Saturday, October 30, 2010

Note to Self:

He hates me.

Actually, we've toyed and manipulated the word 'hate' until it isn't a sufficient description of what he feels for me.

He despises me.  He wrings his hands in anticipation of my every heartbreak.  In his dreams, I always fall, always hurt, always cry.  He finds himself strangely satisfied when I'm at odds with people I care about. If he can catch me alone and afraid, he has a hard time hiding his twisted joy. He loves to get my hopes up, dangling some promise above me as I dance, only to snatch it away.   He tugs me closer and closer to the ledge and laughs when I cry out in fear. He tricks me into thinking I'm right, only to ridicule me later for going public with my stupidity. He enjoys the grief he causes when he strips me of purpose and passion and he's constantly searching for a way to make me believe I'm a liar.   He is perpetually pointing a blaming finger my way, jumping from one guilt ridden accusation to another as soon as I find the strength to defend myself.  When I defend myself, he laughs, reminding me of how selfish I am, how everything revolves around me.   He whispers horrible lies to me about my family, laughing when I give in to my fears.  He lies in wait when I'm near the truth, anticipating the perfect opportunity to snatch my hope and replace it with doubts and fears.  My own heart is a constant reminder of my betrayal.  He encourages me when I'm angry and he doesn't hide his satisfaction when I let my anger get the best of me, hurting people I love.  He painstakingly sends me gift after gift of Turkish Delight, and when I, on occasion, believe in its merit, he laughs as I naively accept another dagger to my heart.  He encourages people I love to say exactly what I'm sure my heart can't handle.  He hides my eyes when people go out of their way to prove love, and yet he won't let me turn away when they, however unintentional, disappoint me.    He'll spend every talent, every resource, every alliance in an attempt to get me to pledge my allegiance to him, but not so he can embrace me.  He exists simply to see me destroyed.  He wants nothing more than for me to feel naked, alone and dead inside.  

Yes, he hates me.  Loathes me.  Celebrates my every tear.  Capitalizes on my every fear.  Although the sight of me infuriates him and the thought of my heart causes him to recoil in disgust, he won't leave me alone.  He wishes, more than anything, to hate me to death, and every lie I believe pushes him closer to satisfaction.

And, still, knowing all I know, I allow him to manipulate me. Sometimes, I let him court me with lies and libel.   On occasion, when he breathes malicious ideas into my heart, I entertain him.  And there are days when I clearly see him pulling me the way of anger and bitterness and in an intentional lack of discipline, I willingly submit to his antics.

And the worst part?  I mean less than nothing to him.  Do you hear that?  Less than nothing.  My talents, my passions, my loves- these things don't even register on his radar.  Were I to honor him with every emotion, allegiance and endorsement, he would hate me just as much.  The truth is, while I am the victim of his militant hatred, he has never wasted a single, solitary thought on who I am.  For him, I have earned his contempt not because I'm good or bad, but simply because I'm loved.

And, that, my friends, is the moral of the story.

I am loved.  I am loved.  I am celebrated.  Fought for.  Sought after.  Chased.  Songs are sung on my behalf.  A life was lost so I could live.  I am loved.  

God took one look at me and gave me the job my enemy didn't have the spiritual fortitude to handle.  Now, when Satan looks at me, all he can see is his failure, my success and Jesus' reflection.  I MAKE HIM SICK.

I am loved and my enemy snarls his revulsion.  I am loved and my antagonist responds with hostility.  I am loved and because of that love, powers and principalities are rendered impotent.  I am loved and to strip my enemy of power, all I have to do is embrace that love.

I am loved. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Speak with Care

"Rise to the top!"

These are the words my Dad will obnoxiously yell each and every time he slaps the draw pile on a Rummy table. He's quite animated in his belief that if he slaps the stack of cards hard enough when he yells, that the best card in the deck will be at his fingertips when he draws.  It's silly, annoying and quite futile, but no matter how long he plays, this little antic is a big part of his game.  I don't know what it is about it, but his uncanny ability to have faith in his own ability to conjure the best card and win is endearing.

The funny thing is that I know he knows that yelling at a deck of cards has no power to change the quality of the card on top.  It's downright silly to think that a ceremonial slap and voicing an order to an inanimate object would alter the results of a game of skill, but according to him, he's done it for decades. Nobody who loves him expects him to stop this side of Glory.  Let's face it, it's kind of cute when people pretend their words have power to change the unchangeable.  I mean, it's not like my Dad is changing anything with his words, right?

 But what if he was?  What if we were?

What if we gave ourselves permission to say silly things that culminated in the chipping away of someone's confidence, honor, or future? What if, by giving ourselves permission to be poor managers of our mouths, we shove people into pits that we ourselves aren't strong enough to crawl out of?  Or worse, what if our words really did have the power to lend worth to a person contemplating their significance? What if a truth spoken in love had the ability to snatch a loved-one from a grave? What if the overflow from our hearts was supposed to flow from our mouths and heal the sick,discourage sin and raise the dead?

What if, when the world desperately needs us to be quiet, we carry on and on and on?

What if, when the world desperately needs us to speak truth in love, we withhold what they need the most?

Words. Count them. Memorize them. Practice them. Swallow them.  Borrow them.  Our words can rape a mind or encourage the masses.  They are a currency with the power to rob and ravage or to help and heal.  But of all the things you can say about their power, they can never be erased or voided, and they can never travel back in time to change a destiny.

Speak with care.  But, for God's sake, speak!

The right word at the right time
   is like a custom-made piece of jewelry.  (Proverbs 25:11)

Out of the same mouth pour blessings and curses. My friends, how can this be? (James 3:9)