Making Mud Pies with Jesus!
Amy found a video I had posted of Steven when I still worked for the Scalf’s. I had forgotten about that day. We had done an experiment with food coloring, vinegar, and baking soda. A bit overstimulated Steven took the level of fun up a notch. It was as equally beautiful as it was messy. I remember, even at the time, I didn't think that it was extreme. It was, well, just Steven.
I like the struggle. I might not exactly enjoy the moment to moment battle, but the struggle is life preserving. What I do not like is to feel numb. The numbing fills me with utter dread. It turns me to a pillar of salt. Animated limbs, automatic motion; like a zombie whose sole purpose is to consume.
And consume I have; copious amounts of food, television, thoughts, books, work. Yet, I have kept Him one arm’s length away. My job at the Hope Lodge is a ministry, there is no other way one could do the job I do. Yet, it has become a consuming centrifugal force pulling me away from my true center. Amidst our family taking some pretty hard hits and day to day life I have quickly tapped myself dry.
A few Saturdays back Mom and I attended a Women’s Conference entitled “She Laughs”. Tamera spoke of her struggles with perfection. I always assumed it was a struggle I knew well. However, my journey was with people pleasing. I knew that cancer intimately. In fact, I often looked and found rejection when it wasn't even there. I still have a hard time extending my desire to spend time with someone. Fear of rejection is a palpable thing for me.
I think I inadvertently do this with God. I keep looking for the moment He will turn me away. Might I not be lovely or desirable enough to sit at His table?
The service this morning at Christ Church had me a bit undone – in a good way. I went to the altar. I couldn't quite find a space that felt comfortable. I moved and shifted. I felt God tenderly ask me to lean back and raise my hands, to speak to Him in worship. I thought, “God, these people will think I am crazy. I will look ridiculous.” God wouldn't let it go. He kept pulling me back to just simply trusting Him. In the end, I slowly leaned back and raised my hands. The pounding of my heart sent a flutter of warmth to my cheeks. He met me in the soft space of mumbled words and hopeful petitions.
Wyatt got baptized that afternoon. I sobbed. It was cleansing beauty. An ugly cry I’m sure that was scouring out the inside, purging my soul of filth. Wyatt is such an enigmatic being; a miracle child that God is going to use in wondrous ways. Frankly, I believe God is going to use all the Scalf children in wondrous ways, but maybe I’m just biased.
I sat next to Tamera and her beautiful daughter Abby. Tamera saw. She perceived in her spirit that I was struggling. Tamera is the definition of a prayer warrior. She bleeds into other’s lives, heart and soul on bended knees. I trust these two ladies implicitly and am very grateful to have them in my life.
My sweet Anna was there. It was a beautiful surprise. She was radiant – glowing. She reflects His light. She made a statement about postpartum not just happening to Mother’s after the birth of a child. Have you not noticed times in your life when something lovely came into it and you felt sad, even a bit weary and heartbroken over it? I have.
This is a reminder that I am His. The people that walk this journey with me are an assurance.
There is a comfortable home feeling that comes with the relationship I have with the Scalf’s. They are the definition of creating family. There is an ease that has come to our relationship that has been forged in fire, overcoming, and trust. They remind me what it is like to be grafted into a family. They remind me that I am His.
This brings me back to Steven. This child, from the moment he came into the Scalf home, has captured my heart. He fills the room. He is passionate, caring, and open to any possibility. He is one of the most imaginative and introspective children I have ever met. And, the wonder in the messy ciaos around him stills my breath.
I think we often get stuck in the mud. Not only that, we turn the mud to quicksand and allow it to swallow us whole. Instead of making mud pies or not being afraid of making a mess, we attempt to clean ourselves up. It never works. Life is messy. God knows this.
The truth is I want to get messy with God. He got messy, even bloody for me. The brilliant beautiful thing is, no matter how messy we get or what a mess we make of things God will always clean us up. It is in those messy yucky moments that He leans in close to me, a bit of mischief in His eye, and says, “Come child, let’s get you cleaned up!” The mess doesn't discourage Him – not one bit.
My Sweet Jesus,
You constantly move and shape me. Out of clay you formed man - the dust of the earth. You gave sight to a blind man with a bit of dirt and spit. You use the messy in life to show your glory. You soften edges with a good scrubbing of grace. I don’t want to be afraid of getting a bit of dirt on my hands. This numbing is consuming. It resembles life only in shadow - a parlor trick full of smoke and mirrors.
Thank you for going deep with us. You ask us to go on adventures with you. May I continually fall to that challenge. Awaken my spirit oh Lord! May I find myself on your boarders once again. Oh, my Kinsman-Redeemer! You have loosed the chains. You have cut me off from lovers less wild. You have set a purpose upon my heart. You have built a sure foundation for me. You do not let my feet slip upon the rocks.
Lord, do not leave me in the cleft of the rock! Woo me down amidst the fray. Let me run into the wild adventure with you. Captivate my heart with what captivates yours.
May I dwell in your house all the days of my life, My Husband! You have made me feel beautiful and fair. You have written my new name into the palm of your hand. You have sealed the covenant you made with me with your blood. I am a sanctuary where you may abide. A living testimony of what you can do.
May I never forget the works of your hands.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various [c]trials, 7 so that the [d]proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which [e]is perishable,even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and [f]full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of [g]your souls.
- 1 Peter 1: 3-9 NASB