Melting

I visited the Welder’s house, and I received instruction.

He showed me a weld that was poorly done. It had sags. It had fish eyes. It had lumps. And it was not structurally sound. So either it would suffer abuse and afterward fall apart in 2-3 years, or it would nee to be ground down again. If it was done again smoothly in a structurally sound way, even after abuse it would last at least 10 years instead.

I understood: This is why God takes his time with us. And often has to grind us down and have us start over. Because he knows if he does not, then when we suffer abuse, we will be struck down to the core of our being, and will fall apart much quicker, unless he takes his sweet, steady time preparing His vessel according to the need only He can foresee.

He also showed me a weld with cracks, and he told me, “Cracks always propagate!”

I understood: any issue that is not dealt with before the Lord will continue to be an issue. Arrest smaller issues before they become larger ones.

He told me that welders often go fast because they get excited. But when that happens they only lay half of the load down. It takes a steady hand that has insight into the true nature of the particular metal who has a successful weld.

I understood: As God prepares his vessel, the vessel will be tempted to speed up the process any way he can, because he feels the Lord’s power, but he does not yet possess the true insight into the material which He is being welded into.

 

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Answer: The Cross

“By His stripes we are healed.”
There it is again.
I’ve heard that so often, like I’ve heard, “By the atomic bomb Nagasaki was destroyed.”
Let me rearrange it:
We are healed by His stripes.
Let me take care of the pronouns.
We are healed by Jesus’ stripes.
Let me personalize it for this blog.
I am healed by Jesus stripes.

Why? What about Jesus getting beaten senseless is so healing for me? I’m sick. I consider the deepest cause of my sickness is my own self-salvation, my own self-righteousness, my own self-service, or simply, my own “sin.” Is it just a matter of Jesus being beaten for that, that I am healed?

“The stripes that wound scour away evil.” All the brokenness of the world He scoured away in his body. There is something to that, because His resurrection proved that God was coming not just to crucify the world, but resurrect the world. The world will burn. The world will be remade. We will die. We will be changed. Every pain I face isn’t just a reminder that it hasn’t happened yet. It’s a chance to go to the cross and embrace it and say, “I accept your mercy to righteously judge my brokenness and my sinfulness because of your great love, and I lay down my life again, the way Jesus did on the cross, and ask you, that I may take it up again to serve you a little longer.”

The Cross is the door; only the dead can pass through it. That means I can’t save myself, I can’t heal myself, I can’t rule myself, I can’t love myself, or keep my relationships or my family, my church, even my own life for myself. “God you can have me, but you can’t have my family.” You haven’t gotten a hold of it yet. It’s Christmas, the “Family Holiday” it has become more so than Thanksgiving. Everything needs to be nailed to the cross, even family. Right?

So how does this practically apply? I am going to wait patiently for the Lord to completely heal me. Seems simple. People of the “Faith” tradition will say, “Proclaim it!” I do indeed. Just remember God doesn’t listen to the proud. He listens to the humble. 🙂 The humble are those who embrace the cross. It’s perfectly in keeping with God’s plan for the world to work supernatural healing in the world. I kinda want someone to come to my house and teach me a bit more of how this works, but the cross takes care of all sickness. And if there’s a sickness still, then He’s bringing part of the world to the cross, until it’s completely put to death. I guess.

The Cross is the answer. Thoughts?

How to write a poem: How to Be a Lit Candle

The following I wrote in response to Katie G.’s request on tips to write a song. I followed these principles and it came out like this.


Start with the feeling, impression, idea, echo of the soul.
Silently be still in that feeling and let the words to start bubble up to the surface.
Gently lay them out and follow where they lead like strands of a spiderweb.
Don’t leave that place or alter the physical state as much as can be helped.
Enjoy the words that come to you, and disregard the words you don’t enjoy.
Ride the glacial wave of creativity until it sets you down.
Proofread it based on the whole of what you have now created.

If you come to a block, wait and see if you can still go forward.
Walk the bridge of patience between the chasm of frustration and whimsy.
Thank God for what He gave you when you’re done.

The Less and the More

The heart wrestles with the less and the more
The less it knows well; its Hell he can tell
How it numbs him and dumbs him
Like a lute it strums him
Shaking his soul’s song sung before
The first conducted baton stroke fell.

The more is his deep-seated longing true
This more– the core with more in store
How it fills him and wills him
Like a like river flowing thrills him
Life that gives its life for more in view
Saving joy for the ocean he will every day adore

O heart betwixt the path of now or always
The choice is yours; make your noise and rejoice
The song He wrote has one sure note
Like a name He skillfully wrote
Awaiting its debut in many plays
When you hear your beloved’s voice

How to Catch a Muse

Last night, I was talking with a friend who was bemoaning a lack of inspiration she felt in her craft-making. I wrote this this morning as an encouragement for her.


How to Catch a Muse
For C. Cook

How can a candle hold the flame?
How can a nest hatch the bird?
How can a pot harness the steam?
How can a poet harmonize the right word?

A wick is dipped in holy oils
Encased in flexible diligence
It bends only to the heat that boils
That melts away wax with effulgence

A mother lays her shell-bound young
In a nest compiled of twigs she recovered
But the warmth of her patience and slow-breath’ed lung
Is what nurtures the egg, ‘til new life is uncovered

A mouth speaks life in word and song
But silence and stillness seals up the dream
To stay and build up strength like steam
That Cooks the heart that suffers long

A rule can be broken for the love that predates it
A word may be chosen for the ear that awaits it.
The prize of the truth may be won by a sower.
Who plants truth in his heart, and pens love flowing o’er

For a flame, like a soul and a heart and a love
Share this common resemblance to the Maker above:
Just as pure and consuming, as living and free
And as one as His image bearer proves Him to be.