Monday, November 24, 2008

Thank you for my brothers and sisters, LORD

Thanksgiving is coming, quickly. As a rule when it comes time for the holidays, it is a strain for me. As of right now I don't know who will end up in my home. The family on my side is small and broken and dysfunctional. Chances are good that something will go awry.

I know what it feels like to be forsaken. There was a time in my life when I lived in my car. I have many stories that are worse, but my preference is to refrain on most occasions from "naming names" out of respect for those who are still with me.

I bought two doses of the meal and I am eager to cook it. Last year I had the same dilemma, though in the end I opened my home to a family from my church. I'm experiencing how the church is my family in a way the human family will never be. I feel a great deal of joy and love, with them, which is the fruit of the Spirit. Sure, they weren't there from my birth, on. But, I know that we are going to heaven to spend eternity with the LORD. What's more, we relate in a way no one else from this world understands. It is sweeter and better I believe, even if there was no dysfunction in my own human relations. I marvel at the natural closeness and unity in the soul the church experiences within itself.

Though I could feel loss, I really am pleased... to see the church replace my family on an important holiday.

'Home for Thanksgiving' by Norman Rockwell

Today I feel a deep sadness over the passing of Professor Zane Hodges. He has gone "home" to God. I am affected, too much so to want to talk as usual about the gospel or about a recent passion for understanding fundamentalism. I feel that impulse from my unregenerate man, to dismiss the ones who have dismissed a fellow saint. But, I won't, because Christ is here, with us, the church. I cry tears, receiving this heart for the one of 100, all over again. There is no abandonment, any longer, though I might need to seek with devotion to find and restore.... He is with us; it is unmovable. You and I, the church, have become the family that will last forever. This family has replaced the natural one. There is no escaping it. We will share the LORD's table, "Thanksgiving," declaring in synch, thanks for grace which made us meet.

The passion remains, given by the kindness of Christ, for standing near the one who has been forsaken. I am more resolute upon this sad occasion, than ever. I will not stand by and watch my own brother, my flesh and blood in Christ, be dismissed. No matter which brother that might happen to be.


Rose~ said...

You really are an intereesting person, Michele.
I respect your passion for loving the unloving who don't want to be loved unless you're just like them.

I have to think and figure out if my personal inner response is an "impulse from my unregenerate man". :~)

I am also sad about Zane. :~(

I am sure he is not sad, though. How glorious it will be to put this flesh behind someday.

Sanctification said...


Your encouragement came at just the right time. I literally was just about to take down the last two posts, and then, maybe keep going with the whole thing. I don't know if what I say is either right, or true. Sometimes I cannot stand the thought of having my voice, be, out there. Do you ever get like that sometimes?

What has happened to you is... not good, like someone who has suffered in an unhealthy relationship. Space is a good tool like in any relationship. Boundaries need to be set before you can experience healing, and healing brings renewal. One step at a time? You're fine.

It is encouraging to imagine this evening about how happy heaven is to have him there. I don't know him hardly at all, not like you, not like Antonio. But I don't have to know to honor, I suppose.

I really needed your encouraging voice. Thank you so much.... Michele

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