Friday, October 15, 2010

Channel Discovery

With the Rangers in the play-offs, one might imagine my household would be brimming with roars, chants, and popcorn in the couch cushions. But alas, the game is 150 miles away and only televised on cable. Philip took all who were interested to a satellite location...literally:)

We are in uncharted territory. I am at home alone with Oscar and the LizzarBeth. They have been silent, if not unconscious, for hours. Are you ready? I sat down with a diet coke, propped my feet up, and ....(wait for it)

...watched a movie
in its entirety

I really don't like watching movies. It's hard for me to relax and not feel overwhelmed with "all the other things I probably should be doing."

Moreover, there are very few great movies. So, it's statistically improbable that a given movie will leave me with that "what a great way to spend a couple hours" feeling.

Flipping through the N*tfl!x options, I chose "Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind". I had not heard of it, and was concerned by its rating, but gave it a shot. (its Restricted rating was for strong language and one brief hiney...ok, I guess it was "de-briefed" actually...)

Anyway. It was a strange, quirky movie. But I think I liked it.

Beyond an intriguing approach to the concept of "moving on" after difficulties, the central message I gathered was this: People are flawed, and the tossed coin that holds their best and worst attribute can make life difficult, unless you choose to experience that person through a filter of unconditional love and acceptance. And in the safety of that commitment, we have room and reason to grow.


I'm so grateful that Philip and I have been patient with one another. We are each very messed up in so many ways. We knew that fact would become undeniable the more we shared our lives. But one thing we have in common...the most important thing we share is God's redemptive love.

God took my rotten little heart. That selfish, disobedient, prideful heart -- He took it and replaced it with a heart capable of true love. His love.

I've been forgiven for SO many words, thoughts, and actions. I've been forgiven for SO many episodes of disobedient silence, disengaged senses, and lazy-donkey apathy. SO many times I've been forgiven. Clean slate. Forgiven. Forgotten. "He remembers it no more."

I am so blessed by Christ's sacrifice. I want my life to be a sacrificial blessing to Him...and others. But so often I rare up and fall miserably short.

There was a situation in the past that grieved me for years. I felt wronged. I felt betrayed and hurt. I felt entitled. I felt cold and indifferent, and yet ablaze with passionate insecurity.

I had journeyed long and hard toward forgiveness with some of the participants. And yet toward others, I never even tried. I didn't hate them. I just wasn't interested in loving them. According to the book of John, "this cannot be."

Last month, as I lay on the floor, I prayed alot. It was a different, more focused kind of prayer....well, except for the pain meds:)...than I'm accustomed to. I was able to really hash things out with the Lord. We had uninterrupted time to linger and labor over several different issues.

This certain wound came up in conversation multiple times. As the Holy Spirit took inventory of my heart, I discovered the sorrowful truth that I've never even cared. During those weeks, He sent divine messages through earthly means that alerted me to people who were hurting. My first instinct was to turn away. God, forgive me.

But with patience and heavy presence, He guided me to the place where I saw the stark contrast of how He treats me against how I treat others. I wept with tears of repentance and He once again poured out forgiveness. Almost immediately, I felt compassion for people I had been determined to ignore. I cared.

I want God's best for them. I pray for them to experience peace and joy.

And in His love, I find it.