Bundle of Paradoxes

I found this entry that I wrote on Facebook a little over a year ago and I wanted to re-post:

If you have been on Facebook within the last day or so you have seen my status updates about the book that I am reading by Brennan Manning, The Furious Longing of God. The truth contained within this book has grabbed my heart and refuses to release me until I have grasped the height, depth and breadth of his furious longing for me.

I lay in the bed last night--while the one on this earth who loves me the deepest (Kelly) lay peacefully sleeping under my arm--weeping over what God was doing within me through the words of this "crazy man", Brennan. He was ruining me, stretching me and healing me. He was showering me with the reality of his fury for me. He reminded me that he came not for the self-righteous but rather the sinners. (Matt. 9:13). He was showing me that, "I am my beloved's and his desire is for me (Song of Solomon 7:10)

Please buy this book, read it, savor its truths and pass it along to "some poor wretch who is bedraggled, beat up, and burned out!"

Here is an excerpt from this incredible book:

For twenty-one years, I tried desperately to become Mother Teresa. I loved around the world in griming poverty and depersonalizing squalor. I lived voluntarily for six months in the garbage dump in Juarez, Mexico--garbage there as high as your ceilings. It was a place filled with everyone from four- and five-year-old children to senior citizens in their eighties, all crawling over broken whiskey bottles and dead animals, just to find something to eat or possible sell to hawkers on the side of the road. I've lived voluntarily as a prisoner in a Swiss prison; the warden there believed priests shouldn't be chaplains but actual prisoners. Only the warden knew my identity. I've lived on the streets of New York City with eleven-, twelve-, and thirteen-year-old prostitutes, both boys and girls, and ministered to them through Covenant House. I just knew if I could become a replica of Mother Teresa, then God would love me.

Pretty impressive, right? Yeah, right.

That's just a part of who I am. The rest of Brennan Manning is a bundle of paradoxes and contradictions. I believe in God with all my heart. And in a given day when I see an nine-year-old girl raped and murdered by a sex maniac or a four-year-old boy slaughtered by a drunken driver, I wonder if God even exists. As I've said before, I address Him and I get discouraged. I love and I hate. I feel better about feeling good. I feel guilty if I don't feel guilty. I'm wide open, I'm locked in. I' trusting and suspicious. I'm honest and I still play games. Aristotle said I'm a rational animal. But I'm not. That's some of the rest of Brennan.

This passage from the book grabbed me! I am so full of a lot of these paradoxes. I want to draw near at times but then I shrink back. I find myself full of courage and times and full of fear the next. There are days when I am sure that God is jealous for me and then there are days when I have to remind myself almost hourly that God knows my name. There are days that I say with Balthazar, Love alone is credible." and then there are days that I am convinced that I must work hard to impress Abba.

May you live in the reality that God is OK with your paradoxes.
May you live to love the fury of Abba.
May you stretch your palms to heaven and say, "Abba, I belong to you."

I am falling deeper in love with God; he is ruining, stretching and healing me!

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