Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ode to a Tree

I see you out there
Don’t think I don’t
Standing there, arms stretched up to the sun
Soaking in the Vitamin D
Swaying with each movement of the breeze
Mocking me
Taunting me
And I am undone by jealousy

I push my rolley chair back and pick up a fax
You sway forward as if moving with me
You almost touch the glass window that separates us
Then you sway back
And I notice how blue the sky is
And how black my plastic desk phone is
And I sigh

You sway again toward the window
Are you inviting me out?
Don’t you know
That I am as rooted to this reception area
As you are to the ground?
Of course you know
And you’re mocking me again

I put on my sweater
Protection from the waft of artificially cool air
Your fluttering
Surrounded by natural air
And I know it smells like lavender with hints of ozone
I should quit my job and join you outside
I won’t

You’re laughing at me again
But I’m laughing now too
Because when I put on my sweater
I remembered
In a few months you will still be rooted to the ground
But the ground will be covered with snow
And your arms encased in ice
While I will be toasty warm
With my toes wiggling under the space heater
And I won’t envy you anymore

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Devotional on Complaint

Why should a man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?
Lamentations 3:39 NKJV
How would the sinner answer this question?
Because it isn’t fair.  God is supposed to be loving.  If he loved me, he wouldn’t hurt me.  To punish me for sins, which he created me to want to do, and which everyone else does, isn’t fair.  If he is really a loving God, he will forgive me when I mess up.

How would the repentant answer this question?
Because it isn’t right.  I already confessed my sins so I shouldn’t still suffer for them.  I am supposed to be forgiven.  What good is forgiveness if I still have to suffer for my mistakes anyway?  I gave up a lot to come to Jesus and it wasn’t so I would just still be punished for my sins.

How would the saint answer this question?
Because I am his child.  I may mess up now and then, but I’m not nearly as bad as the people in the world.  There are people in the world who are murderers and thieves and they don’t get punished for their sins.  I am his child.  If the people in the world see that even God’s children suffer when they sin, why would they ever want to come to Christ?

How would the Savior answer this question?
Surrender.  Jesus didn’t complain when he was lifted up to suffer the punishment for my sins.  It wasn’t fair; He didn’t deserve to die.  It wasn’t right; He hadn’t sinned.  He was the beloved Son of God, the only holy child of God.  When he faced the punishment for the sins of mankind he asked, “My God, why have you forsaken me?”  Why should I be punished for sin?  He answered his own question with a declaration of surrender.  “Into Thy hands I commit my spirit.”

How would my relationship with God transform if my response to the punishment for my sin were surrender? 

Into your hands, my God, I commit my spirit.