Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10th

October 24

I was thinking about seeing Jesus as He is, and the thought was triggering old religious teachings, filling me with this kind of constant, low grade anxious feeling. I keep thinking, "I don't know what that will be like, that breaking through into true reality."

Before I could begin to work through this, I heard the baby wake in the next room, so I went into her room, filled with love, wanting to pick her up and comfort her and delight in her little presence and when she saw me, her face lit up and she stood eagerly, with no fear or hesitation and lifted her arms to me, because of course she knows me so well, and she knows without doubt that I love her, and all through this, Jesus was whispering to me, When you see Me, it will be like this.


It dawned on me that the explosion of sweet, intense worshipful love toward Jesus was in fact because I’d asked Him for more clarity in seeing Him- hoping for this while accepting that I would love Him regardless. I had received it and my heart was responding to Him with surrendered, delighted worship.

I declared with passionate intensity, “I will never stop asking You, I will never stop asking You for more, for more of You!”

What do you want of Me? Jesus asked, as if laying His heart open to me. It was like seeing the pages of a book flip past.

I thought of all the things I could ask Him, but my heart was drawn to His time on earth. I know that Jesus is the resurrected, ascended, and glorified Son of God, Lord of lords and King of kings, the Lord of glory seated at the right hand of Abba, but to see that or to ask Him about those mysteries just seems too much beyond me right now. Besides which, my love for Jesus is rooted in His life, teachings, death and resurrection. Those are the things that fill me with love for Him, that draw me to Him.

“I want more of You in the Gospels,” I confessed. “I want to know what You are talking about I want to understand Your teachings.”

Some of that will be difficult for you to understand.

I knew this was true, because much of what He is saying or doing in the Gospels is confusing to me. “But You are a wonderful teacher, patient and kind, and You’ve taught me so well so far, and I trust You. I want to understand Your sayings and teachings, even if the meaning is challenging. I want to know Your heart in them.”

I will teach you.

October 27

I was frying bacon and thinking about how hot the oil was, and thought of the parable of the rich man and Lazareth and wondered about it.

What is that parable saying? Jesus asked.

“Well… the rich man is symbolically the Hebrews and Lazareth stands for the Gentiles… Anyway, I’ve heard it explained that way, but I can’t remember it all right now.”

That’s one way of understanding it, but what am I saying? Jesus asked, leading my thoughts gently back toward the words of the parable itself.

When He did this, this part of the parable came into focus in my mind:

“But Abraham said, “Son, you seem to be forgetting something: your life was full to overflowing with comforts and pleasures, and the life of Lazarus was just as full with suffering and pain. So now is his time of comfort, and now is your time of agony.” Luke 16:25

And almost at the same time, Jesus reminded me of the Beatitudes, which I realized for the first time had a similar phrase in it:


“All you who are rich now, you are in danger,

        for you have received your comfort in full.” Luke 6:24

I had never put those two things together, and it was quite unsettling to see them lined up like that.

Later, I remembered the parable about judgment-  that the righteous were those that saw the need and responded. In those examples, the poor- the sick, hungry, thirsty, naked and imprisoned were in some way Jesus Himself.


Keith was driving us to Home Depot and I watched the scenery going by, all browns and coppers, and thinking of how Jesus went about the countryside, healing all the sick and casting out evil spirits.

What does that mean? Jesus asked.

"I don't want to think about what that means," I replied honestly.

It's not that I'm being flippant, it's that I must give Jesus my real answer, not the answer I think He wants that I'm tempted to make up to look good. That would be like becoming a play actor. I become transparent to Him instead and trust my real self to His mercy and faithful loving-kindness.

As I say this to Jesus, I realize that I have hit upon one of those things that He told me would be difficult- I have never untangled old teachings on the topic of spiritual darkness and instead have simply set the whole thing like an unpacked box into the arms of Jesus for safe keeping. Now I realize Jesus is wanting me to begin to unpack it with Him.

For a while I sit in the silent, open space, unwilling to consider further what He is asking me to consider. Then I sigh and take a step or two out into this understanding.

"What that means is that dark forces are real and at work, but that You have complete authority over them and were undoing and casting out all that dark work, and that You completely conquered the darkness on the cross and made a public spectacle of them and that You have overcome the world and that all the power, the kingdom and the glory belongs only to You."

Just so, Jesus replied, smiling. So there is no need for you to ever be afraid.

October 30

In the morning, knowing Jesus is wanting me to post that section of my journal, and coming to terms with that in an even deeper way- what that will feel like, what that will require. Settle inward in prayer, reach for the 23rd Psalm.

“The Lord is my Shepherd,” I whisper to Jesus, remembering this with relief.

I lean my head against Him in trust and hand everything over to Jesus, to do as He will. I rest in faith, knowing Jesus will guide me along, because it comes from Him and goes to Him and is for Him. Jesus holds me close, secure in His arms as I pray. He is full of quiet, grounded peace.

“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want,” I repeat, already feeling better. "I shall not want for instruction, guidance, insight and wisdom. The Lord leadeth me beside the still waters," I continue, slowly, saving each word. "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He restores my soul. He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness, for His own name’s sake.”

The last line seems to be the best promise of all and having passed everything out of my hands into His, I rise refreshed. I know Jesus will guide me along for His own name's sake, and I will simply do the next thing and trust Him one step at a time.

November 1


Went to Jesus in the sacred chamber of the heart, remembered it was in the autumn when He began His healing and teaching work in my life three years ago now, and was filled with gratitude and a sense of celebration. Standing before Him, I lifted my hands in joy, wishing that I could drape the whole inner chamber with decorations.


Day before yesterday, was driving, knowing again Jesus was asking me to share that blog and feeling the sting of being that transparent at such a vulnerable time. “Why can’t I share a story of success or strength?” I asked Jesus, humbly. “Those are good stories too. I enjoy reading those stories and learn from them. They have value. You know they do.”

Yes, but then who would pour out My grace for those who need it? Your story reveals My grace. That is your story to tell.

"Very well," I tell Jesus, letting go again and settling into what He is saying. "Let it be as You say. My life is Your story to write."


Later, as I rise from the computer, Jesus whispers gently to me, tomorrow, and I know that I have finished my work on the post and must publish it the next morning.

"But tomorrow is church and I'll never have enough emotional energy to share this and to go to church," I tell Jesus. "I'll never make it through both."

But He encouraged me to believe that instead of being a draining experience, that church will be a gift. I try to believe this, because I know that I simply have to do both things.

November 2

At church on my first All Saint's Day, sat exhausted and spent on the pew, empty of everything but this kind of perfectly clear happiness. I'm bundled in the too large woolen sweater that my father sent me last year. I am sitting in the light from the stained glass window- all those broken pieces that have been brought together into something beautiful that illuminates His story.

I see on the program that the Gospel message is none other than the Beatitudes and I am not surprised, because of course. Of course it would be that. Reading them again, they are like a soothing balm.

During Eucharist, when the priest speaks Jesus' words, "This is My body, broken for you," it reverberates all through me.

November 6

I was with Jesus in the inner room and this knowledge that I was with Him was lighting me up incandescent. I wanted to wash His feet, adore Him, cook Him dinner, comfort Him, delight in Him and ask Him a hundred questions all at once.

“You are mine!” I declared with abandoned love, throwing my arms around Jesus and pouring out my worship, and then I paused, remembering that it was the other way round. I looked at His face anxiously.

You are Mine, He assured me. Jesus is as reassuring as solid ground and as tender and undefended as a lamb.

“Yes, and because that is true, I can delight in and declare that You are mine- because I am safely and always Yours first,” I said, reminding myself of these lessons. This lesson led right back into greater joy.

Your worship is like honey, He said.


What does it mean? Jesus asked.

This is the question Jesus has asked me more than any other. Over and over again He taught me what it meant- how I could be with Him and He with me.

“It means that our spirits are always together as one, heart to heart, on the inside, because I am born of Your spirit and You are my Life. Seeing You, worshiping,and adoring You and being loved by You is the illustration and celebration of this truth of union with You, a truth which is being conveyed by what I am seeing and knowing like a visual language, because I can’t grasp or comprehend, or be in the full, unveiled expression of this yet,” I said.

This might not be the whole lesson yet- I have much to learn still, but even so, this reply never fails to bring Him joy. It's as though it's as wonderful to Jesus as it is to me.


Lord Jesus Christ, beloved and eternal and faithful Son of the Father, Homoousios to Patri, Anointed of the Holy Spirit, incarnate, crucified, resurrected and ascended Lord of all creation, I believe in you. With great joy, with the praise of my whole heart I acknowledge and agree that you have found me in my darkness and sin, laid hold of me and taken me down in your death, freed me from sin and evil, quickened me with new life in your resurrection, and lifted me up into your Father’s arms in your ascension, and into the communion of the Holy Spirit.

All of me, and mine, every war-torn fragment, every fearful, unbelieving, shame-riddled, broken part is in you, in your Father, in the Holy Spirit. I rest in you, Jesus, lover of my soul, my Savior, my Salvation, my Saving Act, my King, my Liberator, healer of my broken heart, the author and finisher of faith. You have included me in all that you are and have in your union and face-to-face communion with your Father, and you have included me in your own anointing in the Holy Spirit. You have included me in your victory over evil and wickedness, and in your session at the Father’s right hand, above all rule and authority in heaven and on earth. Nothing can separate me from you, your Father, and the Holy Spirit, and the life you share together. Blessed be your great name.

-A prayer of C. Baxter Kruger, Ph.D. This and other very beautiful prayers of his are found at his website at Perichoresis