Friday, January 26, 2007

John 6

verse 2--And a large crowd was following Him, because they saw the signs that He was doing.

The Lord is my Shepherd.

verse 9--There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?

I shall not want.

verse 10--Jesus said, "Have the people sit down," Now there was much grass in the place.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.

verse 18--The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing.

He leadeth me beside the still waters.

verse 20--But He said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid."

He restoreth my soul.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

That which is hidden

This post began as a discussion with RuthAnn and continued in my mind and finally worked its way here. I'm still sorting it out. Clearly haven't come to anything ultra-conclusive.

Question: Do people really have a hidden side that no one knows about? Or do observers really have the ability to see through supposed facades and secrets that were thought hidden. Granted, everyone has secrets, and granted some people are more perceptive than others. But is it possible to have a side that is known only to the individual and kept completely hidden from the rest of the world?

I'm not just referring to specific events or experiences. Yes, these things do leave an impact on who we are, but they do not define who we are. And of course the details of experience can definitely be kept hidden. I'm talking about having actual aspects of personality that people don't know about.

However, not to take this to an extreme, I do think there are individuals who are convinced that deep down they are someone completely different--i.e. smarter, braver, kinder, more adventuresome. In reality, this identity exist only in the mind and they have never responded accordingly.

Honestly, I think it comes down to a choice. As individuals, we decide how much to open up, how far to let people see in. As observers, we choose how much we will see, how perceptive we'll be, and when to just turn a blind eye and be oblivious.

So, although I first agreed that people don't have a hidden side, that others are more aware of the hidden "us" than we like to think, the more I think on it, the more I think I disagree. I think it's possible to keep a part of self (not just experiences, but actual personality and character) completely hidden.

I'm begging to be proven wrong, so if anyone has an opinion, have at it.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

What's the word?

Okay, since there are a handful of word lovers who read my blog, maybe one of you can help me. What is the word that you would use to describe the incorrect use of a thesaurus. It's what every English teacher dreads while grading papers and the reason I was banned for a time from using a thesauus. It's some kind of an 'ism,' and I cannot for the life of me remember the word.

Friday, January 12, 2007


I am baffled when I consider the love of God. Words like steadfast, unconditional, and sacrificial are beyond my comprehension. If our understanding of God's love comes from the experiential knowledge of what we share among ourselves, then none of us can hope to understand. Our human view is imperfect. It falls short.

After all, what is it that every individual longs for, the things in fact that he believes are his deserved right?
  • He wants to be understood
  • He wants to be loved
  • He wants to have something he can trust

Unconditional love, in its purest form, is a willingness to love without being understood. I was thinking about how that desire to be understood is something every single one of us shares, and I had to wonder is there is a single person who is understood. Unconditional love wipes out the what if's--what if I am not understood? What is my love is not returned. What if it's misinterpreted and abused? It was both anguish and comfort to my heart to read John 13 and see that Christ was not understood. Seated in the center of his dearest friends, his most intimate followers, he spoke, but they didn't have a clue what he was saying.

And yet He loved them, knowing they would not-could not understand his love, knowing they could never return his love. That's unconditional.

Steadfast love, in its truest sense, is the determination to love without being loved in return. It's the reciprocation of love that makes love easy that makes it continue indefinitely. But to be steadfast in a love that is not shared? We love the socially accepted, yet He loved the Samaritan. We love those who treat us kindly, yet He loved the Roman soldier. We don't love that way.

And yet he did. In thousands of examples, he loved the very people who despised Him. He continues to. That's steadfast.

Sacrificial love, at its highest point, is a purposeful decision to love someone you do not trust. It has to be a conscious decision; it certainly does not come naturally. I'm trying to think if there is someone who I can say I love even though I do not trust. I don't know if I want to be that honest here. I can tolerate people I don't trust. I can avoid them. I can work along side them, keeping my heart distant. But love them?

And yet, my Jesus did. Knowing he would be rejected, denied, and betrayed, he loved them. That's sacrificial.

I wish I could understand His love so that I would know how to love others. I wish I could understand so that I would know how to love Him.