Five kids, one dirty dog, one messy house, and one demanding husband into life, she lost it.
Took her daughter to the ER one day ~ I remember sitting in the van while we drove her there ~ and she walked out of that ER loony.
She went missing and even after they found her and her frightened daughter, it took a while for us to really “find” her.
It was just like her mom before her…and her mom before her. Just like generations of moms past as far back as I can trace. I come from a long line of women who’ve up and gone crazy, lost their minds, gone stark mad.
My own mom would use it as a weapon. “You remind me of your Aunt Levale,” she’d tell one of us, and it was meant to mark us, wound us.
I learned there were some hidden things, terrifying things, measures of darkness that no light could reach.
Hopelessness existed. And if I wasn’t good enough, I just might be headed straight for it.
When this is the disease that runs through your blood, you start looking for answers. Oh sure, maybe there is a time when you’re optimistic. You think you’ve beat the odds. You’re young and strong and you’re sure you’re the one the infection won’t touch.
Then life piles up. The symptoms start showing up.
And shopping trips can’t cover it and friends can’t make it go away and make-up can’t camoflauge it and that last hope religion? Can’t fix it.
And then you know the truth. The truth that we can only pump through our veins the blood inherited from the forefathers and we’re all children of Adam and there is no one righteous and this disease, with the specifications of your lineage, it’s not going anywhere. It’s under the skin. It fills every cell. It’s you.
That’s when the question becomes “How are we going to deal with this?”
Strangely enough, it’s a question many Christians never get to. Rather, they spend their lives trying to treat or cover up the symptoms, stacking nightstands and filling ipods with strategies and tools to live the best life possible for whatever life remains.
We try to prove if only ~ finally ~ to ourselves, that infected blood hasn’t seeped all the way through. That we aren’t what momma said about us. We aren’t our worst fears. We aren’t “Aunt Levale.”
We’re going to make it.
There’s good news and bad news. The bad news? It’s that bad. It isn’t a nightmare and it isn’t Aunt Levale anymore, it’s you.
The good news? “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Jesus, Mark 2:17)
And there is One Name given among men by which we must be saved. ONE NAME (and it isn’t the name of our best loved authors, teachers, friends, or pastors, by the way.)
He didn’t come to salvage our lives. He came to give us new blood altogether.
Someone give me a breathing mask because I’ve got to start gulping new life in. I need the blood transfusion ASAP.
And it strikes me one day, why so many of God’s people never breathe it in. Why we never let the Physician do the full work He offers us: Some of us are content to stay on the other side of the Jordan.
Like the Reubenites, Gadites, and half tribe of Manassah, we are happy with the land just short of the Promised Land. (Josh. 22:1-4) We decide our symptoms aren’t that bad, the prognosis is tolerable, and there are far fewer risks involved. Who wants to spend their whole lifetime fighting to gain territory, anyway?
We’ll settle for stuffed bookshelves and too-busy lives and the intake of so much caffeine that it needs it’s own budget….we’ll take what we can get and make the best of it.
But then there’s folks like me, folks so sick with the sin-disease that you puke it all over your kids. Daily. hourly. Some days you can’t even get your emotional self out of bed you’re so sick, can’t plug in to the life around you. And you know you’re infecting everyone in your path.
Something’s got to be done. There’s not enough caffeine and the workbooks leave empty and you’re so worn and weary of performing. So you stop pretending and you decide, even if it kills me, I’m crossing that Jordan.
Those people of God who stay on the other side of the Jordan have just as much of God as I do. They are not inferior or unloved. They may even be able to make a nice little picket fence life for themselves.
But crossing the Jordan? Well, that’s God’s plan all along and the Promised Land is “God’s land” and I want all, every little bit, of what He intended. (Josh 22:19)
The truth is, I can’t survive on the other side of the Jordan.
My blood runs too perverted, my resources too few, my prognosis too bad. I’ve either got to enter in or die in the wilderness.
“Fear not, little flock, for it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
If it’s the Father’s good pleasure (and it is) then why shouldn’t I enter in?
There is no real good reason.
Because even when the darkness is within your own soul, pumping through your own veins, under your own skin, He says He’ll give you the kingdom and the kingdom is within you.
.And I get it: There is no such place as hopeless.
There is no darkness impenetrable, even when it’s within.
Even when there are giants bigger than Aunt Levale in my promised land. It’s my land, not theirs.
And the King, the One by whom comes salvation, has just declared war.
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