In Which I Write About How You Are Called {A Battle Cry}

{By Tammy Hendricksmeyer}

 “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.” Romans 12:1 The Message

The sun is glaring off my windowsill this Summer afternoon as I write to you. There are shadows from our Crape Myrtles swaying their dark contrasts on our white patio. And I’m here, inside with a fan blowing on me, keeping cool against the humid air that threatens to dampen the most acclimated skin. In my ears are the headphones which are curved, in just a way, that I get an “in stereo” sound of this song I’m listening to right now. Because I need music to write. And the words pounding through these tiny earbuds are, “Surely you are good, that I was swept away,  You brought me back to this place, You gave me water, gave me drink, my flesh, my heart may fear, whom have I but You?” When I hear the words, my heart does a happy flip-flop.

This week I’ve been thinking of you, of us. Far and wide. Small and invisible. Known and unkown.

Summer has set in with the usual mix of coconut scents and chlorine, sunsets that make clouds sparkle like white diamonds before bursting into pink and purples, and contemplative ponderings aptly taken from a lounge-chair. I sense God has been speaking as I think of the ways we have been shushed into corners, into silence, into separation and amputation, into many things where we’ve forgotten who we are and where we belong.

There was a time I went through a hard spiritual-winter, not so long ago. I once called it a desert, but after reading the first chapter of Mark Buchanan’s Spiritual Rhythm, I am renaming it. There is an extra hardness to winter in this cold landscape of my soul where, unlike deserts which are quenched, I could care less about thirst. As if in a time capsule, all I could do was gaze at the frozen trappings of hope without enough warmth to pray for it to melt.

My years of complaining about the 16,000+ pounds of scrap and trash from this farm, that was my desert. But winter is harsher. It was a tough, friend-less, empty year where my days were numb and joy became a dream I once knew. My drives and passions became bygone memories, not knowing if I’d ever recover a drop of them. But there are other ways we can lose ourselves.

Maybe we have known something different than a wintery season of faith that is just as chilling. Things such as the time when we were drawn to paint and charcoals but were told that art is stupid and frivolous. Maybe we have had a writer inside us waiting to emerge, for generations even, but we’ve lied to ourselves about how we “never” kept journals until we found one today and it comes flooding back. All the loose leave papers, legal pads, and partial journals were in fact kept through out, but we mistakenly filed those away as chicken scratch not worth anything.

Or maybe we are bold as lions but our life has been full of people trying to tame it or shame it.

Maybe we are raising that family we always wanted, to find out that it is not as easy as the dream which lived in our heads. Or maybe it is the stress of bills piling up on our wooden desk which has topped so high we can no longer see the grain. Or the baby is crying, and crying, and crying, so that all we want to do is just sleep, forever, because we are that exhausted. Or our idea of church has been blown to the sky like a nuclear bomb going off when a community of people we considered family tells us, “Don’t mind showing up the next time we meet.”

And maybe life has taken a horrible turn and we can not see the other side of it right now, but there are others who can.

Even if the boat is bobbing like a drunken sailor about to drown, God is there too. And when we are crawling on our dirty hands and knees into a grave like damaged goods, saying that they may as well “Go ahead and bury my shattered, worthless pieces right here,” make no mistake, a light is still glistening off the jagged edges. And we may have to hold our sword so long our arms begin to shake from the weight of a lie we are fighting, but we are equipped for battle.

Because we are called. From the deepest darkest pits, God is doing a hidden work. Even if we feel snuffed out by the darkness, same as that tomb He sat in for three days, there’s this little Light of mine. Because we are part of this Body and this Body does not amount to much if one of us is cut-off.  So we refuse to believe that in our isolation, our deserts, our wildernesses, our winters, that we have lost our purpose for kingdom work, because this right here right now is kingdom work.

No matter the season of our faith, we are still The Body. We may have to blindly wait because those gifts? Those precious Spirit-filled offerings? Those are His. And they are already in us, whether we feel them or not.  We are not worthless dogs who are only able to eat scraps from under the Master’s table. We are at the table.  The seasons will humble and refine us to make us all the better, but we have not left our seat. So we are taking our lives, our whole beings, as an offering and we will use what is already in us. And we will come out filled with more purpose to be who He has called us to be.

“Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of {Christ’s} body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be..”  Romans 12:4-6 The Message

photo credit: mwjhnsn via photopin cc

 

The song in my ears:

 

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My PhotoTammy’s white-knuckled philosophy on a particular denominational doctrine fell apart shortly after her life did.  She’s learned inter-personal relationships can both wreck you and build you up. She is passionate about communities finding one another and is a renaissance woman who’s scattered pigeons at Notre Dame, swam the coral reefs of Okinawa, scaled fortresses in Nuremburg, and viewed the Eiffel Tower safely from the ground. She is a poet at heart who writes, sings corny jingles, practices faith outside of institutions, homeschools for now, throws her head back when laughing, talks her family into hair-brained photographs, and occasionally drives an old John Deere tractor in tim-buck-two. She’s a writer whose the Visionary for this ever-evolving site, Blog Editor and Co-Conspirator with Amy and the team. {Her journey is found on her personal blog, or connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.}

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Also, here is a FREE eBook offering we made for you {<—-click to read more}.

 

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24 Comments on “In Which I Write About How You Are Called {A Battle Cry}

  1. A big ‘ole “YES” to this, Tammy. He is doing a hidden work, and we are AT the table. Sometimes we do feel “snuffed out.” Grateful we have you remind me of these truths. So beautifully said here.

  2. Wow, Tammy! This is so crazy encouraging. I really love your heart and you put it into words so beautifully. Yes, we ARE at the table. We DO count. I love how you write, “make no mistake, a light is still glistening off the jagged edges..,” and “From the deepest darkest pits, God is doing a hidden work.” Amen. God is at work in this place even when we cannot see it and doubt it, He will finish the work He started in us.

  3. Your words, Tammy, are always beautiful. “The seasons will humble and refine us to make us all the better, but we have not left our seat.” I just love that. Loved every word.

  4. He still Is
    so we still are
    it is all in the offering
    the surrender
    yes, our seats are not empty
    amen

  5. tammy, sometimes I have no idea what I’m feeling or thinking until I read what someone else has mined from their own souls and say, ‘THAT was it….’ This is one of those times. Thank you.

  6. Tammy, thank you. I loved what you communicated in this. Esp. the sword weighing heavily in our hands and the tomb sitting in darkness…:”And they are already in us, whether we feel them or not. We are not worthless dogs who are only able to eat scraps from under the Master’s table. We are at the table. The seasons will humble and refine us to make us all the better, but we have not left our seat.” That really touched the broken part of my soul. Nobody but God has the power to excuse us from the table…and He doesn’t want to. Psalm 23:5 He prepares a table before us in the presence of my enemies… Thanks for putting yourself out here and being vulnerable and allowing me to go there. Love who you are in the Body of Christ. B

    • Belinda, my in real-life-local friend, you know that part you liked so well? That’s came from my own personal experience and thoughts. I was a mangy dog under the table when Christ looked under it with a what-in-the-world-are-you-doing-under-there and pulled out a chair and said “Sit.” 🙂 Love you

  7. Tammy, this resonates in places so deep I can’t articulate them yet. But they’re rising toward the surface. Slowly. Thanks for the words to help them rise….. You bless me.

  8. The words of my heart written on this post…. Holy Spirit motivation to light the way to true hope. In tears I read knowing the truth that lies in these words, it’s the convincing myself to choose this that is so hard. Taking the first step now. choosing to worship in the truth of those lyrics “Surely you are good, that I was swept away, You brought me back to this place, You gave me water, gave me drink, my flesh, my heart may fear, whom have I but You?”

  9. So beautiful. There’s still this little Light of mine. Oh, yes. Preach it. Love you and your heart. Heart Hugs, Shelly ❤

  10. I felt every single word Tammy. This is beautiful piece of your heart and my heart resonated with yours. Truly, we are one body and you are a treasured member. ❤

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