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What Do You See?
Faith, trust and always hope. Always. Hope. Because a sometimes hope isn’t enough for all the time life. It’s an always thing. And I must have an always hope for it. Hope must be all through if I am to have any hope at all when all that should be, isn’t.
I press the thought where soul is wounded. It’s gauze and I press it all urgent, “Must have. Always hope.” Because my soul sometimes lies barely breathing on makeshift gurney somewhere on the battle field and, “Always. Hope.” is hale in and hale out and hearty strong when breath is shallow and heart is sick.
“You Yourself said,” I gasp inhale, “hope deferred,” weak breath in, “makes the heart sick.”
“Look up. “ It’s all He says because words are few among the wounded.
Up is the one direction those strapped flat to gurney can look. I am but, “I can’t see!” Windows to my soul leak out.
“Open your eyes.”
“Oh.” I trust Him enough to open my eyes.
“What do you see?” It’s question asking for more than trust. It’s asking, “What are you hoping for?”
I press gauze firm where soul wound bleeds.
“What was that again?” Battles are confusing. What is and what isn’t and where is hope when I can’t see anything past the hurt? Where is hope when the hurt is the only evidence I can feel?
“I hurt, God. What hope is there for that?” I ask it true.
“I hurt, too.”
My soul blinks wince. “I forgot. Oh! I forgot!” Pain does that. “You hurt for me.” I awe it out like this. “And because of me.”
He nods gentle. “What do you see now?”
“I see You. And my hope is in You all day long.” It’s Psalm. It’s “all day long and always” hope.
And gauze sticks to wound because that’s where “always hope” heals. I press it there. I press Jesus there. My hope. There.
And hope soaks up soul bleed.
That’s hope all through.
It’s powerful. And mystery to be found out. It’s gravity holding everything together as I trust I won’t wake on the ceiling and my life and earth won’t fall apart upside down and escape directionless. I have the evidence. Hard evidence of what I can’t see. I can’t see gravity and I can’t see hope. But I trust both. Faith and hope. I have to. Because trust comes from truth. Hope is my life gravity. Even my every day gravity. My whole world is in His hands, and I learned that when I was five in Sunday school song, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.”
Carrying the Light of the World
I believe! My life, my world, is pisteuo full and nailed down in the nail pierced hands that hold it all together. The Word has it said, “All things live and move and have their being in Him” And again, “Faith is grounded and steady. Don’t move away from hope (Colossians 1:23, my paraphrase).
And trust ties the two together in the middle of pisteuo order. It’s just smack in the middle. It’s trust and the “T” is cross. That’s how I see it. The order goes, “Faith. Trust. Hope.” There it is. Trust reaches both left and right like flesh and blood arms of Truth Himself for the sake of “Believe in the One you can see; and hope in the One you can’t see but who sent Me.”
And here is my pisteuo prayer. Faith and hope hang onto truth. And I place my trust there because Truth hung there. And God’s hands hold my world together in the hang. I will look for this always. I do. For Truth evidence, scarred, earthy and heaven bound.
I saw it in morning mist and budding veils all opaque green and red and pink on backyard trees and peach blossoms at kitchen window. I saw it in little squirrels romping the passages over my head. And saw it, too, when they were conceived on lowest branch of that peach tree before it blossomed open. Just trustworthy belief that peaches and babies hoped for will be, simply because that‘s how it happens. Truth links faith and hope.
I saw it in happy dog doing what she did the first day I brought her home. Buried something in backyard. It was hard dried raw-hide strip when buried and very ripe expanded and floppy shoe leather-ish in mouth yesterday. Is it what she hoped for when she buried it all faith? Because the truth in the burial and the resurrection is the ripening. The softening. The expanding, And there it was. Pisteuo in dog mouth and happy wag and “Yes, I’m happy for you!” I congratulate. “But, no, I have my own ripe. You can keep yours,” I pat her head at her happy offer.
I see it in my German, too. Pisteuo trust living truth out all alive steps on flesh and blood feet and in big feeling hands and from heart to tongue speech. His pisteuo trust is holding faith and hope together. And his trust ripens. He is expanded.
Truth is, we can’t always control what life digs up for us. What we find ourselves chewing on. What dreams get buried or where we may find ourselves living a little buried. But that’s okay. I dare say it because, truth is, sometimes doors are closed up and my heart knocks about bleeding with every beat, “Prove Yourself to be who You say You are!” Because, truth is, unless He proves Himself faithful to Himself then I have nothing more to believe in.
And sometimes the ground beneath foot has opened up wide and swallowed and my heart claws at door to holy all desperate, “What is this all about!” It’s the door for the desperate follower. And I am one. And the door is blood marked exit into Life. He bled on it. Earth opened wide and swallowed Him whole. And He proved Himself. Kicked hell’s gate open and blasted dragon fire and took keys and I dare say it because I am pursuing faith, trust and hope all through. And finding it. And it’s changing my life, chewed up bit by soggy bit.
He has proved Himself. Is proving Himself. And that is surer every time I search all pisteuo and find it truer than the last time I looked, no matter what’s come at us so far. At my German. At me. It’s only what comes at. That’s all it is. Not in. Or out.
What comes in or goes out is between me and God and He’s been in me since I turned thirteen. He pulled up front in the cul-de-sac of my heart. Must have been in a Salvation Army truck. Knocked there, because my heart has a door just as true as my soul has windows. My windows are hazel-brown and my door is constantly knocking at chest reminding me that I am alive every time I stop to listen to it. But there’s another knock. I heard it different. Not the familiar “Bum-bu-bu—bum-pum—pum, pum,” but the knock of an excited, even playful, friend. That “Bu, bu, bu, bum-pum—pum, pum.”
I heard it and cracked heart open and peeked out. He had a big smile and big hands and He asked for what I don’t want anymore.
“I don’t want my sin anymore. I tried to box it up for You, but I don’t have a big enough box.” And I show Him this roll of packing tape called Will Power.
“You might as well have this tape, too. It’s not strong enough.” I opened door and, yeah, life comes at, but He came in. And that changes everything.
Who is in changes what comes out when life comes at. And that’s the way pisteuo is. And love. It gets surer and bigger. It just does!
written by: Carolyn-Elizabeth Roehrig