Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Self Portrait

Dear Reader,
       As you may know I have been asking the question of who I am, in search of what I might become, but I was looking in the wrong place. I was looking in the present, yet it is the past that God used shaped me. I found in my actions traces of who I am, hints.  Who am I? I am the youngest of three children, the girl who never got a baby brother but tasted being an older sibling for three months at thirteen when I helped love my foster brother and got temporarily ousted from the precious seat of youngest.  I am proud Auntie, and glad to have adopted yet another older sibling through Jonathan’s marriage. Who am I? I am a girl who has lied, and thus learned to love the whole truth. Who am I? I am a girl who loved stories and imagination from the first, from a girl riding her bike and talking with an imaginary friend to the fifteen year old insisting to her friends that we MUST play one more acting game, make up one more story until I became the girl who chose Creative Writing as her major, and wouldn’t give it up because she might not survive without story. Who am I? I am a girl who has lost without expectation, from neighbors to heroes, her homes, then her country, to friends, then an adopted Uncle who was her ride to see friends, we spent most of our time together in his truck or a restaurant. Who am I? I am a girl who was once convinced her parents lied to her, insisted she was adopted, and now loves those who really do not belong to a family; who has cuddled orphaned children into her arms, and who hopes to someday take someone home.  Who am I? I am the daughter of one who has been adopted. Who am I? I am one who has sat in a dark room and cried. Who am I? I am someone who is terrified of crowds, but would die to get a glimpse of your heart. Who am I? I’m Irish, German and Polish by blood but Latin and American cultures have seeped into my veins, creating in me the spirit of what you would call a TCK.  I’m a girl who obsesses, to write I will drop all other hobbies for the sake of learning to put words on paper, if I study a subject and I can, I will do more try to do more than one big assignment on an idea until I’m sick of the knowledge and wish to find something, anything else, to think about.  Who am I? I have perfectionist tendencies, frighten or become anxious easily, and long to please people. Who am I? I’m a girl who is fascinated by psychology. Who am I? I make myself like a subject that bores me, because I hate doing things I don’t like. Who am I?  I accepted Christ into my heart at three years old, was baptized at eight and started to really pursue God at around twelve, who decided to keep pursuing at eighteen.  I have sins that I struggle with, and promises I hold to, trust that is still being grown. I try to read my Bible and pray every day, I fall on my knees before God in both lament and joy and I have heard the very voice of the Holy Spirit in my head, and I have felt His arms of comfort wrapped around me.  Who am I? I am made, chosen, wanted and loved by God.  Nothing can change that.
Who Am I?
I am Jennifer Grace Hunter,
I am Elohim’s adopted daughter.
Who are you?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Dirty Houses

           The yellow shower tiles started to look more and more white, one at a time as a scratchy green sponge rubbed them clean. I dumped a bucket of water over them, and me. I was tired, I stopped at the house on my way home to clean that the renters might move in at the end of the semester, the house had to be clean before they moved in. I was getting paid to do this but still I was worn out, and I just wanted my Friday night.  I am working for Jesus I reminded myself, thinking of a verse at the end of Philippians, where Paul tells the slave to work as they would for Jesus himself. If Jesus were moving in to this house I would want the house to be spick and span, pay or no pay. This is how my thoughts run, how I really believe it ought to work, but Jesus does not wait for the house to be cleaned.  Christ will not stand for dirt in a heart, he made that very clear. But here, my emotional beliefs fall short of true theology. God does the unexpected:

         "Zacchaeus, I'm coming to your house today."

         "Oh, but God, it's full of dirt. You wouldn't like it there."

        "May I Come in?"

       "Yes, but... Wait, I like it with you sitting at my table. I'm going to clean the house." And Zacchaeus  started to clean his heart giving away half of what he owned to the poor, and repaying all those he owed.

              When the Holy Spirit moves into our hearts, He can't stand to have the dirt, and He offers to help us get rid of it ("When we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and purify us from all unrighteousness," Check out all of 1 John 1 &2.) But, just like any house, while He does want us to work to keep it clean, work to let His light shine on it: just like the first time He doesn't leave because dirt exists.  I will go clean in the bathroom today. What if that were my heart?  The brilliant light from His presence begins to shine through the cracked windows as He steps into the room. "Did you say it's dirty in here?" He  sighs, "I think you know already. In all your efforts to clean it, it will never be clean without me." And as He takes the sponge  from my hands, a red liquid spills across the tiles, dissolving the dirt, as it has done so many times before, "If you can remember just one thing, keep your eyes on me. My child, I will not leave you or forsake you, even to the ends of the age. This new room won't make me go away."  [1]  

[1] Sometimes, it won’t be so simple, sometimes he will use caustic situations like a caustic chemical, and scrub until it aches, sometimes it will break you in the process so He can remold you… analogies only go so far, but the idea remains the same.