That’s Why

Why do I want to write?

An interesting question that crosses my mind,

Unbidden, not necessarily unwanted, just not understood.

I lay here,

Contemplating the events of the day,

My mistakes and my actions,

Wondering why the itch stirs itself now.

What do I want?

What do I seek?

What do I believe I can gain from anything I write?

What makes my heart stir with passion?

What makes me think I have anything worthwhile to say?

What do I long for?

What does my heart desire?

Do cloud the horizon of my judgment with my own doubts?

Or do I anticipate calamity wisely and prudely?

Why does my mind flood constantly with the thoughts

Of one and only one person?

Does the enigma fascinate me that much?

Is this only a game I wish to play?

Do I value the person underneath the mystery?

Or do I treat her like a book whose cover interests me

Only to grow bored after a few pages?

Do I have fears founded in reality?

Or is it just my heart wishing for clarity

Eagerly filling in the holes with guesses and half-truths to soothe my

soul?

Do I value sound judgment in others

But fail to examine myself?

Do I give in too easily

And then grow frustrated when events transpire

Exactly like I said they could?

Do I listen, truly listen not just hear, the counsel of others?

Or did subvert their conclusions with doubts of my own

Since I cannot believe the truth?

Do I pass on the expectations of myself to others

Only to be surprised when they act differently than I expect?

Oh, double-minded man, you see truth and deem it lies.

You have been hurt so badly

That joy seems impossible

And everything must have an underlying motive.

Peace again reaches my soul

With my own chastisement.

For I know see

My own folly.

Worrying about everything

Accomplishes nothing.

Seizing happiness is difficult,

Especially if you never try.

I’d rather fail, fail miserably in fact,

Then have lost out on something amazing

Because I was too afraid to try.

Hesitation, breeds worry,

And multiplies into regrets.

I will not be the prisoner

To the master of indecision

And I will not be a slave to worry.

Happiness stands at my door,

I can hear her gentle knocking,

My hand grasps the knob ever so tightly,

Fear twisting a knot in my stomach.

Beyond my door lies a future

Of endless possibilities

That I cannot control.

I can’t schedule time for joy,

I can’t pencil in love,

And I certainly can’t restrict happiness.

So I open the door,

And allow myself to be pulled

In directions I would have never gone otherwise.

For it is not the destination,

Or even the journey

That makes the ride worthwhile.

It is the companion beside me,

The hand that I hold,

And the smile makes my heart skip a beat.

And that

Is why I write.

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Coming Anyway

Its just

Curses on a blackboard stage.

Mind raped

Couldn’t feel it anyway.

Crooked fingers

Broken every day.

Is this what it means

To live a dream

Or I am just dying a little every day?

This is the last regret,

Before I take that bet.

Put my life on the line,

I will win every time,

Until that day,

I say no way,

But its coming,

Coming anyway.

Train tracks

Criss-cross my path.

Purple bruises

Pictures of the aftermath.

Empty sheets

Empty dreams

Things just not as they seem.

Is this what it means

To live in a dream

Or did I die yesterday?

This is the last regret

I tell.

One final curse

Before the bell.

It tolls for me,

Oh, can’t you see,

Its finally that day.

I told you it was coming,

Coming anyway.

Lying half-asleep

Drugged up beyond belief.

Mind in a haze

Lost inside a smoke-filled maze.

No one left around

Finally at peace.

Soul is shattered

Heart is dark,

Lights are off.

Told to stop

Couldn’t start.

You left me

Torn apart.

I am the defenseless,

I am the naked,

I am the helpless.

I am the shadow inside your soul,

You left

When I asked you not to go.

You are the path of broken dreams,

You ripped me apart

Pulling out every seam.

You think this is just a dream.

You think that’s not what this could mean,

But you should know,

You died sometime yesterday!

How is the bet you lost?

How dear to you was the cost?

Find a place to lay your head

Hopefully, somewhere soft.

Because the path ahead

Has lead you to the edge,

The bell it tolls

The dice is cast

Watch it roll,

Where it stops

No one knows,

Let the moment linger

Put a finger

Right there on your pulse.

Your heart has stopped,

Your hand was played,

Now six feet deep

You are laid.

Its finally that day.

It was coming,

Coming anyway.

It Would Be Nice

When I originally started to write this post, I could feel the depression sinking and taking hold. No good reason to be so melancholy or so dramatic. So I started to write and I could feel the sadness and self-pity seeping into every word. I could feel the emo-side of me trying to get attention and get some comfort. I mean, that is why you post really melancholy things at times. At least, that’s true for me.

But then I sat back and realized how pathetic I was being. Yeah, I had to pour out a substantial portion of my savings to fix my car. Yeah, I wish two months flew by and I was already graduated. Yeah, I wish I had a different job, one that I really loved. BUT who I am when things aren’t going right is going to decide what my future looks like. If I get that “dream job” and the job gets hard, am I going to stick it through or cave like I am now? Do I wish I had someone to comfort me? Absolutely. But right now, the Lord is that comfort. I don’t need to turn to others, no matter how much I would like that.

We all have times in our lives where we need the support of others, and that is why the Lord puts them in our lives. But (there are a lot of those in this post) they aren’t the answer to our problems and they should never be our savior. We put people on a pedestal that they should never have to stand on. People should never be given that burden. And I have in the past, used others to soothe my frustrations and issues, putting a burden on them that they shouldn’t have to bear. And I refuse to do that again.

I’ve learned, both through trails and error, that if I want to be a good boyfriend and future husband and father, I need to be able to stand on my own two feet. And when I fall, I need to turn to the Lord first and then my spouse. If I get that order reversed, I will wear her down and wear her out. It creates an unhealthy relationship and I have no desire to experience that or introduce that type of behavior into a relationship.

The lies I buy into, shape how I view my day and my situation. I buy into the lies that “I’m alone”, “No one cares”, and “I’m nobody special.” I understand why others feel like that and I constantly attempt to persuade them that it just isn’t true. However (that’s a fancy but), do I believe my own propaganda? Do I allow my own advice to permeate my soul and really change me for the better? When faced with the lies that I constantly face, what do I do to combat it? Do I shrink inside of myself and over-analyze my day? Magnifying the bad and ignoring the good?

If I want to change my outlook, I have to change my thinking. When I try to fill the Christ-shaped hole in my heart (one that is still healing from an improper transplant where I replaced Christ with a person and my body rejected it), I experience loneliness, despair, and depression. When I allow God to speak truth to me and give me peace, through His gentle voice and through people, I still experience those same emotions but I understand what they truly are and what place they have in my life. The same circumstances and tribulations will come but its not what happens that decides my attitude, its how I respond.

The title of this blog started out as a whiny poem but when I realized how silly I was being, I changed my tune and completely erased the poem. However, I’m going to leave the title as a reminder to myself of what happens when we focus on the what-ifs and our selfish wants. “It would be nice” if everything went my way, but that’s not how it works. “It would be nice” if relationships were simple and girls were easy to understand, but they’re not and they aren’t supposed to be easy or simple. “It would be nice” but I understand that nothing is as bad as I make it and nothing is as dire as it seems.

It would be nice, if everything made sense, wouldn’t it? But then I could never solve the jigsaw puzzle.

Need to Please

I was contemplating the different things going on in my life and I discovered something. We are all, in some way and to different degrees, slaves to the “Need to Please”. We need to be liked or loved by someone. We need to be at peace with our friends. We need to be at peace with our bosses and employers. We need to peace with those in our churches. We are forced, daily, to please others.

Before I continue, I need to clarify something. I am not talking about the necessity of doing what we are told and treating others with respect, whether this is at work, home, school, or church. I’m talking about the inherent, self-conscious, detrimental NEED to make sure that everyone we encounter is pleased with our behavior and is not in conflict with us. This is demonstrated through what could be perceived as sacrificial, others-focused behavior that may be deemed as humility or a servant’s heart. Thinking of others first and more highly than ourselves is great. BUT if it comes at the cost of allowing others to walk all over us or causes us to revolve our entire world around one person, then it has gone beyond what is healthy.

We are built with a Christ-shaped hole in our hearts that, when combined with a lack of self-confidence and healthy self-image, causes a black hole affect. We are constantly searching for something to quell the sense of loneliness and someone to make us feel loved and valuable. People suffering from this “Need to Please” are unable to trust, unable to believe that someone truly loves them, since they perceive love and acceptance through the lens of pleasing that person. They are constantly working towards a goal they can never achieve, since the finish line always backs up and they find themselves trying to perform rather than just live life. This creates additional pressure that can end relationships and strain friendships.

How do I know this? I too suffer from this syndrome.

I’ve discovered that my fear of being alone, combined with my non-confrontational attitude (which depends on the person) and insatiable desire to please whoever I’m with at great cost to myself, fuels this inherent need within me.

What does this look like in practice? No matter what time I get a call, I have to respond. I over-analyze every text I send and every word I say, apologizing even when I shouldn’t. I constantly have the fear of offending that other person and constantly feel the pressure to please that other person. I refrain from being honest because I don’t want to “make waves” or upset that other person.

Not healthy.

I understand myself well enough that I know that I can, and will, change this. I trust that God is making me into who He wants me to be because He has put people in my life who trigger this behavior and then He taps me on the shoulder and points out the flaw, revealing it for what it is. A monster is only dangerous when its under your bed. Once you can see it and fight it, it loses half its strength right there.

And I’ve seen my monster and I’ve been forced to be honest with myself and evaluate my behavior. God, in His infinite wisdom, is constantly leading me into territory I’m not comfortable with. He isn’t driving out my “Need to Please”. He is just redirecting the focus back onto Himself, where it should’ve been in the first place. And what I have found is

Freedom.

I am free to make mistakes. I am free to fail. I am free to upset others when the situation warrants honesty. I am free to be alone since I’m never truly alone. I am free to be me and be ok with the fact that I might lose a relationship or two because of that. I’m free to not be driven by the need to be perfect for someone else or do everything possible for them to like me. I’m free to remove the mask and let them see my heart, my honesty and genuineness of spirit. I’m free to stumble and fall. I’m free to make a fool of myself while I’m learning how to “court” someone. I’m free to not be stressed or worry. I’m free to make bad decisions and once I realize my mistake, I’m free to move past my mistake and try again.

I am free to not be concerned about the what-ifs or maybes but rather just step forward in faith and trust it’ll work out.

The Lord has used my weaknesses to prune out the idiosyncrasies and bad habits that I have picked up along the way. The Lord has blessed me so that no matter what the result is I have learned so much along the way. I’m not the kind of person who is confident, but the Lord has pushed me into situations where honesty is needed and confidence in Him is required. And I’ve learned the hard way that His way makes so much more sense and, even though its hard, its so much more fulfilling.

He has introduced me to some amazing people and I won’t embarrass one person in particular by naming her. HOWEVER, I will talk about this person because of how impressed I am after spending time with her. I’ve learned that many of the things I’ve assumed to be true about others are not always true (yes, I generalize at times and judge a book by its cover). Sometimes when someone says I don’t know, they actually mean it. I’ve never met someone with the genuineness of heart and love for the Lord that I’ve seen in this lady. The grasp of the Bible and the desire to love others and treat others with respect was incredible. I never thought when I first met her that the person underneath the surface would match the person I thought I saw. Guess what? I assumed and I was wrong. The Lord humbled me mightily and pointed out glaring issues in my life when I compared our lives. I praise God for the lesson that, thankfully, was private between Him and I and not public like He has done previously.

I know I’m not the only one struggling with this “Need to Please” so let me tell you this: You are special just the way you are. You don’t need others to complete you. The only Person you need is Jesus. You were uniquely created by Him to serve Him and be yourself. You don’t have to be ruled by the need to please your parents (although you should respect them), or your friends, or any boyfriend or girlfriend. If you can’t please your parents now, then maybe it has nothing to do with you. Maybe you are fine just the way you are and you are loved by heavenly Father. It is such an addicting drug to fool ourselves into believing “If I just change this” “If I just do that” then “maybe they will love me, maybe they will tell me they’re proud.” It is an endless cycle that doesn’t help anyone and hurts everyone.

Get rid of the need you have inside of you to please others and just focus on being who you are. Focus on being a person that the Lord would be proud of. It hurts me so much to watch friends of mine struggling to gain approval from people who don’t know how to show it and should’ve given it to them a long time ago. It hurts me to watch the faces of my friends when someone they love says the wrong thing, hitting the button that destroys them. I can see it clearly, even if everyone else doesn’t seem to notice.

I wish I could convince you that what I say is true, that what I say changed my own life and that what I’ve experienced is the real deal. That the God I claim to serve is truly Almighty. That if you just listen and believe what I have to say that you can find peace. I’m not saying its a miracle drug or a magic cure but it is the rock that you can hold onto when the parent disapproves, when the job you loved is lost, and when you’re left behind when another dies. The truth that I wish you’d believe is that life is never over even when it feels like it is. You can continue on even though you have to leave behind that special someone or something, dead and buried. The pain may never fade and it may be terrifying to move on but it can be done. The “Need to Please” doesn’t need to extend beyond the grave and tie you to that moment in time when you’re whole world was turned upside down. It is the most difficult thing to do but you will find freedom and peace in the road beyond.

Clarity

A fading glimmer,

Found in a glance,

Pulled as if from a trance.

Freedom found in the

Absence,

Rather than the occupation

Of thought.

Belief found,

Doubt destroyed,

Wings extending wide

Come along for the ride.

Leaderless

But never thoughtless.

Confounded and stunned

But confidence never undone.

I once was simply devoted,

Now the idol is cast aside

For true worship.

Never again a slave,

Now that the cost of freedom is known.

The scars run deep,

Sometimes to the bone.

They knit together a stronger me,

Who wants more than

To simply

Be.

Therefore I can.

No goal too great,

No wish exists solely in the realm of cloud nine.

Everything I want will be mine.

I am not greedy,

I am not blind.

I know the cost,

I gladly pay.

I know that blood, sweat and tears

Are the ingredients to this miracle potion.

I cannot have

Unless I want it more than you.

I may desire,

But that does not equal ownership.

I want

Therefore I work.

I need

Therefore I acquire.

I love

Therefore I desire.

Worth Every Step

You just have to believe,

No matter what you see,

No matter what you think,

You might have, maybe saw,

See through the disguise,

Because Satan is wearing them all.

Blind yourself to the past,

Open your eyes to the future.

One is crystal clear,

The other cloudy.

Try hard,

Love harder.

Unconditional is vulnerable,

But the rewards are great.

Smash the mirror

When it lies,

Plug your ears

When your eyes fill with tears,

And don’t let anyone near.

Safety lies outside proximity,

The comfort zone lined with mines,

Loneliness your only company

And soon regret will join the group.

A trifecta from hell,

Let the demons dance,

Throw a little parade

Because nothing is decided,

Nothing is sure,

The score actually isn’t tied,

I lied,

And now the devil is gonna lose.

When you see imperfections,

I see something beautiful,

Something unique to you.

A story you could tell

A thousand times over,

And I still won’t get bored.

You’re not someone I ever could have ignored.

And when you realize that

Happiness won’t take so many tries,

No matter how many good byes,

And pain won’t be a surprise,

No longer an overwhelming flood,

At least for those cleansed by his blood.

Peace is the serenity

When you’re found the end of your rope,

And nothing you do will make it change,

You’ll find yourself free of cares.

So ready to just let go,

The long drop, full of promise,

But I won’t let you go.

Safety is nowhere to be found,

Certainty isn’t assured,

At least not right now.

Long road from where you’re standing,

Worth every step.

Describe Me

Describe Me.

Do it in one word or less,

I would call me Blessed.

Anointed by your blood,

Prodigal Son called home,

Broken on the Cornerstone.

Driven by emotion,

Ruled by passion,

Believer in the moments

Deciding sorrow and success,

A path that lies carefully between hot coals,

Failure just one misstep away.

Capitalize on the moment,

Believe it to be true,

Intuition never lies,

Listen to what your heart has to say.

Bewitched by a smile,

Youthful fantasies,

Can’t they be true for just a moment?

Describe me,

Just one more time, I say.

Romantic,

Uncertain,

Free.

Free to fall,

Free to fail,

Free to decide what I believe.

I will give my all,

Even if

Its all given in vain.

Patient,

If the prize is worth the wait.

Impatient,

If the goal is so far away.

Contradiction,

Existing simultaneously

Inside of me.

Eager,

To succeed,

To experience the heights of success,

To escape the depths of my failure.

Valuable,

Friends, family,

And those who occupy that special place

Of now but not yet.

Two titles,

Neither truly one or the another,

A beautiful combination,

That describes a relationship,

Uniquely a friend,

Hopefully future family.

Describe me,

Vague,

Complex,

Contemplative,

Distant,

Thoughtful,

At least when I wish to be.

Loud,

Friendly,

Sarcastic,

Emotional,

But only if my heart is stirred,

By a soul as deep as my own.

A soul, surrounded by hazel leaves,

That sees so deeply into me.

Lost in the maze of my own mind,

Forever to wander,

Longing to be found.

Connection undeniable,

Context absent,

Riddle remains.

Unless you hold the key.

Describe me,

Confusing.

Is This All There Is?

I can feel my heart stirring,

Yearning for something more,

Something greater,

Something grander

Than what I’ve done before.

Punch in, punch in,

Go home, go to bed,

Go to sleep,

Mundane,

Everyday,

Commonplace.

Is this all I will ever be?

Is this all I will ever see?

The grass may not be greener,

But at least it is on the other side,

Which is anywhere but here.

Movement,

From one space to the next,

From the car to the desk

And back again.

A waste,

Useless transition,

Devoid of purpose,

Simply fueling greed and avarice,

The idols of this system.

I don’t want to be a pawn,

But I have no desire to be king,

Can’t we play a different game?

One where we are not opponents,

But teammates,

Striving for the same goal,

One that could fill this void

And make me whole,

Oh, Lord,

Give me back my soul.

My heart is missing,

Where did the thief go?

I am a machine,

Lacking instructions,

So I stand here,

Mindless,

And yet, self-aware.

Even this automaton understands

That this world is broken,

And striving for the almighty dollar,

Is stupid.

We maintain the status quo,

Happily cut off from the rest of the globe,

In our cookie-cutter neighborhoods,

Inside glass houses, not really homes,

Maybe it is time we throw stones.

Factories using the bones of its workers

To cut the overhead,

Waving the American flag,

What a joke.

I look to that homeless, traveling preacher

We call Jesus,

The broke prophet and savior,

And ask,

I thought your burden was light

And your yoke was easy, Lord?

And He replies,

It is,

But your hands are too full of other things

Besides your cross.

You’re too worried about your loss,

And you have yet to find your life,

Drop to your knees and pray,

That calamity never finds you,

Because you and I

Are miles away

And I won’t be there to hold you,

When you find your arms are finally emptied,

Yourself abandoned and broken,

The weed you’ve been smoking

Isn’t enough to calm the pain and the nerves,

Shaky hands, heavy heart,

Not the man I built,

Deviating from the plan from the start.

I told you to follow me,

But you didn’t see an easy path,

So you balked.

I took the high road,

The one that would’ve made you strong,

While you went into the valley of death

Which was missing its sign

But you couldn’t read it anyway.

Too blinded by ambition,

I’m sure you wouldn’t have listened.

The climb too steep,

The road too hard.

I tried to persuade you,

But you didn’t come when I called,

Little sheep,

Don’t you know your master?

Now your stuck in the middle of an ugly disaster,

Self-induced,

Now you’re looking for me,

But you can’t see,

That I was always there

Just right beside you,

Hugging and loving on you,

Bruised and battered,

Shielding you from the storm,

Trying desperately to keep you warm.

Is this the Jesus you follow?

Because He is certainly my Lord,

And He weeps at the democracy,

I mean, the hypocrisy that exists

Within our churches.

This festering disease we call

Nothing new,

Our motto,

Our anthem,

What should actually be written on our signs

We so proudly display.

Maybe, the name of Jesus

Should be what is missing,

Since we clearly worship a different lord.

No need for justice,

No need for change,

Wake me up again from my apathy

When my attention is actually needed.

The web is spun around our heads,

And we’re slowly being sucked dry,

While we are still alive,

But just barely.

The statue of liberty,

Has become a symbol of tyranny.

We blame the government,

That’s easy,

Big target,

No worries about the cross-hairs turning on us,

The indifferent, pew-sitting mob,

Crying out like the crucifixion scene rabble,

Calling for the heads of state

Just like they called for Jesus’ head on a plate.

We yell so loudly at the politicians,

And yet,

We don’t even tithe.

We have more than the widow’s mite,

But when the call for generosity goes out,

There’s not a Christian in sight,

When so many are suffering for the sake of Christ.

We should be ashamed of our mediocrity,

Junior Varsity Christians,

Sitting on the bench,

Perfectly content.

Is this all there is?

I point the finger of blame at myself,

I too am a Christian who is sitting on the shelf.

I feel the pull of despair,

My Lord being drowned out

By the raucous sounds of the everyday.

Depression sets in,

And the Devil tallies another win.

Am I a Hellraiser?

Does the Devil fear what I can do?

Or am I a side note,

Footnote,

Small little blip on the radar,

An afterthought in his plan?

Is this all there is?

Or is there something more?

Why God Why?

Every day it seems a new tragedy is on the news, tugging at our heartstrings. Every day it seems the world is getting worse and worse. We hear about mother’s drowning their children, children being sold into sex slavery by their starving parents, and millions dying of either starvation or preventable diseases. While the tears are flowing, we can’t help but ask ourselves (if we are honest) why is God is allowing all of this? Why isn’t God doing anything?

If God is so powerful and so loving, why doesn’t He stop all of this from happening?

Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people and why do bad people seem to go unpunished? Both of these questions, haunted Old Testament prophets and are two of the main reasons I’ve heard Atheists give for their beliefs. And if I’m honest with myself, I don’t blame them.

I understand why God doesn’t stop every bad thing from happening. Even bad people have free will and bad things happen when imperfect people are given the ability to choose poorly. But what I don’t understand is why God lets certain bad things happen.

Why did God have to allow the Holocaust? Why did God allow six million of His chosen people to be ruthlessly exterminated like they were not any more important than cattle? Why did God allow the Rwandan genocide where several million people were butchered by their friends and neighbors? Why does God allow the sex trafficking industry to exist, and not just exist, but flourish?

Do these examples speak of man’s depravity? Yes, I believe so. But when someone comes up to me asking where was my God when his or her mother/father/sibling/husband/wife died of cancer/aids/car accident/war/drugs/gun shot what do I tell them? What do I tell the little boy who walks up to me and asks why did my mom have to die when the terrorists attacked? Why didn’t God stop them?

Why God why?

I was reading through the book of Hosea and read this “Gomer conceived again and gave birth to a daughter. Then the LORD said to Hosea, ‘Call her Lo-Ruhamah (which means ‘not loved’), for I will no longer show love to Israel, that I should at all forgive them.'” I stopped, shocked by what I had just read.

Now, I had read Hosea before but this time, the reality of God’s command hit me. You are to name your daughter NOT LOVED. This isn’t just symbolic (as far as I can tell from scripture) but the name the child would for the rest of her life. The name she would hear every time her father said her name, “Come here, NOT LOVED.” Then I read on and saw her brother’s name, “After she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, Gomer had another son. Then the LORD said, “Call him Lo-Ammi (which means “not my people”), for you are not my people, and I am not your God.

Wait, wait, wait, time out, Lord. You want a father to name his two children NOT LOVED and NOT MY PEOPLE? How could you ask someone to do that, Lord? How could ask a father, who loves his children so dearly, to have to call them by those names? Lord, don’t you understand how difficult that must be for Hosea? Don’t you understand how heartbreaking that would be for him? How is he going to look his children in the eye every time he looks at them?

Why God why?

Why does the Lord ask us to do things we don’t understand? Why does the Lord ask to do things that are difficult, that are hard, and that hurt? Why would the Lord command Hosea to do this?

I know that for me, I’m not sure I could follow the Lord’s command here. How could I ever call my child, not loved? I’ve seen the damage and hurt that comes from the brutality of parents, who don’t understand the power of their words. I’ve seen the devastation caused by careless or hurtful words and I could never burden my child with the thoughts of

My parents don’t love me.

They don’t want me.

They’d would be better off without me……

Maybe, it would be better if I was never born.

Why God why?

When I read the Lord’s command to Hosea, my heart ached. I could just imagine the conflict that raged within him at the request of the Lord. Hosea already was told to marry (and not divorce) a prostitute and have kids with her. Now, I could see him looking into the eyes of his newborn daughter, thinking of a name for her, and hearing the Lord speak to him, “Name her, NOT LOVED.”

“Wait, what, Lord? You want me to name her what?” Hosea asked.

“Name her, NOT LOVED.” The Lord repeated.

Why God why?

This is difficult picture to imagine but understand where the Lord’s heart is at that moment. He is telling Hosea to name his daughter because God is going to no longer show love to Israel, His child. God’s chosen people, His wife, have played the harlot for so long, ignoring all of the Lord’s commands and becoming so sinful that the Lord is grieved that He is going to no longer show love to them. But even more damning is the second child’s name, NOT MY PEOPLE.

Israel, God’s chosen people, have that name taken away from them because of their disobedience and sinfulness. The title that every Israelite finds their confidence and identity in is stripped away by God. “For you are not my people, and I am not your God” the antithesis of what made Israel, Israel. Israel had become so godless that they were now literally God-less.

We focus so much on the difficult decisions that Hosea had to make, under the command of God, that we forget that God in Hosea 2 is going to go romance His prostitute of a wife and win her back to himself.

“Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her…. In that day,” declares the LORD, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master… I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the LORD. I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’ I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God.’”

God planned on romancing Israel all along, but He understood the cost of their disobedience and that it had to be punished. God instructed Hosea to do the things that he did because through those lessons Hosea would understand the depth of the Lord’s love and sadness for Israel. Only Hosea could understand how the Lord felt and truly be the Lord’s messenger. The heart of the Lord, although angry, was never full of bitterness. He never desired to punish His beloved, but knew He had no choice. His desire all along was to have His people remember what He had done and worship Him. He desired a close relationship with them and would do anything to get them back on track.

God knew the only way that His people was going to return to Him was after a difficult lesson that would cleanse them of their sin of idolatry. The story of Hosea’s love is also a story of God’s love. Reflected in every command to Hosea, no matter how difficult they are to understand, is a glimpse into God’s heart. We should grieve for Hosea since the commands God gave were hard indeed but we should also remember how hard it was for God to view His people as disowned and not loved.

So didn’t the Lord understand how difficult His commands must be for Hosea? Didn’t He understand how heartbreaking that would be for him? The answer to both questions is an emphatic yes. The Lord understand exactly how Hosea felt. And now,

Hosea understood exactly how the Lord felt.

Would It Better If We Did Nothing?

I find it interesting that no matter the topic, we find a way to fight. I was unaware of the resurgence of the topic “the Invisible Children” until Facebook exploded with the discussion of Kony and the bloodshed and horrific acts that his army has committed. Videos appeared, comments were posted, and posts were liked. And then, as humans tend to do, we missed the point entirely.

We forgot that people were dying and complained that we weren’t talking about child soldiers in other countries, that we only care because its popular right now, and that we only post because, well, we’ve always cared about the children in Uganda (sarcasm not my own). I think every one of those comments misses the point. So what if “I only care NOW” at least I care AT ALL. So what if we aren’t talking about child soldier in other countries at least we are talking about THESE SOLDIERS. We look at these situations and see the emotions not the heart. I admit that it does frustrate me that there are millions of other tragedies that don’t get the attention they deserve because they aren’t “high-profile”. However, let me ask you this

Would it better if we did nothing? Would it make you happy if we just didn’t do anything at all?

I understand that in many of these situations, people only care because they watched a video and it broke their heart. Maybe they will forgot in a month or a week or even a day, but what if they don’t? What if one post on one person’s Facebook makes a difference? What if it took us getting off our fat, lazy American butts and just simply spreading the word to change the situation? So, honestly, I don’t really care if you like the posts, I don’t care if you agree with them. I’m just happy anyone is saying anything at all.

With that being said, let me defend those who are frustrated with the attention the Invisible Children are getting. We as Americans love the glamorous tragedies. We love the stories that pull at our heartstrings and we fall head-over-heels in love…. for a little while. The question should be asked what about the other kids? What about the sex trade issue in Arizona? What about the fact that sex trafficking is the number two illegal industry in the world right behind the drug industry? Shouldn’t that get JUST AS MUCH ATTENTION as the Invisible Children?

The answer, of course, is yes. Why? Because every act of injustice breaks the heart of God and should cause us to rise up and seek to eradicate that injustice immediately.

Do I want to see children abused, used, and killed? No, of course not. But my heart is especially sensitive to the plight of children. Some people in this world feel more strongly about helping drug addicts, or sex slaves, or those with mental disorders than they do about helping children. Am I going to judge them for that? Am I going to judge a missionary who doesn’t leave Arizona? Am I going to judge the missionary who only wants to go to Rwanda? No. Why? Because God has wired each of us individually and for very specific purposes.

So why can’t we all rally around one another and support one another? Why can’t we defend the cause of the Invisible Children while bringing up other cases, honestly desiring justice to be done in BOTH situations? Why can’t we stand up as one and strive to eradicate the exploitation of children while also striving to eradicate the sex trade industry? Why can’t we support one another in our individual pursuits of bringing the kingdom of heaven to earth? What I’m saying is

Why can’t we just get along?

Seriously, why do we act like fools, jostling for position, claiming OUR CAUSE is greater than someone else’s?

Should we stand up and ask honest, tough questions concerning the silence of other nations, despite the bloodshed that takes place there, the exploitation that occurs? Absolutely, but if you want to complain to me when I stand up for one cause and its not YOURS? Remember this,

Would it better if I did NOTHING?