Friday, February 26, 2010


On this day of your life, God wants you to know ... that to love is to be vulnerable.
Love is the opening of the heart, the welcoming of your beloved. Loving is not secure, authentic loving is risky. Security lies behind the walls of a closed heart. You either invite the union by opening in love, or you secure the isolation by closing down.

I read that this morning, kind of shrugged, and thought, Well, that doesn't really apply.   I love and am loved by my boys, my husband, my family, my friends.  I'm already open and taking that risk.  Then God poked me in the back, tapped me on the shoulder, whispered in my ear...  (Wait,  I am not a crazy person.  I don't mean He actually poked me or any of that.  I didn't actually hear a voice.  But it was the same as if I had...)
So, I'm sitting there, almost smirking to myself about how I've already got this one handled, and then... Bam!  Gibbs Slap to the head.... (Come on, you watch NCIS don't you?  Mark Harmon rocks!)  Anyway, I get this mental slap-to-the-back-of-the-head and the not exactly whispered.... "What about Me?" 

As usual, He's right, and I'm wrong. 
Do I love God?  Yes!
Do I go to worship? Yes! 
Do I pray regularly? Yes!
Do I try to go about my daily life as I think He might want me to? Yes.
Do I participate in handbells and other groups at church?  Yes.
Do I read and study and reflect?  Yes. 
Is my heart completely open and fully taking the risk of loving and being loved by Him?  No.

That's a little shocking isn't it?  It's my secret (not-so-secret now...) confession.  I am still afraid.  I am still worried about offending people who might not agree with me.  I am still worried that people will think I'm 'one of those religious nuts'.  I am not comfortable talking to people about God, or telling them that I will pray for them.   I am worried about being judged.  I still isolate myself from God, even though I know that He is always with me, always supporting me, always loving me.  Sad, right?

I had a friend ask me the other day if I had given up anything for Lent, or if that was just something Catholics do.  And I couldn't say it.  I wrote out this beautiful post about it, obviously have it well thought out and am doing it everyday, but I couldn't say it.  I was afraid.  And then I was ashamed at not taking the awesome opportunity to share with her.   So I tried to start telling her, but it just came out a jumbled mess that didn't make much sense.  I wasn't comfortable talking about how I look at it as giving up something that separates us from God. That was just too risky.  And because I haven't let my heart truly, fully open, I lost a perfect opportunity to share God's love.  Shame on me.

God, make a fresh start in me,
      shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
   Don't throw me out with the trash,
      or fail to breathe holiness in me.
   Bring me back from gray exile,
      put a fresh wind in my sails!
   Give me a job teaching rebels your ways
      so the lost can find their way home.
   Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God,
      and I'll sing anthems to your life-giving ways.
   Unbutton my lips, dear God;
      I'll let loose with your praise. 
Psalm 51:10-13 (The Message)
Something I need to, and will be,  working on, to be sure.  It's just not something you ignore when you're head slapped and told 'snap out of it' by the real 'boss'.  So this is me, saying, "Yes, Boss!" May God help me to unbutton my lips and my heart, so I can sing His praises and share His love.

May you be blessed with a fully open heart, 
and filled to overflowing with His love.


SomeGirl said...

I don't think any of what you've said is sad or shameful, but rather exciting! Imagine what God is going to do in and through you... He wouldn't "head slap" you for nothin'! ;)

Maybe you need some blogger cards, too... just had it to them and say, "Here. Read about it." ;)

megan said...

Hey, as you prob know, I can't relate to any of the God stuff and was actually pretty shocked at how devoted you are. I had know idea. But that just goes to show me that not all religious people are nutso. I mean, you are one bad ass chick whose totally on my same level of thinking and all that, so I would actually encourage you to be open about your devotion -- it may help change more people's perception of religious folk. You may not change their mind about "god" or their beliefs, but that's not the point is it, the point is to be true to you. And as long as that's your intention -- that's awesome! (whew, I wrote this all on my phone.)

Shell said...

Megan, That has got to be the best comment I've received. Compliment really. I was actually really worried about what you might think, so I'm glad you don't think I'm nutso. Also, I totally KNOW where you're coming from, and how you don't relate to it. I used to be in that exact same place. I'm actually planning a post about that too.... I used to not even believe in God at all, let alone Jesus and all the other stuff... which is why I don't judge. People are all in their own places, on their own journeys. Love you! Thanks for making my day!