Seeking sanctuary

We all need a safe place to vent. Let off steam. Be ourselves, warts and all.

Be real and authentic in sharing life and faith issues.

Consider the question, “Is there room for my tears here?” being asked by Diana Trautwein this week.

We read in the shortest verse in Scripture, “Jesus wept”  ~ John 11:35 Succinct words speaking volumes. He was unafraid to be authentically open and human. Giving us a pattern for being fully human and fully alive unto God.

Our tears are a soul’s lament. Reminder of our weakness, frailty and humanity.

If we try to keep them hidden they still find  a way to rise, unbidden, to the surface.

Revealing deep emotion at the core ~ joy, pain, vulnerability, sadness and grief. The very heart of who we are.

Though we find ways to choke them down and bid them drown in their inner stream.

In the unraveling of life, thought and years, we soon discover our safety and security is found primarily in God alone.

As a body of believers in Christ we are joined by links of love and shared endeavour in the fight of faith.

We’re all invited to enter in, embrace God’s gift of grace seen in Jesus’ suffering, pain and loss for our sakes.

We’re welcomed to a place of love and acceptance. A hospital for the hurting ~ only some churches hide that pretty well.

I’m too weary and worn out to try to pretend I’ve ‘got it all together,’ and too desiring of being a voice for those who are hurting to stay silent in my small-corner obscurity.

Because in the end it comes down to how much we love and are loved.  How much we are willing to give to one another.

Make room in our own woundedness to walk the road with others who are weak and in pain. Be a sanctuary for the seeking, the saved and those sick in body, mind or heart. 

Weep with those who weep. Rejoice with all who rejoice. Lift and uphold each other in prayer. Come alongside and be Christ’s ambassadors in caring for all in need.

The poem below expresses my hopes about being part of the body of Christ, what I am currently experiencing as a member of some lovely supportive writing and friendship groups and the reflective, sharing ‘Living the Questions’ group over at Diana’s place.

Although this is the type of welcome we could (and probably should?) be extending to all our brothers and sisters in Christ.

‘Invitation’

Your tears ~ whether of joy or sorrow ~ will find a welcome here

Your questions and fears for tomorrow we too will share

Your faith journey and experiences in all their rich variety

serve to enrich and inform us of all we still can be

Your need for speaking out in a friendly space

can be met here in this ~ a safe and open place

Your desire to listen, reflect and ponder deeply

is found in this forum and sacred sanctuary

©JoyLenton2014

Sadly, many feel disappointed, discouraged, sidelined, ignored, bruised, hurt and wounded by church. Perhaps we forget we are all imperfect ‘works in progress’. This prayer may help. It was written in support of all wounded warriors.

There should always be room for tears ~ and laughter, joy, hand-holding, lifting up, coming alongside, praying, caring and sharing as we aim to be ‘Jesus with skin on’ for one another.

Joining here with Diana, Mel, Laura and Lyli

Love and loss

Since time immemorial, poets have written about love and loss.

Such topics are natural outpourings of the soul.

My words are not always drawn from experience.

Sometimes a hint exists.

And more than a large share of poetic imagination.

I’ll leave you to guess which.

The poem here was written a few years back in the heady days of love given and received, coupled with those painful times of love denied or lost, and published here for the first time.

‘Outlived love’

Distillation

of quiet, unbroken tears

wells up between us.

What can I say?

Channels block

Stop

and locks are drawn

though finely

as a thin veil covering

the Past and refusing

re-entry to the future.

Something

slowly dies

creeping with cowardice

from our hearts ~

a love we once trusted

but lost.

©JoyLenton2013

Human love can take us to dizzy heights or plummeting depths of emotion.

It is a wonderful yet fragile thing, prone to alteration and change, often as fickle as our feelings.

The only love that is totally unconditional, constant, continual, dependable, eternal, forgiving and ever-giving is the love of God as seen in Christ Jesus our Lord and Saviour.

In it’s pure, Holy flame we can rest secure. Feel safe. Be comforted, warmed and encouraged. Breathe easy. Feel completely accepted and validated.

“We love because he first loved us” ~ 1 John 4:19

Day 25 ~ 31 days of #poetryforthesoul