written circa february 2013
There is love in my heart, words on my tongue and breath in my lungs and this is the way it is supposed to be. There is silence in my head and the Mighty Counselor whispering lyrics into my ear.
I don’t know how to just write anymore. Words get tangled up in the sinew of my muscles and my tongue gets tied into knots the same as my stomach. There is so much to say, but I’m tired of choking. People say that this is a war and I am starting to believe them because it feels like a great cosmic battle over whether or not we can speak. Are we more than pawns on a chess board? Are we not soldiers actively participating in the fighting?
After a battle I emerge bloody and covered from head to toe in bruises. After a fight I am sore. When the skirmish ends for the day – when the next on watch take my place on the front lines – I feel a kind of tired that permeates my bones. I am worn out and empty, a broken vessel.
The day after I wrestled with demons… I am tired. I ache. My muscles are still and my heart is in a tender state. My brain is heavy and I want nothing more than to sleep. It is not pain, no, that came the day before as I walked into the battle arena (but do we ever really walk out of the battle zone?) The pain rising in my limbs. Hot. Like fire in my bones, that is the only pain I feel. Pain is good, pain means I am alive, fighting, serving One who is higher.
The time after the fight I am drained. I am weak. I am susceptible to the sneak, freak attacks of the enemy. He plays dirty and when I want to let myself unwind, come undone I want to give in. But this, this dear Beloved, are the demons’ most cunning attack of trickery. They don’t play fair because they leave the battlefield. We then never leave the battlefield. The enemy knows he will not be the victor. The demons know their brute strength and physical attacks will never be enough so they curl underfoot when we think the fight is over for the day and we think we are safe enough to let our guard down – when we let ourselves be tired.
But I know that there is a place where I will be mended and refilled. I know a man who will heal my scars with only the gentlest touch. He has wounds of his own and when I look on them I feel my black-and-blues mending and my heart swelling once again with what is alive.
Even though it aches, even though it stings, even though it hurts, even though doing anything feels like the final straw – feels like we will break in half – we must press in. We press into the One we are fighting with, the One higher than any demon, power, or enemy. We seek refuge in the one with scars of his own, to the Father who gives us strength, love, and freedom. We press into the Son – our savior, redeemer, and friend – who died so that we might truly become alive.
Press in and walk out. Don’t succumb to the attacks of a beast who knows he is defeated and insists on playing dirty, waiting until you are weak and vulnerable to attack, a beast who cannot win the war. Press into the God who created you.
Beloved, we have the victory in Christ. Who can fight us? Who can call us out? What can they do to us that God cannot heal, fix or redeem? Don’t be tricked that you are fighting on your own – or that you have to fight at all. We are fighting as community, not as independent mercenaries. We are fighting by the strength and power of the Spirit. Keep going to the wellspring of life to be cleansed, filled, edified, and breathe… breathe, Beloved. Drink deep of the Father. Press into him. He is our salvation, strength, our refuge. Press into him for comfort and healing. He has overcome and we are part of that community. We don’t run foolishly into battle, but there is a Master with a plan, a Master who protects his servants, and a Master who will fight for us, if only we are silent, if only we submit and press in.