Missing Miah – a thought dump

9.36 on Tuesday morning. I had 4 hours of poor sleep last night. 3 hours of poorer sleep the night before. That is excuse enough for being tired & emotional, but the greater problem is that I haven’t slept in 2 weeks & have had a headache for nearly that long.

I woke up on the morning of Sunday the 31st to an inbox full of messages that my friend Miah Morris was in critical condition after suffering a heat stroke while running an intense obstacle course/marathon. That night started the sleeplessness.

I called, sent messages, raised prayer, fasted, did my best to stay up to date on the details, prayed for a speedy recovery, & never considered it truly possible that he would die. Monday evening brought the “come now” phone call. I rushed home to take care of things in the office to prepare for my being gone for some days, slept for 40 minutes and drove to the airport with little more than a backpack & not even sure what I’d thrown in it.

Walking onto my first flight the messages began to come in that after 2.5 days of intense fighting for his life, my friend had slipped into eternity. That first flight was when the headache started. But I sat down in faith, flew home in faith, met with family & friends in faith continuing to believe that he could be raised.  Because one of these days, one of us is going to be filled with power from on high, & one of these days we’re going to see the dead raised. I  earnestly asked that it would be my friend & I couldn’t think of life without Miah.

Most of the time we do not stop to think of how someone is affecting our day-to-day life until they are suddenly taken from it. But Miah was one of those friends that left you always aware of just how much he affected your life. You couldn’t hep but be dramatically affected by him, because he is crazy! He loved to get you outside of your box, to do something bizarre & before you could blink you were caught up in the madness, a part of the craziness with him. He made you look at life differently, he made you live it.

Now I’m not talking wisdom, because most of the time whatever he was doing meant you were going to get into trouble if you were anywhere near him. But you couldn’t help but love him for it. Miah looked life in the face & laughed at it. He did everything “x7”, as his best friend Jason puts it.

He made me be his friend. Just went after me until I trusted him & let him be a brother to me, & then spent the next 5 years being one of the most dependable & intentional friends that I’ve ever had.

That week brought many things too personal to share, moments with the Lord that need to stay sacred. But I’ll say that it wasn’t until the middle of the memorial service that I realized he wasn’t coming back. He was with the Lord and he WANTED to stay there. Never have I cried so hard at a memorial service, never have I laughed so hard at one either. And NEVER before had I sung ‘Happy Birthday at a funeral (it was held on his 29th birthday). Totally – Weird.We spent the next few hours  laughing ourselves into side-aches & tears as the ridiculous stories just came one after another. Anyone who didn’t know him well would think that their one crazy Miah story an isolated incident, and have no clue that he just LIVED crazy! Jason said it really well,

They say that when someone dies they take a piece of you with them & you’re left feeling like something is missing, but I feel like he’s with us. With Miah, it’s like he always left a piece of himself with you instead of the other way around. But man I’m gonna miss him, like on those day’s when I just need to go do something crazy, that’s when I’m really gonna miss him.

Three days later I boarded another plane & headed East with many tears, feeling as if the whole week had been one terrible dream. The fact is, as Christians, believer’s in Jesus Christ, it is REAL that we do not grieve as those who have no hope. My friend is living life way more than just “x7″ RIGHT NOW, fully alive, fully at peace, fully in the presence of the living God. Christ will come & all of the dead in Christ will rise, & we will be reunited with our loved ones who have gone before us who have loved Him.

But the fact is that I can’t imagine the next 70+ years of my life, should the Lord tarry and should I live that long, without the presence of that friend in my life, without his voice, his laugh being a part of who I am. He has a facebook page, & daily people leave him messages as though he can read them & might even respond.  His phone service is still on. I admit I’ve called many times  just to hear his voice on the message, trying to etch it in my brain so to not  forget. But he won’t respond to those facebook messages, & someday soon I’m going to call that number and his voice won’t be there anymore.

At the end of the service Jason hugged me and reminded me that Miah really loved me, then another of his good friend’s Ben did the same saying ” I don’t know if he ever really told you all that your friendship meant to him….” but he did. I always knew he was truly my brother and loved me. He lived well & he loved well. And though he is alive, though I will see him again & then be with him forever, for now I grieve. For now, I miss Miah and all that he has meant in my life, & the thought that real time will pass before I can enjoy his friendship again hurts.

The vapor of this life, the pain of being in the dream is still very real, even for the believer. And until Christ returns it has to, because things are NOT ok. Because the pain is the constant throbbing reminder that we will NOT be ok until He comes and makes it all right again.

*Sigh* And here’s the problem with a Thought Dump – there is no end. No way to wrap up, no conclusion. The conclusion to this one is…..waiting. Praying. Living for the day when we see the return of our Saviour, fixing our eyes on things above, holding onto His divine love and not letting go,and aching until that day when the mist clears, when the vapor fades forever. Until then, tell my friend that we miss him. Oh that You would come quickly Lord.

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When you no longer own your heart

Over the past few days the Lord has been reminding me of the burdens that He has given to me, one after another they have come, reminder’s of places and people that have stolen my heart, that I have contended for in prayer, that I have given my life for;

The ending of abortion, the  deliverance and salvation of a generation lost in darkness, the raising up of children who are friends of God, the freedom of millions 0f women and  children in forced prostitution, the forgotten orphans of Romania, the hopeless of California, and the salvation of my loved ones.

The emotions and memories attached to each burden have come washing over me, one at a time and my heart has wept to join with the weeping of the broken hearted Savior, the One who see’s all things, and hears all things, and FEELS, so intensely, about all things.

And I think that to truly be His friend, I have to give up my own heart. To stop focusing on the things that once drew me away and captivated my attention, to give myself to the Love of God, and lay down my thoughts and loves in a different manner than I have ever considered. I have been dramatic in seasons of longing to give my heart to Him more: literally burning posessions, anything that represented the love of this world and all that is fading away in the desire to love Him.

To be honest, I’ve burned my bridges more than once. And though there is something to be said for “cutting off your hand that you may not sin” I think it’s more internal than that. Are we willing to give our emotions to Him, to feel what He feels for the things that burden His heart? I’ve heard of a man who at times has heard the “silent screams” of aborted children and spends hours weeping under the wheight of it and crying out for God to bring an end to abortion. It makes me think of Jeremiah lamenting and weeping for the lost of Jerusalem who would die in the calamity that had not yet happened, and in his groanings cried out “Oh that my head were a fountain of tears! That my eyes would RUN with water!”

Am I willing to be that kind of a friend to the Son of Man?

I am beginning to think that He takes our prayers seriously. In those moments when the song is just right, the musicians seeming to play the strings of our hearts, and we whisper those sweet words of love like “Here I am Lord, send me” or (let the IHOPer understand) “Here’s my heart Lord, take and seal it, I give it all to You”.

What if He began to answer those prayers? What if He began to take our hearts, and piece by piece, give back to us parts of His own? I think I would love more, that’s for sure.  I can imagine that I would have more patience, that the momentary would have less importance, and the individual would have more, that I would be quick to speak of my Savior in public, would be quick to repent, quick to listen, quick to pray, quick to give, and slow to keep.  I can imagine that I would spend less time considering my heart, my desires, my thoughts; my heart would no longer be my own to consider.

Increasingly over the last week, when my eyes are closed I see the fronts of abortion clinics where we have stood and prayed, I see the people of Mexico & El  Salvador, the school children of Ireland, the orphans of Romania, the streets of San Diego, the youth of the inner city, the faces of the ones who I love, the houses in Omaha, the fields of Iowa.

How have I come to the place where my eyes no longer flood with tears when I consider these things? How many steps have I taken that led me away from the place of waiting with my Savior? I don’t know, but I want to go back, I think He’s leading me back. I want to come to the place where my heart is no longer my own, and I want to stay there.

Repost of September 11,2007

Today I awoke with a hunger knawing at my soul, clutching at my heart strings. It was familiar and I dug back through my blog to remember the wisdom that was given to me some time ago. The remembering was soothing, and I decided to simply repost:

“Let me ask you a question that might be offensive to you, but don’t be offended”
“ok”
“How old are you?”
“21″
“Do what you are doing until you are 25. That’s the only answer I can give you”

And I have to admit that I don’t like that answer much. Clearly I’m asking the questions because I like to feel things, I prefer to pray when something is pushing on my heart like a tender bruise and I can’t escape the pain over it; abortion, human trafficking, lost souls, abused children, sickness and pain, the persecution of the saints, the immorality of those totally given to darkness…. It’s much harder to remember that millions of children are being slaughtered daily and my weak prayers move the heart of God when I’m not broken and weeping. Not impossible to pray, just harder. It’s much harder to pray when there is no burden, much harder to remember at all that something is desperately wrong and that the world is in need of a Savior, this nation in need of a Judge, and desperately in need of His mercy. It’s much harder to remember that life is about more than my little world and the situations that involve me, the things that distract my heart and my mind. Much harder to remember why I fell in love with the Son of God, why I have to give myself to His love and scrutiny daily, submitting to His refining and perfecting.

It would be much easier to remember that the need, the only answer, is for lives to be given; men and women who would pour themselves out, who would lay down their hopes for a life just like everyone else, who would set aside their plans for the future without considering taking them back up again, for consecrated ones who would minister before the Lord, become His friends, and stand in the gap for a world who is bent on giving themselves to the desires of darkness and building their own kingdoms. How are we to sustain the urgency that so rarely touches our souls and causes us to cry out, to fast, to give of ourselves? How are we to actually have fiery hearts; madly in love with the God/Man Jesus, and unrelenting in our longing for many to turn and be saved, to throw themselves at the mercy of the King and find kindness and a Father, for wrong things to be made right, to groan and long until there is justice on the earth, until the Son has a bride, until darkness has been driven out with the light of His coming? How are we to actually have a single gaze, “dove’s eyes”, an undivided heart, one focus?

“Do what you are doing until you are 25. That’s the only answer I can give you. And even then you probably won’t feel it all the time, but I can guarantee that you won’t hate people and God, and that your spirit will be alive and you will have a fiery heart. That’s it.”

Oh to BE 25.

Light

So, Tuesday the 22nd was my 22nd Birthday 🙂

Thanks to everyone who made me feel loved all day long: the office crew for the card and singing, Katrina for the MASSIVE bouquet of flowers and the funny cards, and for telling me Happy Birthday a few hundred times through out the day, thank you skim for such a thoughtful gift, your friendship is a blessing! Thank you to my wonderful boss Michelle for the pedicure, QUITE the new experience for me 😉 and to Alison for spending the evening with me – you are a treasure. AND to my friend Nicholas for the 22 different birthday text’s – you might be the most creative person I know bro! And for all of the text messages, phone cards, and facebook’s – thank you! On top of it all my brother Jeremy paid for me to go get my hair done and i’m lovin having color back again, I can’t believe I’ve lasted this long with out it 🙂

Being that this date fell in the middle of an extended fast, that was the extent of the celebration, but you better believe I’ll be eating chocolate cake in DC!!

22 Day’s till theCall DC, gather your people Lord to fast and pray, we believe that You are full of Mercy, we believe there is hope for America

Hunger strikes developing nations

Citizens in the West, China and India must realize that the meat on their plate and biofuels in their expensive cars carry a cost for those in the developing world, Evans said

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24262084/

Living in a community so focused on prayer, fighting to live a lifestyle of regular fasting, extravagant giving to the poor, and the giving up of worthless things. I read the news, not extremely regularly but try to keep an open eye on the things happening in the world as we see the beginning of the birth pangs that Jesus speaks of in Matthew 24. I was actually just reading that passage before reading this article, and my heart squeezes “God there must be something that can be done”.

Of course there are people fighting to stop world hunger, people out serving among the poor and the dying, and here I am in Missouri. Sometimes I yearn to be out among them, to serve them with my hands, and ever so gently He reminds that I AM serving the poor, hungry, dying and abandoned, as I sit in this room petitioning the courts of heaven for the return of the Savior of the World.

Jesus, we have nothing unless You come.

Tenderness before God…I remember why I like fasting.

am currently fighting a migraine I’ve been fighting for a week and a half. Nearly 2 months ago after a powerful encounter with the One who is Mercy…the cloud lifted. For nearly two years a “cloud” had rested over my head; pressure, oppression, loss of memory, fuzzy thoughts, debilitating migraines. There would be seasons when the migraines would lessen retreating back to the occasional as throughout my childhood but the cloud never lifted. After the encounter I didn’t have the slightest of a headache for nearly two weeks, then only a handful of migraines after a month, then a month and a half. And then last week started. As I fight for freedom and to not loose hope, it feels as though I’m fighting for my destiny; Wholeness in God.

But I know the One who makes all things new. Though excited and encouraged I’m not satisfied with a partial healing.

My heart also hurts today as I wait for more news on the shooting in Omaha. I remember driving to work last spring, gazing at the sky over the city and thinking, “You have never been more ready to pour out Your Spirit on this city Father, please come.” A soft prophetic voice in Omaha passed into Glory on Saturday I envy you Mr.Dale, you are with the One that I long for. Yhwh pour out Your Spirit in Omaha, surely we need You like never before.

Musings…

Have been asking God to help me to “be angry and not sin”(Ephesians 4:26). I don’t know how to fight and not get heated and take things personally. Since beginning to make this request…more and more situations are coming across my path resulting in my frustration, irritation and anger. Works that way don’t it ? But the grace (the empowering strength to not give in) of Yah is sufficient to help me in all of my weakness…..and when I give in to anger, it helps in humbling me to apologize to Him and the recipient of my wrath (most often my family).

That bothers me too….it seems the ones that it is hardest to exercise 1 Corinthians 13 love with are the ones that I care the most about. But if I am not those things with my family who know me the most, see me at my worst and still don’t leave, am I truthfully operating in those things with anyone in my life or am I just good at putting on a mask? Probably a little of both.

Most day’s I awake with a song, a chorus, a melody line running through my head – on the really good days I’ll wake to hearing the music dripping off my lips in seeping morning murmurings. It started during my internship; I would often wake to the sound Clay Edwards or Richard Liantonio singing in my mind. This morning it was a – maybe Enter the Worship Circle – ” Pour out Your fire Lord, upon Your people”. A good encouragement to wake up to on a Tuesday 🙂