We live in a fallen, fractured world of broken people and fragmented value systems. Some are fortunate enough to have a happy and healthy upbringing, but I would dare to say that they are in the minority.
I lived in fear of my dad, and don’t know what it means to have or feel affection towards him. I’m not one to lick past wounds and wallow in sorrow; however, I do recognize that our upbringing shapes us and makes us into who we eventually become as adults. For example, my mom used to make my brothers and me watch documentaries on what drugs can do to someone. I’m so glad she did, because although I dabbled in a little experimentation in my youth, drugs always frightened the heck out of me.
Another personal example, and as stated above, is that I grew up in fear of my dad. He was a broken alcoholic and had many unhealthy issues that were never dealt with. Because of that, my childhood was robbed from me. Because of that, my idea of family was distorted and messed up.
I have worked on finding healing in this area. When I was a fairly new Christian, I would leave for work in the morning at peace, after spending some quiet time with God. By the time I got home, I was full of anxiety. When I felt anxious, I always thought I was doing something that God didn’t approve of. One day He showed me that I feared him the way I feared my dad, and that was revelatory for me.
How about you? Do you believe that we live in a broken world? Do you think that our upbringing makes a huge difference on our emotional and mental well-being?
Have you ever seen a crimson rose? I have only seen them in photos, but never in real life. They are beautiful and have a deep, rich color. So deep that sometimes they can even resemble the color of blood.
It’s meaning is two-way, signifying loss, death and mourning, as well as rebirth and love. It makes me think of a love that is committed and passionate. One that is willing to sacrifice for the good of another. One that is even willing to die for another. This type of love is a rare and beautiful thing.
Have you ever experienced a love like that?
Did you know that brown is a colour that is associated with belonging. I’ve written about this before – the need to belong. A need for community. A need for relationship. We were never meant to be alone, but we were made for relationship. I am very content to have relationship with the one who feeds my soul, and cares for me on a holistic level.
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
― C.S. Lewis
How do you nurture this human need for belonging?
The dove is often used to symbolize the Holy Spirit and peace. It also symbolizes the release of the soul in death. It makes me think of eternity actually. I believe in eternity, and that God has placed eternity in the heart of man.
Do you believe in eternity?
This poetry form, Mussete, is new to me. I found out about it by Ryan over at Days of Stone. I like the challenge of trying out different poetry forms, and used to write a lot more poems using poetry forms in the past. I thought I’d try my hand at it.
Simplicity. Don’t you just love that word? Who wants confusion and complication? Not me. I was inspired to do a simple little art piece with buttercups after reading a post by the lovely Trini.
Buttercups symbolize humility, neatness and childishness, while the color yellow symbolizes new beginnings, joy, happiness and comfort. All of these attributes speak simplicity to me. Treasures that can’t be bought. Treasures that make up a life worth living.
What says ‘simplicity‘ to you?
Sometimes when I listen to the Christmas song, ‘Breath of Heaven’ (music video in the first comment below) I start to cry. I think it’s because of the simplicity of it and the way that Mary addresses God, “Breath of Heaven”. She was just a young girl when an unexpected visitor showed up and shared a message with her that essentially changed the entire course of her life. She was engaged to be married to a simple carpenter, and she herself, was just a simple girl – that loved God.
As she silently prays to her maker, she’s extremely vulnerable and expresses to Him just how scared she is. She knows that the world is a cold place and she is feeling all alone. And rightly so. Imagine being in her place. A virgin, engaged to be married, in a society where it is absolutely unacceptable and punishable to have had sexual relations before marriage. And now she is carrying the son of God.
She pours her soul out to the only one that could possibly understand what she is going through. God, hold me together (I’m losing it). God, be forever near me (I feel so lost). God, lighten my darkness (the stone cold reality of this world is blinding me and I can’t see you). God, pour over me your holiness (for you are the only one that can ease my anguished heart).
I think it’s amazing how she addresses God as, “Breath of Heaven”. The word breath signifies life. Every bodily function depends on breathing as breathing is the most fundamental of all the body’s systems. It’s at the very core of life. When one stops breathing, one dies.
She also recognizes that she’s weak. She doesn’t see herself as one that is wise enough to be carrying such a serious responsibility. But the beautiful thing is that, even though she’s full of doubts and considers herself as unwise, it didn’t matter to God. What mattered was that she was willing to offer all that she is. What mattered was that she had a heart of humility and recognized she needed His strength, and not her own.
*Note on the art piece: Baby’s breath is considered symbolic of everlasting life and purity. I thought it apropos to include it in the star and around the border in response to the song and reflection.
I’m so sorry I’ve been absent. I was away for almost a week and had very little internet access. Plus, it’s summer here in Brazil and the kids are out of school and we will be traveling from the the 26th to January 10th. Once again I will have very little internet access. During this time I won’t be posting, but I will try and visit your blogs when I can get access to the internet and the time to do so.
I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a Happy new year celebration.