Saturday, September 21, 2013

Stronghold #67 and #68

Stronghold #67: Out of the frying pan into the fire

Okay, so there I was lying in bed awake -- as usual--

And pondering: Why do I always think things will get worse if I move? Or if my son is healed?

Is it really a fear of change?
If I create a negative possiblity --only negative possibilities-- then stasis is a good thing.

Is it a kind of perverse Calvinism?
I'm not a Calvinist by any means but it would appear that my heart has a Calvinistic streak when it comes to dealing with getting out of pain, the fear that getting out of pain (or my son's getting out of his pain) might be a bad thing.

In India, some poor beggars in the lower castes break their children's legs to make sure the children aren't tempted to get out of their karma. I've often found myself thinking, "Well, Gabe is sickly --thus he is a good kid-- and perhaps God "knows" that if he had been healthy he would become a thug. Yes, i have thought that.

Is it a failure of imagination due partly to having seen so much negativity that I can't simply imagine better?
Is it a failure of imagining that things can be better? Is it comparison mode? ("Well, after all, there are people out there suffering more than you are, Carole, so accept this? Why expect more?") But comparison mode doesn't work when I think of hos much suffering younger son goes through everyday? And it doesn't work when I consider how much suffering Christ went through that we might have salvation in our spirit, will, soul, mind, body.

I think of Jesus's parable of the feast where "if you give a party, bring in the maim, poor, rejected, etc and all they who cannot repay you." It's two fold: one -- you aren't hoping for recompense from the earth. God will repay you. But also, I suspect that when the poor are well-treated they begin to see that they are worthy of good. They look at the rich potentate's house and they think, "But I can have this as well." It fires up their imagination because before their imaginations were so full of sickness and poverty, they couldn't see clear.

Stronghold #68: The "don't go past your quota" stronghold.

The feeling that one is intruding by asking for something, the feeling that one shouldn't take advantage of love or ask too much of the universe.

It's as if I say to myself, "Okay, you've had enough good for a while."

I remember a week where one good thing happened after another, funny, odd, miraculous thing. And then I seemed to say to myself, "It is all too much. Stop expecting this good stuff to continue." And when I'm asking for some great thing, I think (because I never really had a father) "Who are you to ask for such a big thing? Aren't you intruding?" And it stopped...all that weird wonderful flaky loving stuff from the universe...just stopped. Apparently, some part of my heart must be holding on to the "Carole, you have overstayed your welcome" issue from when I was a kid. I do this with my human non-godly friends as well. Kindness past a certain boundary or amount makes me very uncomfortable. I've started avoiding my friends Lisa and Mike because they are always giving me cakes and food when I visit them. So this wounded heart of mine affects how I receive God's kindness and God's grace as well.

So, it's not as if I limit God. I've kinda moved past limiting God. But I limit his love for me by thinking he's like the horrible relatives who had a quota on the amount of love or kindness I am supposed to receive from them.

When my husband's sister was dying when she was eleven, my father-in-law knelt at the bed and said, "God, I never ask you for anything. And I promise you I'll never ask for anything again if you answer this prayer. Please let my daughter live."

My father-in-law had a tough, Irish-Catholic Father.

I had no father. And when Mama went to the US to earn the Yankee dollar, (even though she paid the relatives money to take care of me, sending them money all the time) the relatives spent the money on themselves -- a good Jamaican life. And yet, I felt like an intruder.

So this is my 68th stronghold. (Actually, I'm not really counting. I just picked a coupla numbers out of the blue)

3Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD say, "The LORD will surely separate me from His people." Nor let the eunuch say, "Behold, I am a dry tree." 4For thus says the LORD, "To the eunuchs who keep My sabbaths, And choose what pleases Me, And hold fast My covenant, 5To them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial, And a name better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off.… Isaiah 56:3-4

ALSO -- God didn't mind someone latching unto him.
Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him. Genesis 5:24

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7

So am working on God's love for me, on the idea that God doesn't stint...that God doesn't stint toward me. I might have to re-read Traherne's Centuries because he writes so well about the givingness of God.

But, at least I'm working on this heart of mine. So the prayer/seed can find good ready ground in which to bloom.

Hubby's working on discovering his heart as well. His is "Have I been desperate enough?" There is a difference between desperation and fervency, I guess. And there is also the idea of the flagellants who wanted to show God how terribly fervent they were in their self-loathing. Legalists do bring in the old repentance as penance thing. True repentance just means turning your heart and mind to seeing how much God loves you and how your path moves you away from God's love. But Christians often mix up repentance with penance, and they believe if they have suffered enough or if God feels they have suffered enough, then at last they are worthy enough to be blessed.

Hubby is also pondering the stronghold in his heart of thinking his prayer won't be answered unless he gets his ducks all in a row and does everything necessary to get the healing done. He wants to be fully free in his ability to receive from God without putting these weird requisites on himself or his apacity to receive.

BIBLE VERSE FOR HUBBY: It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God's mercy. Romans 9:16

So...yeah..gonna have to meditate on some wonderful verses about God's unlimited love and and my worthiness.

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