May You Find Freedom

may you find freedom

May you find freedom today.

May your arms open
To embrace who you are,
And release who others think you should be.

May your mind open
To forget the mistakes of the past
And dream about the possibilities of the future.

May your eyes open
To see beyond your blinders
Into a greater view of the world.

May your life open
To be with those who are different from you
And experience the world from their perspective.

May your heart open
To love without fear
In receiving or in giving.

May you find the freedom
Of the water:
Free to fill empty space
With life and goodness,
Free to make waves
When the wind blows,
Free to be still
When life calls for calm,
Free to create beauty
With the simple act of reflection.

May you find the freedom
Of shalom:
Wholeness and peace.
At one with Your Creator,
At one with the world,
At one with yourself.

"Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you." - Galatians 5:1 (The Message)

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When I Don't Know How to Pray

Sometimes I struggle to pray for other people. Not because I don't want to, but becasue I don't know how. 

Why would I presume to know what someone else really needs? People ask for prayers for tensions to be resolved or pains to be healed, but what if God is working in their lives in the midst of the difficulties? Should I really pray for that to be cut short? 

Not only that, there's the risk. What if I pray for something for someone, and it doesn't happen? Does knowing I prayed for them simply add to their disappointment in the God they thought would provide? 

How do we even begin to pray for the complicated relationships of the world system? What do we know about how to solve intertwined oppressions of war, poverty, slavery, oppression, and terrorism that God wouldn't already know or long for? What could my prayers add?

As if staring at a blinking cursor with an approaching deadline, I freeze, wondering what should come after a name or a situation in my prayers. 

Subconsciously, I think this is why I forget to pray for other somtimes. I want to avoid the awkward fumbling for words that will surely follow. 

I may have found a word that can unlock this for me. A word that can authentically and deeply pray for another person, and for the world, without presuming to know what is actually best. It is a word that simply asks God to do what God does- to heal, restore, and make whole. 

Shalom. 

Shalom is the Hebrew word often translated as peace, but it is so much more than the way we view the word peace. Shalom means wholeness, friendship, and healing. Shalom is not simply the absence of strife, it is the presence of God and His restoring love. 

Shalom is something we need a lot more of, individually and globally. Shalom is the word I am chosing to pray. 

Loving God, bring Your shalom to us.  

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Sometimes The Bible is Enough

I’m tempted to conjure up something profound to say, so I can prove I have studied the Bible.  

I’m tempted to bring forth eloquent imagery, so I can prove I am able to write.

 

I’m tempted to lay out an amazing story, so I can prove my life is interesting.

 

But this isn’t about me.

 

The Bible is about God. It is His story. Sometimes I need to let it be the thing that stops you in your tracks, instead of standing out in front of it, waving my arms, hoping you’ll notice me.

 

Listen to this description of what happens in the presence of God.

 

Loyal love and faithfulness meet; deliverance and peace greet each other with a kiss. Faithfulness grows from the ground, and deliverance looks down from the sky.

-Psalm 85:10-11

 

This beautiful picture stands on its own.

psalm 85


That was my reflection on Psalm 85. Link up with your reflection below. Or stop back next week with thoughts on Psalm 86.