Be the Instrument

Saturdays are for Mary. I get her. More importantly, she gets me. I didn’t love her so much at one time, but I grew to love her because my heart was fervent for her. As a converted Catholic, I committed to giving her a chance, to knowing her more deeply and to accepting the Church’s teachings on her. I could not understand her role and place in my life and couldn’t quite fit her neatly, squarely into my life’s hectic corners. But I desperately needed her…

I needed her guidance and tender care. I needed to understand how she could pray for me. I was desperate to see how I could get myself closer to our Lord, and knew that she was the fastest and surest way there.

My theological mind told me it wasn’t possible. My intellectual mind told me it didn’t make sense. But my heart, my heart was longing and wanting for love of her, for imitation of her, to be close to her. To read of the Saints that had seen her, the graces she offered, the love she carried with her. It took a short time for me to understand the Marian doctrine, but a much longer time for me to accept it.

I started to see her as an instrument of God’s love. A carrying of His heart. She brought forth divine life and hope. She was a teenage unmarried Jewish girl who was chosen by God to carry the savior of the world. What an awesome and terrifying task. There was so much there for me. The weight of a large divine task, the visibility of this divine responsibility, the loneliness she must have felt, and the knowing that this birth would change the course of history.

I thought of my own journey- pregnant with a love for Jesus as a converted Jewish girl, visible for all to see, my great loneliness in carrying our Savior. I too was an instrument of grace, trying to make my way as a young Jewish girl who had become a Christian. God’s chosen instrument, as I did not choose Christ, but rather He chose me.

It is difficult to be God’s instrument in a world that does not understand. It is difficult to be different. It is difficult to be an instrument of His will with a great desire to play only sweet sounding music when your audience does not understand nor care for your brand of music. Over the years, I have invested in the truth; that I do not play for large audiences, I play for an audience of one.

But I have come to this conclusion.

An instrument is played by it’s musician and the musician is focused on the instrument, not on the audience. That instrument being played is God, and so is the audience we play for.

Mary has helped me understand that. She has helped me keep my focus on Him. She has helped me accept myself as a Jewish girl who has fallen in love with Christ. I trust her, give my all to her, so she can guide me straight to Him.

She is a worthy vessel, an honorable mother, a great protection. She has showed me how to play beautiful music, to use my life for the greatest good and most importantly she has made my crosses sweet.

I don’t pray anymore for God to take my crosses away, but instead to send Mary.

I will always be a Jewish girl who loves Jesus. It doesn’t require further explanation accept to say that I could not imagine my life any other way.

And I will play that sweet music that He has assigned to me, as Mary did, to bring the love of God to the ends of the earth.

Day 99- The Truthful Mile

“What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” Matthew 26:15

Say it. Say it as if you said it. Because you did. You betrayed God.

When you weren’t kind. When you were unforgiving. When you decided to follow only three of the ten commandments  because that is what is convenient for you. You’ve deemed it ok. You’ve played God.

“What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?”

What about supporting abortion.  You’ve decided that it was ok to take a life. You continue to support abortion.  You’ve deemed it ok. You’ve played God.

“What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?”

Your husband or your wife do not make you happy anymore. You’ve decided to leave. You have found another partner even before you are divorced.  You’ve deemed it ok. You’ve played God.

“What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?”

You have decided that you don’t want anymore children. You’ve chosen to close your womb. You are not open to the possibility that the next child you have may be the President or even the next Pope. You’ve deemed it ok. You’ve played God.

“What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?”

Somebody has told you the truth. You don’t like it. You decide your truth goes down easier. Your mind and heart are closed to what God has to say. You’ve deemed it ok. You’ve played God.

“What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?”

What is the price of betrayal? Is it your happiness? Your wealth? Your unwillingness?

And at what expense does it come? The cost of a marriage? The cost of a family? The cost of your relationship with God?

In these last days, the words of Judas are for us to ponder, left for all eternity, imprinted in God’s Word. His question is our question, his thought our thought. We cannot take them out of context. Every word in the bible is there for our benefit.

If the words don’t convict you, than you are not receiving them. If you are open, they will dance in your soul and stir you to repentance. God is the giver of life and death. We are not our own masters. Whether you believe this or not is of no consequence in God’s kingdom. God will still be God. 

The truth is a beast if you make it to be. The ancient rules a binding if you do not understand their freedom. Obedience is a gift and not a curse. Adherence to rituals alone is not love, it is death.

As you find yourself open or closed to this meditation, ask yourself this question- why is this making me angry? or sad? or introspective? None of this I write is on my own, every word is from the word of God.

He therefore let you be afflicted with hunger, and then fed you with manna, a food unknown to you and your ancestors, so you might know that it is not by bread alone that people live, but by all that comes forth from the mouth of the Lord. The clothing did not fall from you in tatters, nor did your feet swell these forty years. So you must know in your heart that, even as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord, your God, disciplines you. Therefore, keep the commandments of the Lord, your God, by walking in his ways and fearing him.

Deuteronomy 8:3-6

 

 

The Tomb of Silence

Thirty seconds in and I am terrified. I cannot control the racing of my thoughts. I am afraid to ask the question, God, what do you want me to do?

The question stands alone and cold. I don’t want to move from it. In fact I want to hide behind it. It is a shield, a fence that I am on the other side of. .

The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak

I finally settle in. He’s only asked me for five minutes. But I am scared to go here, scared of what He will ask of me. It may be spring, but it is winter in my soul.

I cannot resist any longer. I sit beside my Lord and find myself beside the tomb. I cannot see Him. I cannot hear Him. But I know that He is there. How so? I have finally visited the grave.

Even in the silence I am working, He tells me. I am bringing souls to heaven. You can’t see it behind the tomb. It is only in the silence that you can understand it. Stay beside my tomb and you will see. Beside my tomb of silence there are great treasures to behold. See all that is going on! When in doubt, go sit beside my tomb. It is busy with activity. It is silence that comes before my resurrection. Learn to sit with me in silence, I have much to say here. There is great joy here. Silence before meditating on my Word. 

I settled in. I wasn’t so afraid anymore. The time had passed quickly and now I didn’t want to leave. But I knew I couldn’t spend too much time before the tomb, there was a resurrection to prepare for. So I opened God’s word and heard His voice. The words were alive because of my time beside the tomb.

He spoke to me about the seriousness of sin. That monster that waits to devour us. But this time I heard it differently. This time He opened the door to even deeper treasures.

Sin begins in the first thought. How will we respond? It lies in wait at the door in order to devour us. The devil tricks us into believing in an outward looking world, focusing on the sin of others and what others may or may not be doing. This then produces the ugliness and allows us to lose focus on our own personal holiness. But if we pause before we act, correct our thinking in our minds, turn inward instead of outward, we will remember our Lord’s beating. We will remember our Lord’s scourging. We will remember our Lord’s silence.

Like a lamb led to slaughter or a sheep silent before shearers, he did not open his mouth (Isaiah 53:7 (b))

It is in that moment that we can pause too. Sins urge is for us, but we can rule over it (Genesis 4:7). We can sin no more if we are repentant (Psalm 4:5). We can prepare the way of the Lord.

If I choose to sit beside the tomb in every moment that I am about to offend my Lord, I can remember all of these things. I can remember the silence in the face of accusation, I can remember the stillness in the face of a beating, I can remember His prolonged agony as he suffered for my sins.

Today, sit beside the tomb of silence