Father or husband?

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It’s always seemed strange when I hear fellow Christians begin their prayers with, “Father God”. I understand they follow the example given by Christ himself, “Our father which art in heaven etc.” Yet it feels so distant somehow.

Coming to Jesus totally outside any church system, an artist and hippie drop out, it came naturally for me to pray to Jesus (God’s intermediary). My relationship from the beginning was close, very close. Easier to understand was the Catholic concept of “the bride of Christ”. Our relationship with our father, no matter how we love him, can never be as intimate as that of our husband or wife. We do not “become one” with our father, that seems almost blasphemous, yet Jesus claims us as His bride.

Perhaps this concept became real to me because for days after I received Jesus I found flowers at my feet. I don’t know how they got there, I just looked down and there they were. Yes, of course there are many explanations, but it has never happened before or since. How is not important. I just knew He was telling me He loved me in a way I could understand.

It’s not that I wish to convert everyone to my version of prayer. Rather, I think this concept might relieve much of the loneliness in the world. Everyone doesn’t always find that special someone to share their life. Even if they do that person may not be there forever, but Jesus offers Himself as the ultimate bridegroom, a man rich beyond belief, strong beyond wonder, able to care for us and solve every problem, who’ll stand by us no matter what with unconditional love. For Him each of us are that “special someone”. Before that fact loneliness disapates and the heart fills with joy.

“With all my worldly goods I thee endow.”

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It came to me this morning, as I lay snug in my bed
The words they say at weddings can be claimed by us instead.
The bride of Christ is promised far more than mortal man.
Our bridegroom is more wealthy, meet all our dreams, he can.
The cattle on a thousand hills, the wealth in every mine,
The gifts of love, endurance, those harder to define.
When we entered in this settlement, and made of Him our own,
The earth received at His right hand, wherever we may roam.
And so at last we come to see, the riches we might claim
If we believe our wedding gifts and claim them in His name.

Lighting the darkness.

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When night consumes the sky, the brilliant sun is gone,
The moon reflects it’s light to comfort unto dawn.
Though joy and laughter dim, and dreadful shadows fall
God’s reflected love is with us through it all.
The sun’s not vanished from the sky, though we see it not.
It’s just not in our present gaze, its brilliance we forgot.
Earth’s spinning surface turns away, the golden light erased
On its surface we perceive the situation’s changed.
But when the moon is on the rise, we know the sun’s still there
And gazing at its haloed glow are lifted from despair.
But more than this, we can embrace the shadow of the night
Knowing that the times of dark enhance our own small light.
For as the glory of the sun, by day outshines the moon
When life grows dark our smaller lights become reflective soon.

River walk.

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The water it can teach you, if you linger so
Tell you of the secrets it learned so long ago.
Tell you how in flowing, rough rocks it wears away,
How to surf the rapids like a child within at play.
It does not try to force its way when stones obscure its course
It flows around, soft yielding, born from a humble source.
First born in the creation, preceding even light
It’s learnt in all its flowing not to put up a fight.
Transformed and recreated, cleansed and born afresh
It’s cycle oft repeated, it journeys on at rest.
T’was there at the creation, still it with us bides,
A glorious acquisition with all its waves and tides.
It dwells also within us, within each living thing
It cleans, refreshes, binds us, to all the earth as kin.
So listen to God’s waters, as they play a soothing tune,
And yield to higher purpose, of earth and man and moon.

Excess of joy or sorrow.

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I was born while the “stiff upper lip” brand of English was still in evidence. I learned from a child to be strong and keep my emotions on a tight leash. There is something to be said for this early training. I could never have survived and successfully brought up my kids alone without it. You set your feelings aside for the sake of others in order to deal with whatever crisis may arise.
Only in my senior years have I felt able to give my tears free range and I’ve come to realise, for me the things that bring tears most readily are intense joy, beauty and the moving of God’s spirit. It’s very seldom they come from sadness, perhaps my early training precludes much of this, or perhaps I just have a blessed life.
We are often embarrassed when tears come in public, (I still always try to quench them – tears are humbling lol!). However, if I examine my reaction to tears in others they bring feelings of compassion, empathy, and camaraderie.We feel close to those that cry for whatever reason. I don’t mean those self-seeking sorts that cry buckets for attention and think the world revolves around them, but rather those who humbly allow others this glimpse into their inner being, their joy and their sorrow.