IMG_1005

This has been a week of examination for me. Literally. Physically. Spiritually.

We literally made the one day marathon trip to Duke Medical Center. Labs drawn, flu shot, ekg, physical examination, and a long discussion with my specialist on new strategies. Much as I hate this trip and all it represents to my “new normal” life, it becomes a time out of time for me and my sweet man. We ride up the road, sharing, talking, laughing, holding hands. Simply being~being together. No interruptions. A pit stop to at The Blue Ribbon Diner for chocolate chess pie. And closer to home, exercising our right to vote. Thirteen and a half hours later we were tuckered out.

And blessed. I can never go there and not leave feeling blessed beyond measure. Thankful for what is. Thankful for what is not. It’s in that place that God shows me there is so much worse. Where He gives me a glimpse of those suffering alone. No one to hold their hand.  Some too close to counting their days. Time already spent, with not much left.

This has also been a week of spiritual examination as well.

Tonight we will meet with our Connection group, break bread, and share communion. A group of people from various ages and stages sharing life, a love for Jesus, His Word, a longing to know Him better and share Him more.

“Anyone who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Master irreverently is like part of the crowd that jeered and spit on him at his death. Is that the kind of “remembrance” you want to be part of? Examine your motives, test your heart, come to this meal in holy awe.” 1 Corinthians 11:27-28 The Message 

I was pierced with the words “holy awe”. How often do we pursue God, any part of Him, with “holy awe”? With a heart of worship? Wonder? Reverence?

We approach Him as if we are going through a drive-thru window. Ordering with practiced precision and efficiency. Void of much feeling. Hurried and already moving on to the next thing. Lacking reverence. The only wonder…how much time can I spare for this?

Spiritual examination hurts. All that is broken and ugly laid bare. Honesty, I’d just as soon pass on. Excess staring me right in the face. Smacking me right in the heart.

I read of a mother in Haiti (courtesy of Jennifer Dukes Lee’s blog) who was watching her mud pies bake in the sun. A child who’s empty tummy will be filled with it, as if it’s her everyday normal. For her it is.

My heart breaks for this and yet here I sit in all my excess.

I long to be brave. To be sold out.

I long to want Him more. I long to hunger for His Word, as the little Haitian girl hungers for food.

“We struggle with having so much we want and at the same time, still wanting God.

We who have much are often the most in need because we have forgotten how it feels to be desperate.

So it is of no surprise that we are surprised when we remember Him and the want stirs. We walk by the mirror one day and catch a glimpse of fixed hair and lipsticked lips and ties with perfect knots nestled in crisp, collared shirts, and what we see looks crude and incomplete. And we wonder why we have never noticed before how perfection can be so flawed and how comfort can feel so uncomfortable, and we mourn the life we have right in front of us. And something inside us longs to take the back of our hand and smear off the lipstick, pull off the tie, rattle the everyday stale life cage we’ve found ourselves in, run into the street, find the pulse again~the pulse that has us beating to the wild of God.” Lisa Whittle~I Want God

Yes, this time, this week of examination hurts. Because what I want is to have less. To be brave enough to give up the excess. To let go of my greed.

And have more. So much more.

To have a heart that beats wild~wild for Him.

Graced by God

Tammy Mashburn