A new soundtrack.

Do you have a soundtrack for your life?

Unfortunately my life has had personal failures, I’ve hurt people, I’ve chosen selfishness, and I’ve sinned.  Some of these things poked their head out publicly, and others stayed hidden.  Over the years, I blamed myself for what I did, but the blame also began to be directed at who I am.  Therefore, a soundtrack of self-rejection took root.  So, when I disappointed someone or failed again, I would begin to hear the words that, ‘I deserve to be pushed aside, abandoned, rejected, thrown out, and forgotten.’

Have you ever had a critical soundtrack blaring in your ears and constantly reminding you of who you really are?

Henri Nouwen, from his book “Life of the Beloved”, relays this truth from God to you and I.  I think it should become a new soundtrack for everyone.

“I have called you by name, from the very beginning.  You are mine and I am yours.  You are my beloved, on you my favor rests.  I have molded you in the depths of the earth and knitted you together in your mother’s womb.  I have carved you in the palms of my hands and hidden you in the shadow of my embrace.  I look at you with infinite tenderness and care for you with a care more intimate than that of a mother for her child.  I have counted every hair on your head and guided you at every step.  Wherever you go, I go with you, and wherever you rest, I keep watch.  I will give you food that will satisfy all your hunger and drink that will quench all your thirst.  I will not hide my face from you.  You know me as your own as I know you as my own.  You belong to me.  I am your father, your mother, your brother, your sister, your lover, and your spouse… yes, even your child… wherever you are I will be.  Nothing will ever separate us.  We are one.”

So, when the old music starts to play, I encourage you to change the channel and remember that you are God’s beloved and on you His favor rests.

Kudos

On my last day in Ethiopia my group was riding in a van and came to a stop.  As usual people approached the windows to beg for food or money.  We were instructed to not give money.  But, we had brought some snacks to eat from home and decided to give some to people.

I passed out a bag of Cheez-its to a woman and her small child.  Then an older woman approached my window.  As I prepared to hand out a Kudos bar, she held up both hands and all of her fingers were missing.  She had two palms that looked worn.  She was dirty and looked very poor.  As she looked me in the eye I placed the Kudos bar between her two palms.  Our hands touched.

We pulled away and I had the strongest urge to grab a bottle of anti-bacterial lotion and cleanse my hands.  I wanted to stay clean.  But, I resisted the urge…

As we drove away I wrestled within my heart.  I  thought of Jesus touching the lepers, the unclean and the outcasts.  He met practical needs, but also shared his very life.  He seemed so comfortable in uncomfortable circumstances.

So, I resisted the urge to use the anti-bacterial lotion…

… for 10 min.

Kudos to Jesus for showing us how to truly love.

Help me God to stop trying to protect myself and stay tidy and clean.  Bless the woman with the Kudos bar.  Amen.

Jesus loves me this I hope.

The core truth is that we are God’s beloved.

However, it can be so easy to listen to the voices that demand we prove that we are valuable.  We may believe that we need to do something spectacular to show that we deserve and will receive love.

Here is a great quote to remind us that we are God’s beloved.  It is written from the perspective of God writing to you.

“I have called you by name, from the very beginning.  You are mine and I am yours.  You are my beloved, on you my favor rests.  I have molded you in the depths of the earth and knitted you together in your mother’s womb.  I have carved you in the palms of my hands and hidden you in the shadow of my embrace.  I look at you with infinite tenderness and care for you with a care more intimate than that of a mother for her child.  I have counted every hair on your head and guided you at every step.  Wherever you go, I go with you, and wherever you rest, I keep watch.  I will give you food that will satisfy all your hunger and drink that will quench all your thirst.  I will not hide my face from you.  You know me as your own as I know you as my own.  You belong to me.  I am your father, your mother, your brother, your sister, your lover, and your spouse… yes, even your child… wherever you are I will be.  Nothing will ever separate us.  We are one.”                                                                 – Henri Nouwen from “Life of the Beloved”

What if we read this each day?  How might that change our interactions and attitudes?