me when arms cannot. They are so precious, these little souls, cast from Emmanuel's image and walking, living, running along the crust of earth. But all the little heads outgrow kisses I've planted. Time snatches youth and etches years into face. Hearts shift, thoughts change.

"Why are you doing this?" asks fear. Anger. Uncertainty. They lash out, indignant, afraid.

The most painful place of all lifts broken eyes to hills. There is only one answer, really. "Because He said."

Because He said.

This holy tragedy 

"When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die." 

In his book "The Cost of Discipleship", so writes one of my favorite martyrs, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. A preacher and theologian executed  for resistance against National Socialism, his prison writings and books linger still, preaching grace and the calling of God ~ a calling which consumes all, a great, refining, jealous fire.

It is the calling of the cross. 

How do I respond? I wring my hands with tears. Obedience hurts. It breaks hearts; it divides. It endures accusation, misunderstanding, exile. Sometimes it kills. It willingly bears torture in faith that better things will come. Obedience requires us to wait in the pain and darkness, to weep and ache with the unknown while feet tread the faithful, steady path carved for us on Golgotha.

"Follow Me."

We ought to obey God, rather than men. Even when He hands us the crucifix and bids us Come. 

And so we come, and die.

to be continued . . .

5 comments:

  1. obeying God is hard...
    so glad you've made the decision to stick to doing it..
    to keep walking, and following after Him...
    ;)
    love to you dear
    walking after Him is the very best thing any of us could do...following, for He will never leave...never forsake..
    and remember HOW much He loved you, and me..
    I weep when I think of the fact
    He really DID go to the ends of the earth for us........

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  2. Yes, death to self is necessary. There are things we must give up in order to follow Him. But the wonderful truth that I am finally discovering is that death leads to...life. Maybe that life is for us, maybe it is for others, but it will be abundant life. We give up one thing because we know there is something better coming. Even Jesus went to the cross "for the joy set before Him."

    Going through pain because we think pain brings holiness is abuse. Going through pain because we know there is something worthwhile on the other side is a healthy outlook. Who would go through surgery if there wasn't some benefit of healing to come from it? Why would spiritual surgery be any different?

    We serve a God whose name is Healer. When He asks us to go through pain, He has a VERY good reason to do so.

    I say this all now from a place of relative comfort. I may need you all to remind me of it at some point in the future. :-P :-)

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  3. Ahh, Sharon, you are giving away my ending! :-p ;-) But you are so right ~ and I love the analogy of spiritual surgery. Seeing the transformation from "broken" to "whole" as the Great Physician works is miraculous, humbling, and wonderful indeed.

    Anika, yes. Me too.

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  4. Sorry, Hillary! I have just lived there for so long that I kinda have to finish the story or I get really discouraged. :-P :-D I'm looking forward to the next part! :-)

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  5. LOL I know exactly what you mean. :-D Have a blessed day!

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