Thursday, July 2, 2009

Restoration of My Wretched Heart

'Twas yesterday that I pondered on another.
Their sin, their pride. . . their wretched heart.
As I thought of my response,
How to restore. . .
The Finger of God pointed at my heart:
"Thou art that person!"
I was smitten, ashamed.
I saw the filth, the pride, the rebellion
Within myself.
'Tis I who needs restoration.

I see my sin.
I feel my guilt.
I bow my head.
Words... they do not come.
Brokenness I need - that I know.
But tears, where are tears?
My heart is cold and stale and limp.

I want to push this back inside the closet
. . . Rest.
This confusing, jumbled mess.
I hate it, but not enough.
The nudging of a still, small Voice at night. . .
How I hate this, nagging when I want to rest.
And yet - and yet - I fear it ceasing.
I am terrified of growing comfortable with this.

Plowing of my crusted, hardened heart
Will not be easy, quick.
That I know.
I dread the agony, the pain,
The bitterness of yielding up my will. . .
And yet, I cannot be right and whole
Until I have given all again and hold no claims to Self.

I know that I should care enough to change.
But tonight my heart seems far away.
I sort of care.
For I hate the person I've become.
In retrospect, I see the hardening of my heart,
The numbing of my conscience. . .
As time has passed
As days and weeks and months have marched on.
I am me, but I am not the person I once was.

Innocent.
Pure.
Transparent.
Humble.
Submissive.
People used to call me that.
In truth,
I may still look like that.
But I am not.
I know the motives of my heart.
I never saw them clearer than when God pointed His finger yesterday.
Ugh. Why did I have to get here?
Its too hard to go back. . .

It scares me to see that I AM this.
Not, I might become.
But I am.
But it terrifies me most to know
That I am too tired, too lazy to change tonight.
I'm not happy with this mediocre plane
And yet I don't hate it enough to do what it takes
To purge the sin from my heart.

I'm not broken enough by the hardness of my own heart. . .
If I cared, I would be sobbing.

Instead, I sit here numbly, staring at the stars,
Fingering my worn Bible.
Waiting for repentance to well up,
But finding none.

Instead of weeping, broken,
I mourn the loss of purity of heart.
I mourn as though staring at my neighbor's casket.
Numbly, sadly, regretfully. . .
But not desperately.

Am I resigned?
What once was mine no longer is?
Never will be mine again?
Oh, Dear God! No!

I do not as the broken mother does. . .
Clutch the stiff, cold body of her baby.
Sob, and writhe and pull away from those who love her most.
Refuse, refuse to let her baby go.
. . . Hold its now empty body to herself as if
Her heart-wrenched groans could bring him back. . .
Wail into the night. . .
Refuse to think of better days,
Because this, her treasure, her light is gone.

I have bit adieu to my once-pure heart?
I have let it go?
Oh, God! What have I become?
All these years of fighting what Self wanted,
Of yielding to Your Will. . .
I will give it up for this?
I say the effort is too much?
I choose the easy road. . . now?

"Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. . ."
The words of haunting melodies come floating back.
I have wandered.
I feel it.
I see it.
This ugly path where walking is easy.

Why would a man yield his soul
To gain the world of Self?
And yet I have.
O foolish, hardened one!
And then the words,
"Pray when you don't feel like praying,
And pray til you feel like praying. . ."
Prompt me.
And so, I kneel
Beside this bed and try to pray.

The still, small Voice, it prompts again.
"Are you willing to yield anything?"
Anything?
My heart - it clutches - rags of
Self-will
Pleasure
My reputation -
Oh, spare deep embarrassment, Dear God!

I clench. . . and then, slowly, let go.
I drop those worthless bits that mean so much to me.
"Yes, Lord, it is Yours.
I am Yours, if only
You will bring repentance. . .
Clear the mess,
Restore my tender heart."

I hold my breath,
Tremble. . .
I have given God my reputation in this?
Permission
To take all I love
To smash my idols
To break me through and through
To make me whole?

Yes.
I swallow hard.
. . . And wait.

I've yielded, given God
The keys to hopes and dreams.
But, still, repentance real, where?
My eyes fall
Upon the well-worn book of Genesis.

If I like Jacob, wrestle and take hold
And clench the hem of garments white
And cry,
"I will not, will not let Thee go,
Until I am right with Thee!"

If I wrestle with my God til morning light
And will not let Him go 'til dawn breaks through
And I am whole again,

Can God, my Father refuse and turn away?

A broken, contrite spirit draws His gaze,
A desperate heart - His hand.
My Savior's Blood -
It pleads before the Mercy seat.

And as I cry,
"God, be merciful to me, a sinner!"
I am whole again.
The clouds have lifted.
I have battled with my foolish heart.
But GOD has conquered ME!

The grace of God has reached e'en here.
And washed with fresh floods of repentance
O'er this dry and barren ground.

I am whole and live again!

~ Mary,
May 2009

4 comments:

Joy Courville said...

Thank you for sharing this, Mary.
<3

Laurel said...

Thank you, Mary. I wonder how many times I have been through this struggle. I suppose that doesn't say much for me, does it? I'm just so thankful that He doesn't give up on me, that He keeps at me until I surrender...

ASourceOfJoy said...

This is beautiful...thank you. :hugs:

Ruth Ueland said...

Wow! Thanks for posting this... amazing!