January 31, 2017

give us Your heart

When I started this blog in 2009, it was in some of my loneliest days of living far from dear friends and within a time that I was learning what it meant to sing praises even when I felt too low to smile. I named it 'Off With Your Sandals' because it was for times when I needed to come in close and listen closely to what God was telling me about Himself, about how He loves us (all of us), who I am in Him, and what I'm called to.

In its earliest form, Off With Your Sandals took the form of song studies, and I dissected the parts of the song that spoke to me and ushered me into a posture that changed my heart and/or mind. I usually listened to the song on the repeat, sang it loudly, and took an afternoon or evening to write about my response.

All this to say that I was brought back to my computer screen, loud singing and song repeating because of this song today

by: The Emerging Sound (feat. Melanie Tierce)

Your eyes are on the lowly,
Though others look away
Your feet run to the broken
Your hands are quick to save
Make us like You, Lord

You walk with the forgotten
And offer them a home
Adopting the unwanted
And calling them Your own
Make us like You, Lord

Give us Your heart, Oh
Give us Your heart
Let the Light of Heaven shine
As we step into the dark
Give us Your heart, Oh
Give us Your heart
To see Your Kingdom come 
And death depart
Give us Your heart, Oh
Give us Your Heart

Let justice flow,
Like a river in a desert
Let the nations know
That You will reign forever
As the earth beholds
The glory of the Saviour
Let justice flow


'you walk with the forgotten' / 'adopting the unwanted' 

I've been thinking about how Jesus might have become the 'Friend of Sinners'. It takes a while to be known as someone's friend. I imagine that he was often found sitting with people that others would walk away from sooner than to join on the ground. He scandalized the rule-keepers with his grace. He saw that each one was needing love and acceptance and restoration. This is His heart. His heart standing with, walking with, identifying with the lonely and rejected (Prov 14:31, 19:17). 

'give us Your heart'

God's heart is kind and attentive. God's heart is mighty. God's justice is not half-full, it calls us to a deeper, higher calling of addressing the needs of others. God's heart, the knowledge of it's "reckless love" will energize us to do something. 

I've read a lot this past month, in a season post-Masters and pre-work, about justice according to God (I highly recommend Tim Keller's 'Generous Justice'). The rightness and fullness of God's kingdom is all about reconciliation, adoption, restoration, and God's grace, mercy, beauty and compassion. This is God's heart for His people, for creation... to be reconciled to their purposes and to be known fully, and to live fully as loved and accepted.

'as we step into the dark'

First of all.... we must choose to step into darkness. We are made to be Light, to share Light, experience Light, and then BRING it to the darkness. I am grieved as I watch dominant voices and powers within our societies reject and marginalize the 'least of these' (Mt 25:40) when Jesus says that it is to them we are called to show care. 

I want to be made like Him. Transformed into His likeness. I remember singing with my whole heart "break my heart for what breaks yours" all those years ago, and I still want that. But... here's the thing, God's heart does break, His desire is for Light to spill out into darkness. Darkness is no more when Light gets there. 

I have seen some darkness in the last few years and even (and maybe especially) the last few days. Sometimes I want to do is look away and stay comfortable. Things are far from what they are supposed to be. It is hard to go sometimes, we can get 'spent' and 'burnt out'... but... what I learned from my experiences is that we must be equipped and prepared, but we also MUST go. We put on the Armour of God, we walk into God's work for us, and we make sure that we go. We can be sure God goes with us just as He prepares us. 

'let justice flow'

Can you imagine what it would be like if justice were to 'flow'? Full justice. Full restoration, communities bursting with Light, and reconciliation of all the very many broken things. If justice were to flow... it would be approaching a land that has not known it as it was intended.. like a river in the desert of our darknesses.  

How do we bring that? How can we begin to break the fallow ground that is our hearts and our society and our own staleness, fear, anxiety? 

Isaiah 49:8-10 "In a time of favour I have answered you; in a day of salvation I have helped you; I will keep you as a covenant to the people, to establish the land, to apportion the desolate heritages, saying to the prisoners, 'Come out,' to those who are in darkness, 'Appear.' They shall feed along the ways, on all the bare heights shall be their pasture; they shall not hunger or thirst, neither scorching wind now sun shall strike them, for he who has pity on them will lead them."

God has enough justice, goodness, and faithfulness to go 'round. Let's share in His heart and generously bring justice with our eyes, breath, hands and feet, time and care, words and prayers.

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