For awhile now, I've found it difficult to put down on paper what I'm thinking and feeling as I live my daily life in surrender to God. To be clear, there's no discomfort at all with God's side of things; to the contrary, He continues to demonstrate daily that He desires to walk with me and to teach me. He also uses everyday events and occurrences in my life to make it clear just how much He loves me and wants me to be at work alongside Him. So any silence on my part can't be laid to any grievances with God.
Nor, must I admit, am I facing writer's block because of anything that's happening in the world today. Were my audiences made up primarily of people who don't know Jesus, my fingers couldn't type fast enough to say the things I want them to know about how much He loves them. I delight in talking to strangers on planes or trains or in casual encounters about Jesus, and I get to do so almost every time I meet someone new simply by telling them I'm a Christian writer and workplace chaplain.
No, truth be told, my present silence comes from having a hard time knowing how to speak to and write to other Christians these days. For despite my love for comfortable, invited-to-talk evangelistic conversations with non-Christians, the people God has drawn to my writing---and called me to write to---are already aware of Jesus.
Over time I've learned that scolding believers only discourages them, and slapping the hands of Christians being mean-spirited or legalistic or judgmental simply causes them to react to me instead of hearing from God. I've also discovered that filling their minds with images of the hurting and needy who could use their time or money or love or attention isn't often helpful because they already see the same hurts and needs I do, and they feel ill-equipped to tackle them.
During this morning's prayer time, I think I hit upon my problem(s). The more sadness I witness, the more sorrow I hear, the more hate and venom I see spewed both towards and from followers of Jesus, the more I ache to find the words to change things; and the more I want to speak in a way that moves multitudes to move mountains. And the more I long to do that, even when it's motivated by love or concern or genuine sorrow, the more of me I'm tempted to put into my effort.
When I claimed Jesus as my Savior, I also asked Him to be Lord, and I did so because I knew that in my own wisdom I would never be capable of living this life in a way that honors Him. If I can't live my life without His guidance, I surely can't tell others how to live theirs without it, either.
So instead of trying to be a leader or protector or fixer or any other term that gives the readers more of me and less of Him, I'm going to stick to writing about the many ways God loves you, the many times He longs for your attention, the many ways He invites us to labor alongside Him, and how you can see and hear and know Him more fully while still living at the speed of life.
Like everything else in this journey of faith, trying harder never works; shouting louder never works; getting angry never works. If we're too human; too rebellious; too broken to fix ourselves, then we're certainly too "all" of the above to fix Creation. But just as we turned to Jesus to save us and to begin the process that makes us new creations, we need to turn to Him, grow to know Him, and listen as He tells us how to live and work and share and love, for in the end, as others have said more eloquently, only Love will have the final word.
"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place" --II Chronicles 7:14-15