Empty me…(a poem)


The struggle is real.

Do more.

Be more.

But wait.

Be still.

Stop.

When life is full that’s when we need to give it up.

Give it all up.

Let the worries and the pressure and the performance fall through the aching holes of our heart,

the heaviness of brown paper package

promises released,

the frustrations of 

self

like sand through a sieve 

emptied

given up

to the One 

who gave Himself 

to fill us up

with 

peace

*

not as the world

gives,

empty,

but

free

Ere I knew Easter

Bunnies, eggs, chocolate.

Wooden crosses, nails, blood.

The dichotomy between the events of the first Easter and what society has made it today couldn’t be wider.

But our Lord is bigger than commercialism. 

He’s bigger than bombs and terrorists and politicians and governments.

Now more than ever the world needs to know THIS:

If He could break through death, He can certainly break through to our hearts.

And so this Easter, if you’re struggling with current events, loss of a loved one, discouragement, or pain, know that Easter is much more than a jelly beans and plastic grass. It’s much more than a fancy new dress and patent leather shoes.

The rush of blood from His pierced side covers you.

The thrusts of thorns upon His head paid for your pain.

The stripes on His back mark your salvation.

And the best part? 

His Kingdom has no end, 

knows no bounds, 

dries all tears, 

rights all wrongs, 

pays every debt, 

silences every lie, 

stands for every truth, 

hears every cry, 

eliminates all pain, 

cures all disease, 

embraces every vagabond, 

magnifies every overlooked, 

calms every fear, 

takes every burden,

and makes everything new.

Easter for you, and for me, is freedom.

Life.

VICTORY.

Praise the Lord, He is risen, indeed!

Have a blessed, victorious Easter, dear friends!

  

On December 26. 

I wanted to write something exquisite to you all for Christmas.

Something that would give your heart pause and infuse the beauty and miracle of the season with my best, most moving prose.

But I kept coming up empty.

I couldn’t figure out if I had writer’s block or if I’ve just lost the spirit of Christmas.

But then I realized, Christmas has more often than not felt bittersweet for me. I’ve always had a difficult time reconciling the glitz and glee with the brokenness and need of not only my heart, but the hearts of everyone in the whole world.

Take the other day, for instance. If you didn’t know, I am a registered nurse. I’ve been practicing for over 20 years now on busy medical/surgical and pediatric floors where pain and worry don’t stop just because there’s tinsel strung across the halls.

We had a hot breakfast with our team and enjoyed laughter and fellowship in the middle of a playroom filled with toys to distract sick and yes, sometimes dying, kids. 
Later that afternoon, Santa came and ho-ho-ho’d and grinned his best grin from under his fluffy beard. He brought his elves and a sack full of goodies into every child’s room, the pink in their cheeks belying, if only for a moment, their pain. 

We ate chocolate at the nurses’ station as the first drips of chemotherapy flowed into a newly diagnosed patient’s veins, while across the hall a team thrust a chest tube into the side of a baby who couldn’t–or wouldn’t–breathe without it.

Christmas is a human invention, and maybe we do need a little of it, as the song goes, to distract us like toys in a playroom from our dying selves.

But the problem with Christmas is December 26. 

December 26, when heartache is real again, when brokenness is as torn and wide open as the empty boxes under the sagging tree, when the lights dim and the night…is…silent.

The problem with Christmas is that hope doesn’t come with tinsel and lights and bells and songs.

Hope comes…

…with mercy, like a chest tube allowing a sagging lung to reinflate.

Hope comes…

…like the slow, imperceptible drip of life-saving medication into a patient’s arm.

Hope comes…

…in the darkness where tears stream down a mother’s face as she struggles to console her fevering child.

Hope comes.

Oh, how it comes.

Just not where we expect it.

*****

 

Who would have thought God’s saving power would look like this?The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling, ascrubby plant in a parched field. There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look. He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand. One look at him and people turned away.

We looked down on him, thought he was scum. But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures. But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed.

~Isaiah 53:1-6 (TMV)

 

*This post was originally published in my author newsletter. If you’d like to be the first to see devotionals and articles such as this, you can sign up for my newsletter in the right hand sidebar of this blog.