Beauty on a Friday Afternoon

In his cross, Jesus glorified God and the Father glorified him. In the hour of the cross, Father and Son displayed their mutual glory.

At the end of ages, when we at last receive permission to pull back the tent curtain to peer at the glory, the scene that will greet us will not be what we expect. Enthroned above the cherubim is a mangled man hanging from a Roman cross. That, John assures us, is the radiant beauty of God.’

Read the rest of Peter Leithart’s post here.

Being Saved From Morbid Introspection

One of the things that I struggle most with is not feeling busy enough. I try not to mention it to other people too often since it’s a) not a common struggle and b) one that people actually want to have. But for me it’s a struggle. One of the biggest problems is that I’m usually teetering along the edge on the chasm called Morbid Introspection and when I don’t have enough to do, I fall in. Some people like to poke around in other people’s dirty linen. I like to hang my own out, have a look at it, stress over it and then put it away without washing it. And I don’t have to tell you that this is not healthy .

For me, it’s fairly easy to see the sins in my own life but very hard to deal with them. I just sit and look at the big pile of sins in front of me and get all sad about how horrible I am, depressed about how I’ll never be worth anything and then get distracted by something else and forget for a bit before I walk into the big pile again and it starts over.

Part of this is a self-worth thing. Not that I need a good opinion of myself but I’ve obviously forgotten God’s opinion of me. That’s a really stupid thing to do. Yes, I’m horrible, no, I’ll never amount to anything by myself but Jesus is amazing and I’ll amount to something through him. That’s what counts.

Grace really does save my daily life. Imagine just how awful it would be if there was no antidote to my periods of Morbid Introspection. I’d be stuck thinking about myself forever. But instead I get to think about Jesus. And know that because of him I don’t need to stress about my pile of sins. He’s pretty good at clearing things up around here.

On parenting. Or not.

I know, I know. I’m a young girl who’s been married for all of 5 months and I have zero children and therefore know nothing about parenting. If that’s what you’re thinking, you’ve almost got it. I certainly don’t claim to know much about being a parent. But I know an awful lot about not being one. I’ve had 22 years experience. 6 of those have been in the knowledge that in all likelihood I’ll never know about being a parent from first hand experience. And, to be honest, that stinks. I’m not talking about a little bad smell here. I’m talking gut-twisting stink. Since I was 16 I’ve had to face up to the fact that I’ll probably never hold my own child, never hear anyone call me Mummy, never be able to make my husband a Dad, never get to use the list of favourite baby names I’ve had stored up for years and all the rest. 

Since getting married it’s got both harder and easier. Easier because I never thought I would be married and so being given this gift is good enough for me – I certainly don’t expect any more. Easier because I’ve been a lot more ill and so the reality of how I simply couldn’t care for a baby hits home more. Harder because I have a real, great person to add into the sentence ‘never be able to make my husband a Dad’. Harder because having babies is what married people do. Harder because people make comments about it now. 
There’s not many situations I like less than the one in which I’m having a conversation with a parent and they’re trying to make me feel better by telling me how much money or time or energy or effort their children cost them. It’s not fun for me and it’s not fun for the child standing beside them. 
I suppose one of the biggest things about being a mother is the giving love. I suppose that in every woman/person there’s a desire to give giving love. There are ways to live giving love to other people but in no way are those comparable to the way in which you live giving love to your child. Maybe that’s why there’s an emptiness in childlessness. They say that you have to love to feel pain. Maybe giving love hurts as much when you can’t express it. 
I don’t know. I don’t have solutions. I don’t have answers. I know there’s hard things about being a parent and hard things about not being a parent. I can’t sort those out. Stuff hurts sometimes. But I guess the important thing to remember is that it’s ok for stuff to hurt. We can be sad. We can cry. As long as we do it with Jesus in sight. But the best thing is that he doesn’t let us be sad and cry on our own. He’s there with us. And he knows what it’s really like for stuff to hurt. 

It’s a simple enough rule…

1 Samuel 6 – The Philistines are struck down with plagues after capturing the ark of the LORD. They can’t deal with it so send the ark to Beth-Shemesh. This is a Levitical town and so these folks should really know what to do and not do with the ark. But they don’t: vs 19 – ‘And [God] struck some of the men of Beth-Shemesh, because they looked upon the ark of the LORD.’
It’s a simple enough rule: don’t look into the ark of the LORD. In those days, to look at the mercy seat was to ensure death. Now to look at the mercy seat (Jesus) ensures life. It’s a simple enough rule.