“Let no one deceive you with empty words… Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.”Ephesians 5:6-13
Piercing. There is no other term for these words from Paul.
I’m still searching for an adequate expression to describe the experience of having your entire worldview, your concept of self and of the world and of God, upon which every decision and expression of your life has been founded, held up in front of you as you begin to see it fall apart as ashes. To lie in bed wide awake at 4:13 in the morning, heart racing, sweat glistening on your forehead, unable to catch your breath, trying not to wake up the kids as you weep, night after night – unable to really articulate the source of the fear and guilt that grip you.
Now that we are a few more steps on down the path, I can see that my Heavenly Father had been warning me. “Ok, Miki. Are you ready? Because I’m about to let you see a new level of your sin. I’m going to open your eyes a bit more to the role you have played in the suffering you see around you, and in the suffering that My beloved Son experienced on the cross. I’m going to allow you to see a bit more of your broken theology, to see how much of what you believe to be true is rooted in the soil of dead ash, of empty words.
“The severely malnourished, heavily sedated 8-year old girl who reaches out to touch your hand while lying in her own urine in a crib in the middle of a room of 15 other children, also lying in their own urine, also sedated out of their minds, all locked in a huge, gray building filled with rooms holding literally hundreds of other children in similar conditions, all “hidden” behind a huge, rusting iron gate in the middle of nowhere… Miki, you have played a role in putting her there.
“The terrified 7-year old boy searching through a dumpster with his grandfather for some sort of blanket that they might use during the night, who closes his eyes and leans into your hand so that you have to hold him up while you attempt to wash away a bit of the dried blood and mud plastered on the side of his face… Miki, your lifestyle choices and privileges have contributed to his losing his mother in violence, and in his being forced to flee from his home through the nightmare of the refugee experience.
“The young girls disappearing from that town in Northern Mexico, just south of the Texan border… Miki, your excessive lifestyle and demand for cheap consumption directly feed into the poverty and desperation from which these heinous acts arise.
“Miki, you are not better than them. You have done nothing to earn your life of security and ease while they suffer under such terror and grief. In fact, it is precisely the opposite.
“For your own good I must show you, my daughter, that in reality, you are the oppressor. You are the arrogant Pharisee. You are the hypocrite. You are the rich, young ruler, desiring eternal life, but refusing to give up your wealth. You are the money changer in the temple, using the name of Christ for your own profit. You are Saul, persecuting the righteous.
“My dear daughter, you must know the truth. You are not the righteous disciple of Christ, but you are Judas Iscariot. You have taken a few coins in exchange for the life of my Son, in exchange for the life of my precious children.
“And so out of My deep, unfailing love for you, I plead with you, my daughter. In all of your striving to discern and fulfill some great ‘calling’ in your life, do not forget the most critical calling that I give you…
“Repentance, my beloved. This is both the first and final calling of your life, from which every breath you take, every word you utter, and every decision you make must proceed. Unadulterated, life-altering confession and repentance. This, my precious girl, is My greatest calling for your life.”