May 1st, 2007

This entry must serve as a summary-marker for one-side of a very deep valley I was about to cross. My journal from this “season within a season” contains many words, the airing of which will edify no one (including even myself). But this entry marks the left- hand side of that valley walk, the LEFT, where my brain becomes fully engaged in what is required to move forward. I must move from left to right, the place where heart and soul become engaged. This entry marks the awakening of the Pilgrim mind. That awakening sets the Pilgrim feet on the path to the Pilgrim heart.

The left side of the valley could be defined by the awareness of what complete death-to-self really looks like. I wrote this entry in an attempt to defend my repeated efforts to get Brenda to do certain things. The “push-back” I was receiving was along the lines of:

“Your being a legalist. You’re demanding things that are not your business to demand. You’re trying to control and manipulate.” I was saying, “No…the things I’m asking for are representative of the HEART I need to see in my wife.”

I was quite convinced of my “rightness”. In fact, as of today (October of 2010) I am still convinced that  I was right. But looking back now from the other side of the valley, being right is not the same as embracing truth. And the truth can be terrifying.

Brenda, imagine this:

On your way to see me each time,  you visit with “Grandma”, and receive love and affection and new life and inspiration. Grandma loves you! The flowers you bring me are beautiful certainly…and I enjoy them…and they speak to me of your love and affection. But I also love to see how ALIVE you are after spending time in the garden with Grandma. I always encourage you to visit her because it brings so much life into you and I want you to have abundant life! The flowers are simply a symbol of ALL that. The flowers represent ALL of what I just wrote. No sermons. No speeches.

Now, how would I feel if you arrived one day after a LONG gap in flower deliveries, and you’re carrying some flowers for me…only you share that you had not been to visit Grandma at all. These are not flowers from her garden. You share that in fact, you were walking through a dark and dangerous alley that doesn’t go anywhere near Grandma’s house, and that’s why I hadn’t been seeing as many flowers lately; you weren’t in the place to receive them. You go onto to explain that just today in this alley you were stopped by a big thug and store-bought flowers were thrust into your hand, and he said, “Dan told me he likes flowers….now give these to him or I’ll beat you! Oh…and I’ll be checking with him to make sure you did!”

I would perfectly understand WHY you brought me flowers. I would be in hearty disagreement with the thug who threatened you and angry at his behavior. But the flowers would not have the effect of expressing any love or tenderness to me…in fact the irony is that I finally received this expression I was so longing for, but due to the coercion behind it, I felt mostly bitterness and resentment too. Apart from my own feelings of neglect, I also worry about your well being in that you have been choosing this dark alley as a route and not the route past Grandma’s house where you receive life and love.

What are my options now Brenda? Insist that you never go through that alley again? Barricade the dark alley? Hire a P.I. to make sure?


If I really love you, I guess I’ll have to walk with you through whatever dark alley you choose…and I’ll defend you against any thug who attacks….even when it’s by your own choice that you expose yourself to danger. Because that’s what was done for me on the cross.

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