Midnight thoughts –

I saw a little bon bon

in the street

as I walked home last night

And then

smashed flat

as I walked to work

in the morning light

 

Looked like just a wrapper

but i knew it was there

frozen in the cold

uneaten in the dust

 

I saw a man last night

crowched in the door-

way of a ratty old place

without even a door

And then

laying flat

as I walked to work

laid out on the floor

in the dull rainy light

 

Looked just like a wrapper

but i knew he was there

frozen in the cold

unseen in the dust

 

I saw a woman last night

standing near the street

she was there talking to a man

rapping her normal ol’ beat

Her eyes looked flat

as her mouth called him near

 

Looked just like a wrapper

but I knew she was there

frozen in the cold

unseen by the dust.

Being good at not doing: my bolimic undoing

If you could really know me – have followed me around in life then you would know something about me that few people could imagine if I didn’t always find a way – if possible – to announce to the world that I am an incredible doer.

What am I talking about?

Here I go – (see what I mean? I will and probably already have found a way to tell you how good I am) – I went to a high ranking University and during that two year period I got two four year degrees.

How is that possible?

I am an incredible doer. I thrive on check off lists. You give me a task and if I’ve had time to think it through, or see it done, then I will do it better and faster than anyone else. At least that is my impression of myself and my work. Because I am an incredible doer. I like to do and I like to have work done by myself. I like to know that I am able.

And that is how I became bolimic.

And that is how I learned that I am even better at not doing then doing.

I have learned how to do with very little. It was part of how I grew up – and then later as I grew up, in an attempt to center myself more fully in God’s will and fight off my weaknesses, I learned to control my desires –

…at least I thought I had. I thought I was.

But when I finally was over being overwieght and decided to use my control skills on my eating, and later contemplated that time I learned something about myself that shocked me.

What I learned was that what I was really good at wasn’t self control and doing something, but I was an expert at not doing anything.

Do you get it? –What do I mean?

What I mean is that being careful about what you eat and don’t eat, and being intentional about walking and running and attending a gym is a LOT more hard than just not eating.

You might argue with me that not eating is much harder – but I promise you that it’s not.

I know.

I stopped eating for over four months.

I drank juices and teas and a whole lot of coffee to stop the hunger pains until they no longer existed. And when the pains went away it hurt more to eat than not eat. Whenever I ate, whatever I ate i immediately regurgitated. It was easy. It was even satisfying. When the food stopped heaving out in clumps and the bile came out in strings then there was a rush of dopemine.

I’m not recommending bolemia.

But there’s steriotypes surrounding it that misconstru how it is. It becomes addictive because it is in fact very satisfying.

Then in the spring when I left my country and moved back to my birthplace and started cleaning up my four years worth of storage something terrible, and to this day irreversible, happened. I fractured my back.

Whatever strength I still had amidst my addiction had sapped me of the nutrients I needed to keep my core together – and after several years of thinking my decisions through I realized that I was not in fact as good at things as I thought.

I was, I realized, far better at not doing – if I could get away with it.

But the shortcuts I was taking were reaping cuts that I couldn’t afford.

I ponder what spiritual shortcuts we are taking that will cut blessings from our life we desire?

I wonder what cuts are cutting things out of my life; forever.

…………….

After that season I slowly and painfully – like an addict does – worked my way back to a normal eating lifestyle. But my back hasn’t been the same.

Besides struggling whenever my back has a super bad day, the other effect of my bolimic past is that my awareness of how I lack is helping me notice what I am not good at doing and asking the Lord to grow me in those areas.

He is so faithful not to let go of us. Even when we undo ourselves into broken corners he finds ways to use our brokenness to bring us closer still to himself.

My bolimic undoing undid the ties of pride that held me upright. It exposed the mask of accomplishment for what it was and helped me to learn more about what it really means to rely on the Lord.

After all, when you can’t even finish what you started in the bathroom, there’s a desperation that leads to more prayers than you knew how to pray beforehand.

11am

I am sitting in a coffee shop waiting for church service to start. And I want to write something – anything uplifting and encouraging, yet my mind seems distracted, but I’m not sure why or about what.

The last two weeks have been my paid vacation, but with lack of money and my decision to make my transitions easier I used the time to move. In packing and moving it left me little self time but I’m hoping that the transition buffer time will pan out to be effective.

I realize that I’m extremely physically useful during a move, but that mentally and emotionally I am a total wreck! So I’m glad that I didn’t move and start a new job all in the same week.

So I finished moving during my second week of vacation and my old apartment now lies empty – and my new housing is too full and alive so again I can’t seem to find solitary refreshment time. The place I moved into is a house in the middle of a low rural part of my city with an average income Korean family which consists of three kids – two of whom are currently home on school break.

I can already tell that they’re picking up my English which I believe was the whole point of them begging me to live with them the last five years, which is encouraging. It’s nice to be useful and affective in your environment.

…this makes me wonder how much if at all we as believers are truly effective in our environments if we aren’t seeking God with all our heart and soul.

Which takes me to one of the things I’m currently being challenged by.

I refuse to discredit the blessings from God that I’ve experienced in my life, but i think I’ve come to the place of using Pauls phrase “I consider all a loss if only I can know the Lord” in regard to my faith.

“What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ” -Philippians 3:8

What do I mean?

I desperately want to cling to this idea that this whole time I’ve been a follower of Christ.

That ive had a deep abiding relationship with Him.

But the fact is…that I’ve had a profound relationship with my knowledge of Him.

May some of what I’ve had – or even all of what I’ve had have been real intimacy with Him! I desire to believe it.

But does my knowledge of Him give me close inseparable peace in times of discouragement? Does it- Has it spoken to me intimately in the face of silence when I was alone? Do I feel inseparable intimacy with a present being who I run to meet often????

Yeeeehhhsss?… I have definitely experienced intimacy. I’ve experienced Gods voice, His promptings, His promises, His clarity, His comfort, correction, teaching… Yes, I know God in my life.

But I want something more. Something deep and rich and real. Something on level with Abraham, Moses, Peter.

I want to meet. I want to talk. I want Him to be closer to me and more real and present than a person sitting across from me in a cafe. I want His voice to be more undeniable than an audible flesh and blood person conversing with me.

And yes, I believe a relationship with God is a journey, I believe it’s a real living and breathing relationship, I believe it’s growth. But I also must acknowledge that I’ve had a profound and blessed knowledge and understanding of God which cannot be counted or considered as really knowing Him personally. And if it takes acknowledging my lack to really seek and know Him then I will consider all I’ve considered as my relationship with Him as rubbish to really knowing Him.

To really know Him sweetly and intimately and walk every moment of my existence in His glorious company -in the interactive intimacy of close friends… Yes, I will consider all I’ve known in my head as nothing if I can sit with Him in a coffee shop and converse fully with Him.

O’ to know Him better than I know my closest and dearest friend. Not just knowing about Him, but truly knowing Him!

Jeremiah 29:13 – You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Deuteronomy 4:29 – But if you seek the LORD your God from there, you will find him, if, indeed, you seek him with all your heart and soul.

If we’re not there, is anyone hearing the song we desire to be playing? Will they inevitably learn our language? A language that lacks faith? That lacks true intimacy? Will they learn to live the brokenness we claim to be free of?…

God help us. Teach us how to love you! How to follow you! How to truly know you and grow in our relationship. Let us see the trash in our life for what it truly is – no matter what it is.