Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Perfect Timing

Earlier this week I was watching a fairly obscure movie that I really kind of picked on a whim. I wasn't really sure what it was about, or that I would like it. The movie had no overt religious or spiritual overtones, but that didn't stop a particular scene from having what has turned out to be a rather large effect on me. The movie is titled Ink. A portion of the movie takes place in a fantasy dreamworld populated by the forces of good (the Story Tellers) and the forces of evil (The Incubus). Towards the end of the movie, a character named Ink is having a conversation with a story teller:

Story Teller (ST): Ink...incredible Ink. You'll hide yourself ashamed but you can't see how beautiful you are.

Ink: I don't understand. Why are you here? What have you done?

ST: I'm here for you, Ink. I'm here for you.

Ink: Why? Why? What do you want from me? I'm ruined, can't you see that?

ST: Because I choose to see you for what you are intended to be, not what you have become.
. . . .
ST: You don't have to choose this.

After watching this scene maybe a dozen times, this is the immediate response I wrote to what I just saw and heard:
"What am I intended to be? Am I hiding myself? Of course. Is what I've become different from what I'm intended to be? Without a doubt. The movie quote above left me floored and hurting that in spite of my ugliness, God sees how beautiful I am. In spite of what I've become, God sees what He intends for me to be. My "inability" to look past what I've become has been nothing but a choice. I chose to hide, shrouding what I perceived as ugliness in a cloak of shame, hatred, and distrust. I chose to ignore God. He never abandoned me."

I've ran those movie lines through my head hundreds of times in the last 3 or 4 days. I've never felt so strongly that something better expressed my thoughts than the words spoken by Ink. I don't know how many times growing up and as an adult I heard things like "God's always with you", etc, but in the last three years none of it connected for me. Until I was able to hear God saying "I'm here for YOU. I'm here because I see the beauty of what I intend for you to become. Regardless of what you have chosen to become, I'm still here because you can make a different choice and begin working towards what I have intended for you all along."

As often as I have felt a flood of negative emotions in the last 3 or 4 years, I finally felt a flood of positive emotions. Joy in knowing that no matter how far I've fallen from God, he still pursues me with abandon. Relief in finally realizing that God did not forsake me. That no matter the imperfections in His children, his love and his plans are still perfect. All of this tempered with the sadness and regret that it took me this long to to trust God again. As I write this, I'm reminded of a poem by Enter the Worship Circle, entitled "The Passion of Your Heart".

The Passion Of Your Heart
Oh the passion of your heart - your abandoned pursuit of me.
Oh the risks that you took to love someone like me - that risk has set my soul free.
Your desire for me is overwhelming - it consumes your every thought.
Oh the joy that you feel when our hearts touch - the joy of when we touch.
You desire to draw me so close to you - you desire to have me all to yourself.
You tenderly call out my name - beckoning me to come nearer.
You romance me with purity and sweet wine - poured into a cup of communion.
We dance and spin all around the universe.
Your rage is aroused by my enemies - you defend me with arms full of strength.
Your gentleness toward me is ever-present - your care for me ever-living.
You are so eager to disclose all the secrets of your heart - to show yourself unrestrained,
fully given to me.
Your goodness is a placid stream - a blanket wrapped around me.
Your faithfulness is the sure song of sunrise.
Your promises are structures already formed.
Ever deepening is the vastness of your great love.
You allure me with soft array.
Ever-present is the pulse of your affections.
Your smile is gleaming with excitement - to show me even more.

God's timing once again proves to be perfect. Tomorrow is what could be the final parole hearing, and the first parole hearing that I will speak at. I have no idea what I'm going to say. There's a pretty good chance I won't know what I'm going to say until words start coming out of my mouth. But to finally feel like I can ask God for guidance again is more comforting that any words of encouragement could be.

Please, say a prayer tomorrow. Not just for me, but for anyone else speaking to the parole board. For the survivors, as we endure yet again the emotional roller coaster that these parole hearings are. For the families of the survivors, as they fumble and struggle to help their loved ones any way they can, never really knowing what to say or do to make it better. For the members of the Parole Board, that they will find a way to again defer parole and keep David in jail.


Anonymous said...

Prayed for you and all those involved in this case several times throughout the day. I continue to pray for peace for you and the other survivors and for the Parole Board as they work toward a decision.

It filled my heart with joy to read of your realization that God still loves you and is with you no matter what. He will never forsaken us even when we feel He has or that we have abandoned Him.

I pray that the words you needed and wanted to say came to you just when you needed to say them today. I'm proud of your strength today and the strength of the others who spoke.

Thank you for posting this post yesterday. It was very inspiring to me and helped remind me of God's love for us even when we feel least deserving.

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