Dark Nights And Brilliant Dawns

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It is in life’s greatest contrasts, that light piercing the blackness, when nights become day that we begin to realize what our souls have been craving.  I finally ‘see’ how the Son of God has pierced the darkness of my blindness that prepares me for that coming day.  We must accept the dark nights of our soul with a courageous understanding that those distant and abandoned feelings that even challenge our true capacity to forgive.   When prayer becomes a constant duty that must be filled whenever and where ever – even when loneliness shadows our very soul.  Yet, like the dawn, there is a silver lining to the new and unfamiliar distance to God’s nearness since it allows an opportunity for a new emptiness. Like the  constant prayer that fills the parched moments of reality, the emptiness that seems to hollow out our very being can now only fill with our honor and glory for God.  This once sliver of faraway light begins to roll back the scroll of night that holds all our distractions pulling us from our soul’s draw towards sanctity.  It is finally realizing the need of our poverty of spirit that allows us to not only be re-filled but rehydrated by that promised eternal spring.  Although incessant prayers are carried on shallow breaths past parched lips, our soul is thoroughly quenched in the fullness of God’s liquid charity.  Like a dog on a retractable leash I know I am tethered to my master yet still feel the freedom to feel abandonment or confidence to roam without fear.   True freedom and this indescribable sense of peace can only flower in the fruit of humility.  It is a strange and irresistible sense of docility that finds no pleasure in presumptuous judgment of another’s state of grace but only the joy of sharing the invitation that beckons the soul towards perfection. My gratitude must start with accepting the gift of prayer that allows the soul to breathe in the dawn as we communicate with our very Creator.  Without prayer… our eternal reunion with a Triune God is in grave risk.  Prayer is greatest in our weakest moments when our humanity loses grasp and falls into the waiting hands of God.  There, when young parents sit as one trembling flesh while their son’s future is determined at the the end of a surgeon’s scalpel, the unwelcome ache of emptiness yearns for hope beyond hope.  Even when there are no more tears to give, prayer finds its helium as it collides into the dawn.  The prayers for healing and restoration for their boy are constant yet do not numb their ache.  The ache soon dulls in that transformative moment of unexpected gratitude, when only praise and glory lift breaking hearts and tearful eyes to the One who will make all things new.  The dark night may be found waiting long hours in a hospital or in years of quiet solitude – yet both find hope wrought in prayer.  If we believe that the dawn is coming we should not fear its preceding night and stand humble and ever watchful for it’s first ray responding to our gratitude.

Therefore seek the One True God that is near.

Find Peace,

Chris

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Endless Inspirations

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Endless inspirations,
Glimmer on the passing seconds,
Lighting me with instant hope.
Regretful as they slowly fade –
Like echoes growing silent,
Or bubbles popping in their soap.

Like stolen glances
Pondering past regret,
Pain swallows my memories,
Lights flicker and I forget.

Still… I lift my eyes,
Against the crushing weight
Seeking another glimmer,
For my heart to translate.

Life explodes within each moment,
With a purpose and a plan…
To beckon souls beyond impossible,
To where God holds out His hand.

Be grateful for each second,
Regardless of how long they last…
For legacies await our future,
If fearless love lights our past.

Godspeed,
Chris

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The Image We Bear

thumbnailCA5K87RRIf we are image bearers and know that God IS love and therefore loves Himself – then he is uninhibited to love the image of love we bear. We ultimately become justified by partaking in the divinity of God’s love revealed in and through His son Jesus. Bearing God’s image impels our vague sense of exile and distance to an intangible spirituality to explore a true definition of love. It is the very image we bear that causes an unusual restlessness within us – like trying to see in the dark. It therefore seems fitting we rely on hearing to build a faith we cannot see. Ironically, we are surrounded by the bright lights of distractions that promise a false sense of fulfillment. We self-medicate ourselves in relativism in hopes of numbing the ache of this inescapable restlessness until indifference spills recklessly from our thoughts and actions. That ache is the thorn of the Holy Spirit allowing all a chance to suffer the unmistakable grace of God. The thorn yields to the repentant the very fruit of its love to endure our separation from the first love we never knew; Jesus. Slowly the self-pity, contempt, pride and selfishness are swallowed in our humility by a new gratitude of a salvation earned for us solely by the tears of the Father pouring through the Holy Spirit and ultimately shed by the blood of the Son at Calvary. It is seeing the beginnings of our true identity when humility opens our imprisoned souls to the majesty of the Holy Trinity that lifts us to reason that God does not just love – but IS love. If God is love  then there must be love that proceeds from the lover to the beloved. It is through this beloved Son of God that reveals the solution to our ache. It is Jesus who sends us the Holy Spirit, as promised by the Father, that comforts us with true, incorruptible light offering a glimpse of hope, faith, and especially the love we bear.isCAWPMQGS

His Peace,

Chris

Love and Christ

582749main_sunrise_from_iss-4x3_946-710The words “Love” and “Christ” must exist outside our little boxes of understanding, far beyond the shackles of time, and merging someplace in the heart carefully distant from our logic. Although different, the words are one in the same in harmony and divine definition.  Despite their hardness, all hearts crave the touch of true love.  It is the awakening of one’s conscious, the very gift that separates us from all animals, so as to finally recognize the dawning of our indestructible romance.   Love’s daybreak comforts the soul as our innate knowing seeks the hand of the first love we never knew.  The sunlight streaming though the crack of a door barely open continues to beckon our commitment to reach for its knob.   Why and when govern our risk towards accepting such a radical love that feels already written upon our heart.   Why is love, God’s true love, despite being firmly promised throughout human history, so difficult to accept?  When will love truly conquer the hesitation to pull open that door and simply walk in?

The Door

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A new day awakes to summer’s dawn,
Colors climb from a horizon’s fire,
Chasing away night and morning yawns,
Yet… today I see with new desire,
True love sings from a nearby choir.

Love and Christ merge within this grateful heart,
Answering man’s eternal inquire,
Reasons to live become glorified art,
Made in the Image of Love He imparts.

Standing and reaching for a destiny’s door,
Faith and hope pull fear and risk apart,
Boldly pulling open what life has in store.

Arms spread open, He names me anew,
The prodigal hugs the love He never knew…

©2012 by Chris Clody 12/3/2012

Please “Leave a reply” and share your experiences or thoughts that allowed to to reach…or not reach… for that door God invites us to open into Him.

For more Christian encouragement check out my ebook by clicking the following link:

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Safe Return

If I know where I came from and where I’ll return to, then the time I spend in between should reflect a fearless journey of gratitude.  God did not create death nor instill within us fear.  It is the indestructible peace of knowing that God chose to reveal Himself to all through His Son, Jesus, who freely offers eternal life and hope for our earthbound journey. Beyond admiration or reverence for Jesus, it is the indwelling gift of true faith that beckons the Holy Spirit to pour, in overabundance, that same love that proceeds from both the Father and the Son.  Without this infusion of Heaven’s love, we will never venture past the gates of admiration or reverence of the life of Christ. Dare we choose to wrap our shortcomings in humility and raise our voices to invite God’s Spirit into our transparency, the love we receive becomes our identity in Christ.  …Come Holy Spirit!

His,

Chris

Safe Return

Although my sins will sink within this grave,
Still my God will raise me up.
No longer drink for what the devil craves,
But wine for The Incorrupt –
For grace overflows this cup. 

Born of Heaven’s incorruptible seed,
This God-man lights the world,
The lamp of love from which compassion bleeds,
Salvation’s priceless pearl,
Christ has come – His plan unfurls. 

Prince of Peace,
Lord of Lords,
The Giver of True life,
Steal me from the grave’s selfish grasp,
And draw me to your side.

 Raise me Lord,
In Your love,
And guide my safe return,
Reveal the joy unspeakable,
Give me what I cannot earn. 

©2011 by Chris Clody 7/2/2012

Please “Leave a reply” and share your thoughts regarding Resurrection. Thanks!

For more Christian encouragement check out my ebook by clicking the following link:

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Walk of Justice

JUSTICE…

Deep within the heart of a pastor, there grows an answer to the question that called their heart to Christianity.  I know of one pastor who encourages us to celebrate humanity’s uniqueness while challenging the soul to dive deep within its hearts to understand gratitude.  Could you please take the time to visit Don’s page to reply to His following question:

As we all know the term ‘Justice’ – especially when preceded by the word ‘Social’ – can be volatile. That being said…what does the idea of Justice mean to you? [I can’t wait to hear the varied responses.] If you only respond to one post (ever) on this page please let it be this one! It is going to help us shape where we head from here. 

Go to the following link: http://www.facebook.com/#!/JustChrstian/posts/287512808004549

 

This morning I met with another mentor helping me discern way into prison ministry.  She left me with a reflection to ponder: When Jesus washed the feet of His disciples He was actually preparing them for their walk of justice.  My first reaction was chills.  As I drove to work the weight of this reflection got heavier and heavier.  An unbearable sense of humility was unknowingly anointing the dirty soles of the disciples’ feet.  Grace, mercy and forgiveness would soon reveal their true meaning as they trod their trail to martyrdom.  I feel trapped under an immovable cross of humility, screaming for that one hand to come along side and help me to my feet so I may begin to see the depth of this word of justice.  What do you see?

His,

Chris

Walk of Justice

Their soles are cleaned by their servant-master,
The dirt from that day has been washed away,
A covenant proclaimed during dinner,
The meaning of bread and wine slip away,
While one readies himself to betray.

In time, these followers will understand,
Strengthened in humility Christ displayed,
Martyrdom will reveal their Holy Land,
Their walk of justice awaits its demand.

Fearless humility now bathes their soul,
Alone they’re slaughtered – yet Christ holds their hand,
Diamonds are born from bodies crushed like coal.

Will you let Me wash the soles of your feet?
Will you follow me in my justice or retreat?

©2012 by Chris Clody 4/27/2012

For more Christian encouragement check out my ebook by clicking the following link: Thoughts2Share

                      

Beware of posing as a profound person…

…after all, God became a baby.  

This little sentence has quieted me, not because I think I’m profound, but because I feel completely undone when I think of what length our God will go to reel us in.  Although my time away from my blog was filled with other writing including a retreat presentation, understanding Mary and a possible children’s book,  I now feel slightly guarded about “sounding profound” in blogging.  Offering Christian encouragement is not a chore for me, although I prefer the give-and-take of real conversation instead of unloading paragraph after paragraph.  The work, however, is in the hesitation of sounding as if I have an ear closer to the mind of God than somebody else.   If it helps you, I don’t hear the actual voice of God, but I do feel consumed by an irrepressible need to share God’s mercy to the vulnerable heart.   I am driven to offer the good tidings of hope won for all by Christ not out of vanity’s eloquence but for the sake of love.   It is the simple love of God that we needful creatures strive to understand.   One of my greatest fears in writing about what continues to burn in my bones is sounding “preachy”.  Even though my words may not be the key to another’s lock, still the thought of losing one’s attention because the message is sacrificed by the messenger is troubling as it is sad for me.   Somehow this time away from my blog has found rest when contemplating the silent Jesus in Mary’s womb.   There seems to be, at least to me, no worthy place for me to be profound when the holy life of Jesus, both fully human and fully God, began redemption from a fertilized egg to giving up His ghost.   As profound and impressive it was that God revealed Himself to us through the incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection, the wonder God induces is simply a gift to understand His love for us.   It is when the warmth of gratitude slowly rages to engulf your bones with God’s all-consuming fire, that the miracle of Christmas, the very incarnation of “God with us”, changes a heart to live in the freedom of God’s will.   Gratitude to do the will of God is not out of obligatory fear but obedience to a righteous plan for our unique life.  I am grateful for the time away from blogging to further remind me that we were made to be much more than profound, we were made to be awed and respond in love.

 I’d like to leave you with a poem I wrote to encourage men while recently on retreat called “Respond in Love.”

His Peace,

Chris

Respond in love  

 You’re just syllables of the Perfect Word. 
You’re our fallen world’s rustling leaves of change.
You’re Salt to soup the resurrection stirs,
Hopeful hands catching tears from Adam’s shame;
Setting the world ablaze with but one flame.

Life without love is but life without Christ,
In Him alone salvation makes its claim.
Endless love has conquered death and paid your price
Will love within you burn or turn to ice?

If you’re without Love,
Unfading awe wanes,
Forgiveness falters
Love is less humane.

If you have not love,
Your light becomes dim,
No fuel for your lamp,
No wick left to trim.

But, if you have love –
Your calling is sure.
Your vision is clear.
And your hope secure.

Yes! If you have love –
Desire is strong,
Strongholds soon crumble-
To Calv’ry’s swan song.

Yes! If you have love –
Your gaze becomes steel,
Always proclaiming –
That your God is real…

Therefore…
Give yourself to God – He Gave Himself to you,
Put faith into action, and God will renew
Always respond in a love you can’t control,
And remember that Christianity…
    is God’s marriage proposal to the soul.

©2011 by Chris Clody 11/12/2011

   

Please “Leave a reply” that helps others understand your understanding of God’s love.

For more Christian encouragement check out my ebook by clicking the following link: Thoughts2Share