Friday, February 24, 2012


A Little More:  Part I

Scripture:  Joel 2:13   
Rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the LORD, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing.

Last year during Lent, I received an unexpected call from my best friend from college whom I had not spoken to in 17 years.  During our college days, we were inseparable, doing and sharing almost everything together.  Unfortunately, over the years a small amount of distance between us avalanched into estrangement.  If you were to ask either of us, we would not be able to narrate how we had achieved such pronounced separation; however, there we were...distant associates.  She had always been the most outgoing of the two of us, which makes it no surprise that she called me on that winter afternoon.  "Hey Tiff, it's me.  I have been thinking about you a lot and I miss you.  I love you, Girl.  Guess what, Lela is getting married and I would like for us to take one of our road trips like the old days and attend her wedding.  Are you in?"  I was surprised.  I was unsure...  I had tucked that relationship away many years ago and I wasn't sure if I wanted to disturb it...  I wasn't enthusiastic about opening up my heart, my emotions, nor my expectations.

We don't often admit it; however, we engage God in a similar fashion.  We say we want to be good Christians, we say that we want that closer walk with God; however, many of us are only willing to go a certain distance.  We are actually comfortable with the distance even if it implies that we are just Jesus' "associates".  

In today's scripture, it says "rend your hearts and not your clothes".  It seems to be asking for a little more than many of us are accustomed to.  Not only are we being asked to open our hearts, we are figuratively being invited to rip our hearts open!  We are being asked to expose so much of our hearts and souls to God that the exposed areas of our being are not even recognizable to us.  We are being asked to reveal parts of ourselves that we don't even know...  In this state of total vulnerability, we are being asked to return to return to our Beloved.

Prayer:  Abiding Savior, you desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.  Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow... Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.  Amen.

The Reverend Tiffney Marley

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