Where we wrestle with the sublime, mysterious, powerful and often frustrating paradox of God's necessary grace.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Grace of No More




Pardon the brevity of this entry. The irony of this, given what I'm about to write, does not escape me.

Imagine if you will you have woken from sleep to find you are imprisoned. Bent over, knees to chin, spine twisted, arms and legs pressed into your body almost to their breaking point, your chest compressed so you cannot breathe, your own body heat threatening to roast you unless lack of oxygen kills you first.

This is how I felt 15 minutes ago.

This feeling came like an arrow from a clear sky. No warning, no line of thought going on noticeably in my head pointing to this realization.

I woke up in jail.

Not just in any jail--my jail, a cell I built for one inhabitant: Me.

And not just any cell, but one designed to force me to live small, to live inoffensively, to limit and to punish myself so much more greatly than my family could that their hearts could not help but be moved by my efforts and my plight to compassion, and then to love me.

As a result of living an insufficient, immature, cramped, stunted and trifling life, I have also been living unsuccessful and unsuccessfully.

I don't want to live like this any more. I want out. I want out and I want out now. My parents are dead, I can never win their approval. My siblings are so focused on material success their love for me comes with a price tag--the expectation I will perform for that love, like a circus dog jumping for a treat, to earn their love and approval.

Screw them and their clown suits and their love-at-a-price.

What I see as a spark of life right now within me I want to become a blaze.

I want to push the walls of my cell apart, stand up for the first time, breathe freely, see sunlight and feel it on my skin.

This is where I need grace. This is where I must have grace or I die. There is no half-way here, no diet grace, no compromise. This is where I need the quickening of the Holy Spirit and the power of the hand of God, to shatter down my walls as He did at Jericho, as He did in the Reaving of Hell during His three days in the tomb.

Or I will die in my own prison.

I will die small.

I'm telling you this because someone else needs to know this about me. I need to tell you this so I have no more excuses to hide, to dissemble, to put on a dog-and-pony show to distract you from asking me the hard question and thus forcing me to answer honestly.

I'm telling you this so I admit my need for grace. Admit it to you, to myself, and most importantly, to God.

Okay, God; now it's Your turn.

2 comments:

Scot said...

Ken, wow, that's powerful. There's not much I can say, and I'm certainly not God, but I'm here if you ever need an ear or a shoulder.

I hope your night is peaceful.

Scot

Jackie said...

Hey Ken - I'm really glad I found your blog. Just to say I've said a prayer for you.

Jackie (Jack the Lass from the ship)