Friday, February 17, 2012


I spent some time with friends recently, my wife and I did, in order to share what was on our hearts. It's tough doing that - removing oneself from what we believe to be protective isolation, and baring our souls to others. There's a mixture of believing no one else desires to know our struggles, and believing that no one else can understand them. That dark and lonely and selfish place becomes both our blanket and our prison.

Repeatedly, we're reminded of the benefits of honesty and relationships, and repeatedly, we're tricked into scampering off in fear to be alone once more as we wallow in our pain. Practice doesn't actually make perfect, but faithful persistence does change the heart. And so it was as we spoke to our friends, laughing and sighing and crying and wondering.

Once we set our sights on something we want, we'll do almost anything to get it. Almost anything. We pray for our will to be done instead of seeking His, and then we react with anger and passivity when once again we're reminded of the fact that it all doesn't revolve around us. Begging and pleading with seemingly no response, we ultimately resign ourselves to a place of self absorption ... Instead of taking one more step.

The "almost anything" is where He wants us. The world tells us that giving up is precisely what we should never do: Maintain that white knuckle grip and never let go, for it's only the weak who don't persevere. It's a lie that repeats itself until it's believed and yet, it ultimately never works out. Our brokenness and willingness to bow down to people assures us that temporal success will be achieved through this mentality. But, in the end, it falls short. It always does.

I stop looking around and I start looking up. I relinquish my imaginary control. I give up.

And a door is opened.  


  1. I appreciate your honesty. When we are real with our struggles and sin we see God's grace in incredible ways. Praying for you brother.

  2. Thanks Tom. I just recently had a friend's husband go on hospice and I sent to her this Catholic prayer, Prayer of Abandonment:

    Father, I abandon myself into your hands, do with me what you will. Whatever you may do I praise you. I am ready for all. I accept all. Let only your will be done in me, and in all creatures - I wish no more than this Lord. Into your hands I commend my soul. I offer it to you with all of the love my heart holds, for I love you Lord. I need to give to you all myself., to surrender myself to your hands, without reserve, and with boundless confidence, because you are my Father. Amen

    A lot of people misunderstand this prayer and use it only when they feel abandoned by God - a sort of last resort prayer. Actually though, this prayer is about abandoning your humanness and letting the Lord's will for your life to be done. I wrote a poem called the puppeteer a couple of years ago and it was about letting God be the Puppeteer and making me his abstract puppet. I read it to remind myself who is in charge. I am just Jonnie, the abstract puppet of God.