Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Perception

I had a dream the other night that I was teaching a class on perception. I was using a children's curriculum and I was adapting it for adults. I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to teach and the class start time kept getting delayed for various reasons. But, I remember how excited I felt about the material. I felt the thrill of discovery over something profound and I was full of anticipation about sharing my findings with other people.
One thing that I have been thinking a lot about this month is the presence of both great evil and great love in my heart. This month has been busy for me with activities. As many of you already know, I struggle emotionally when I live at a certain level of activity. It's like the door to ugliness in my heart is thrown wide open. I know that it is not my circumstances that are creating the terrible thoughts and feelings that I discover. They live within me all the time, just waiting for the right person or situation to reveal them. Even worse than this thought is the realization that I guard their presence within me. I know that they are there and I contain and hide them so that I can continue to appear nice and good.
Whenever great ugliness gets exposed in me, I want to avoid, deny and escape. I feel loathing toward those despicable parts of me and I want to divorce them from myself. Often, I use articulate words to describe my sin and appear righteous in the way that I am handling it. But, internally, I am seething with self-hatred. I shame myself for my behavior and punish myself with critical thoughts and judgments.
God has started challenging this cycle of despair by bringing His love right into my ugliness. Psalm 139 reminds me that God knows my every thought and all the motives of my heart. He understands the sin that still lives in me. He has seen and known the full extent of my depravity since he paid for it at the cross. And yet, He chose to set His love upon me. His love is toward me even while the process of sanctification, complete deliverance from sin and death through the transformation of my thinking, feeling and behaving, remains unfinished. He hates my sin, but he does not hate me and he does not want me to hate myself. Jesus Christ assigned me His dignity when I asked Him for forgiveness of sins and it speaks a better word than my failures. I am depraved and I have the dignity of Christ. It is a strange tension to live in and something that I want to keep pondering.

Still Counting Gifts:

  • #1002: Extra time at home this morning
  • #1003: Wedding season is beginning 
  • #1004: 8 months of marriage with Ben and how we still end up liking each other in the end
  • #1005: A fun evening with friends and family at Anderson Garden's
  • #1006: Wonderful time with Ben's family last week
  • #1007: Our basement home is quite cool and comfortable