Becoming Chris Kamalski

"There's a Writer outside ourselves, plotting a better story for us" ~Don Miller

In the Recesses of Your Heart.

David Crowder writes pure poetry. My favorite lyrics from “Our Communion,” off his last CD, “Give Us Rest:”

Love, flawless unrelenting love we can know
Hope, sacred reverential hope starts to glow

In the recesses of your heart where love still flown

Sweet dreams of heaven changing our waking lives
Breath, taken in and bringing what was dead to life

In the recesses of your heart where love had died
Let it rise and lead you cross a great divide

Awake, looking for another way to get back home
Life, resurrected, swallowed death made us whole

In the recesses of your heart where love will grow
Heaven give us roots and wings and lead us home

Oh oh oh oh…

Oh great God give us rest
No more fear from all of this
Oh great God give us rest
Let your light come down on us
Oh great God give us rest

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Reteaching One’s Loveliness.

“Sometimes it’s necessary to reteach a thing its loveliness.”

[Galway Kinnell]

The Context Of My Giftedness.

‎”I was eight years into my career before I realized that my real value to our organization lay within the context of my giftedness, not the number of hours I worked. From that point forward I began looking for ways to redefine my job description according to what I was good at, rather than simply what I was willing to do.”[Andy Stanley]

Christ, Defeat Me With Your Goodness.

Anyway, what came to my mind was just a simple phrase: “Christ, defeat me with your goodness.” I liked the phrase because it meant God was good and I was not, and yet He would not defeat me with His anger or His wrath, but His kindness, His grace and His goodness. I like to think the phrase came from God, but that’s not provable. We do know God’s kindness brings us to repentance, though.

Another truth in that statement is there are very real desires in me and real ambitions that are not good. Some of the actions that stem from my personality are selfish, and damaging to others. They are manipulative and lack truth and so stifle relationships. These characteristics must be defeated because God wants His family to be close, and so each of us must be defeated by God, by God’s kindness. His kindness endears me to a personal commitment to tell the truth, into the thrill and humiliation and generosity of that very risky place where we walk into the world saying “I’m not too much and I’m not too little but this is who I am” and also that “there but for the grace of God go I.”

So here we are, temporary beings, with little to do but navigate our days in truth and humility. Perhaps it not the bigness of our personalities, but our smallness, our selves being defeated that will change the little bit of world God has appointed to us for caretaking. We connect with God when we ask Him to defeat in us all the ways in which He cannot connect, all the untruth and games and manipulation and we come to Him finally saying, okay, I get it, you really are good, defeat in me the lack of faith, let your goodness rid me of the stuff that doesn’t connect with you or the world around me. (via Donald Miller)

Where Openness Begins.

It has been said that the truest prayer is when I am utterly open to God, unprotected, defenseless, trusting. The best and simplest prayer is summed up when I say, ‘Here I am, O Lord, and just as I am’. It is the prayer where I open my heart, my whole being, in childlike trust, in simplicity. I simply entrust myself to Christ, who is always there for me. And I can do that, because I know I will be received in love. But such a prayer is in fact a response to what is being done towards me. First and foremost, there is the whole mystery of God’s openness to me, God’s vulnerability before me, in the self-giving of Jesus. This is the amazing thing.

The greatest reality in my prayer is God’s openness towards me, God’s childlike giving of himself into my hands in Jesus. The truth is here, and expressed in Paul’s hymn in the Letter to the Philippians about God’s self-giving in Christ, when he tells us that Jesus ‘emptied himself’, and also ‘humbled himself’ for us (Philippians 2:7, 8). Much could be said on this but the central thing is that God’s innermost heart is opened to me in love, through the person of Jesus. In my moment of stillness, therefore, Jesus is looking on me in love – and, further, becomes poor and vulnerable for me. Such is the way of true love, after all. And so my prayer becomes none other than a loving response in simplicity and childlike trust. Someone is saying to me, ‘Here I am for you’, and so I can say in turn, ‘And here I am, O Lord, and as I am, for you’. (via Sacred Space)

My Frail Humanity.

“Such a universal love can seem impossible to us – particularly when it includes a spirit of forgiveness towards those who offend us (cf Matthew 6:12-17; and 18:21-35). How can all this be possible? How can I, in my frail and so limited humanity, reach out in such a way? How can one forgive, particularly when there has been dreadful hurt and injustice, and no acknowledgement of the wrong perpetrated?

‘Lord, I simply cannot love in this way. I cannot be perfect, even as you are perfect! So, my dear Lord, reach deeply into my heart with your redeeming, purifying love. Gift me with your love. And then I know your love will reach out from me, despite my weakness, and in the ways you know best. Amen’.”

Thought the meditation + prayer from Sacred Space was profound this morning. Your thoughts?

Cathedrals In My Heart.

Maybe I’m in the black, maybe I’m on my knees

Maybe I’m in the gap between the two trapezes

But my heart is beating and my pulses start

Cathedrals in my heart

[Coldplay, Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall]

There is a reason why music moves….

The Descent.

“The Russian mystic Theophan the Recluse writes, ‘I will remind you of only one thing: one must descend with the mind into the heart, and there stand before the face of the Lord, ever-present, all seeing within you. Prayer takes a firm and steadfast hold, when a small fire begins to burn in the heart. Try not to quench ths fire, and it will become established in such a way that the prayer repeats itself: And then you will have within you a small murmuring stream.’” [Henri Nouwen, Spiritual Formation].

I’m wondering: Is prayer a walk of descent alongside the Spirit from the mind (cognitive dialogue with God) into the heart (dwelling with the Spirit in our truest self, naked in the ‘seat of our will?’)