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Good Night, Sweet Prince

17155323_10212514174588571_3581718803438938048_nSince my kids were very young, we have always had pets in the house. A dog, 4 cats, 4 guinea pigs, gerbils, chameleons and fish. A lot of fur, a lot of pine bedding, and I could have done without the weekly purchase of crickets. But they learned compassion in caring for another living creature. It was so worth it all to see my kids playing with the dog or snuggling with a cat. Over the years we have had to say goodbye to them all and each goodbye brought the tears of grief that spring from a heart that has loved much.

Today we said our goodbyes to our last fur baby – a 14 year old grey and white cat 20170414_094941named Smokey (whom I came to call “the Prince”). He was your run of the mill domestic short hair cat but he had the softest fur you can imagine. He was very shy when all the other animals were around but as each one slipped away we would see Smokey’s personality change and he would become more outgoing. He spent the last 18 months of his life as an only fur baby and during that time he was the most affectionate sweetie you could imagine. It turns out that he was one of those animals who do not like to share their people and he should have been an “only cat” all along. I am so grateful that we got to see his true personality come out in his senior years.16473075_10212257314687234_3889801842831162922_n

Today, as I mourn the loss of a beloved family pet, I cannot help but think of the church service that I will be going to later this evening to contemplate the death of my Savior. And out of that death – new life.

 

 

Out of sacrifice – another chance for us all.

Out of pain and sorrow – the sweetness of promised salvation.

Today, I mourn. But in three days…….

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Simple Truths

crossGood Friday

A day that, upon reflection, was not very good. I can see that cross in the sanctuary of my church each week and know that God loves me. I can wear a cross necklace daily and know that it symbolizes the life, love and sacrifice of my Savior. But, on Good Friday I am forced to contemplate what the cross is rather than what it is a symbol of. It is an archaic, cruel invention meant to take a person’s life in the most painful way possible. It was designed to purposefully prolong the dying process and increase the agony. The cross encapsulates everything that is evil about mankind.

As the pastor spoke at the Good Friday service last night a simple truth hit me. While we always say that when Jesus died on that tree He conquered death, there is more. He conquered all that is brutal and cruel and inhuman in us. He used that mechanism of evil intent to become the sacrifice that changed the world. God took what had to be the ugliest invention of His creation and turned it to be the catalyst of everything that is good and loving and glorious of Himself. The path to eternal life runs straight through and is victorious over man’s own depravity.

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”    Genesis 50:20

It reminds me that no matter how low I have sunk, how ugly my thoughts can get, how angry my actions can be – none of that is too much for God to turn around and still use me for His purposes. He will love me despite my sins, He will use me in this fallen world despite my shortcomings. Nothing is too evil for God to embrace and turn to good. That is a powerful truth that I am struggling to wrap my mind around even as I read the latest headlines out of Brussels. But I will cling to the simple truths.

“God is light. In Him there is no darkness at all.”  1 John 1:5b


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I wanted to be with You

cross

I wanted to be with You

as You fell down to pray

but there were so many things

that kept me very far away.

Things like pride and anger,

things like plain old fear.

But I am so glad to know

that You were praying for me there.

I wanted to be with You

when your friend turned You in,

 I saw the soldier with drawn sword,

 my little bit of courage wore thin.

I was held back by pride and anger

and just plain old fear.

But when you faced Judas’ kiss

I saw compassion shine so clear.

(how did I miss this?)

I wanted to be with You

to defend You at that trial,

making waves and speaking out

but you know that’s not my style.

I cowered in pride and anger

and just plain old fear

I was no help to You

Had my own burden to bear.

I wanted to be with Youcross - Copy

as they led You up that road.

that cross that You carried

should have been my heavy load.

But I couldn’t bear the suffering

and tortured agony

yet, You walked the walk I couldn’t walk,

each step you took for me.

I wanted to be with You

but I’m not good enough, I guess.

Still You carried on alone

even when I had to rest.

You took all my failures

that had stopped me in my tracks

as you walked up to Golgotha, my weight across your back.

You took all these things that held me down,

my pride and anger and fear

You took them with You on that cross

and I’m so sorry that You were there,

so sorry that I couldn’t share,

so sorry.

And yet, somehow glad that You were there

so glad that You truly care

for me.

I wanted to be with You

yet all the time

 You were there with me.

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