peace, love, and having a mind of your own

i refuse to look at life through the lens of tradition.
i refuse to believe everything i am told.
i refuse to live a life that doesn't promote peace, love, and having a mind of your own.

30 January 2011

love before truth. it goes in that order.

stuff i found in my journal from Africa. a revamp of an old blog [mom, you might not want to read this one. don't say you weren't warned.]

“Vice Rag”
by A.A. Bondy

Sweet sweet cocaine, won’t you be all mine?
My heart’ll pound, my hands’ll shake, I’m doin’ mighty fine.
Sweet sweet heroin, won’t you be all mine?
I don’t wanna feel a thing, want nothin’ on my mind.
Sweet sweet whiskey, won’t you be all mine?
If you were to fill the ocean I would drink it dry.
Sweet sweet devil, won’t you be all mine?
Set this tired land aflame, it ain’t worth a dime.
Sweet sweet Jesus, won’t you be all mine?
If you take my sinner’s hand we’ll walk down the line.

I love this song. I can relate. How often have I tried every possible outlet before turning to the beauty of God to satiate me? How often, even after deciding that Jesus delights me more than any vice, have I tried to fill myself with other things? Maybe not whiskey so much anymore. Maybe not drugs. Maybe I’ve never intentionally called the devil sweet, but I’ve tasted him.

Saturday 17 July 2010
Isebania, Kenya

I don’t want to look at anything through the lens of "Christianity." I want to look objectively. I want to love objectively. I don’t ever want to forget where I came from, and the potential I have to revisit that dark place and live there again. I don’t want a Christian vocabulary. I don't want the Christian label. I don’t want a posse that consists of only the redeemed and righteous. I don’t want a life alienated from the old me.

The old me is making sweet love to the world. The old me is too busy filling up on every delightful hedonistic pleasure she can get her hands on, to hear the still small voice, the persistent knock of genuine contentment. I want to be there for her. I want to buy her a beer. I want to stand where she can see me, I'll even be the little piece of dirt on the ground that reflects God’s glory if she won’t look up to see Him for herself.

I recognize that I still have the potential to be the old me. It was not by my own righteousness or self-control that I have become what I am. [Which is: a work in progress. But a much more hopeful, confident and peaceful work in progress than ever before.] 

That’s why I still listen to Biggie sing about getting rich and high and f­_[edit]_d real good. That’s why I still ache for a cigarette some days, the way she craves forgiveness and God’s grace. If I don’t show her Jesus, how will she see him? If I don’t love her first, how will she hear the truth?
[Romans 10:14-15]

Saturday 24 July 2010
Isebania, Kenya

From the furious longing of God, by Brennan Manning:

“Jesus came not only for those who skip morning meditations, but also for real sinners, thieves, adulterers, and terrorists, for those caught up in squalid choices and failed dreams.” (p.35)

“The God I’ve come to know by sheer grace, the Jesus I met in the grounds of my own self, has furiously loved me regardless of my state- grace or disgrace. And why? For his love is never, never, never based on our performance, never conditioned by our moods- of elation or depression. The furious love of God knows no shadow of alteration or change. It is reliable. And always tender.” (p. 37)

Saturday 31 July 2010
Jinja, Uganda

Today was amazing!
1. White water rafting the freaking Nile.

2. Mike.

Mike was my raft guide. One of the first things he said today was, “Oh you’re missionaries, I’ll try to keep my language clean.” To which I replied, "Don't bother, I won't." I knew right then it was going to be a good day. I did my worst missionary impression, had some real conversations with Mike, and had a fun day rafting.

Tonight I sat with Mike at the bar. I got on his level. We talked for three hours, drank a few [me]/ several [Mike] beers, and he even shared a few of his cigarettes with me. His opening line was, “I’ll just never be a Christian. It’s okay for you, but I know I could never do it.”

We talked about the Bible. He didn't think the Bible was something you could talk about over beer and cigarettes. We explored the idea of grace, and how he did not think he deserved to be forgiven for his lifestyle, nor did he want to change. We discussed his vending-machine god, who he only prays to when he goes into a big rapid and asks to be kept alive. Together we contemplated God’s love, and how he has never recognized it in his life.

Three hours later, Mike finished our conversation with a simple promise: that he would genuinely ask God to unveil love into his life. 

Favorite day.

1 comment:

  1. Love the raw vulnerability. Your going to reach a lot of people Keet!