Alive – All Sons & Daughters
We are soaked in all the grace that we’ve been given
Unchained from all that we have done
Your mercy’s rising like the sun on the horizon
We’re coming home
We’re alive, alive, alive we’re singing
“We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn’t it?”
Don Miller, Through Painted Deserts
If you know me at all you know how much I love Don Miller. I can tell you now that I would not consider myself a beloved child of God if it wasn’t for his works, and his life experience that he has documented in his books. His life story and journey echo mine in many ways, and behind God, the son, and the spirit, I count Don as the greatest influence in my life. Don and his team of friends just created a film called Blue Like Jazz, loosely based on the book Don wrote with the same name. Today was the films last day in theatres in many cities in the US, so if you missed it, I am truly sorry. It was a beautiful film, filled with many truths and ideas that I, as a college aged Christian who herself has had my fair share of doubts, could relate to on many levels. I will tell you the truth: I cried through the entire film– hard, weeping tears. This film moved me in ways that I can only attribute to the spirit of God moving in my soul as I watched this narrative unfold before my eyes.
You may think that I am stupid, naïve, or just plain weird, but I don’t care. Watching this film was a sort of healing, renewal, and worshipful experience for me, I can only count a few other films that have moved me as such, V for Vendetta and Son of Rambowbeing two noteworthy examples.
So what’s a girl to do after experiencing this joy and awe during a film? What do I do to stay attuned to the message God placed in my heart? Well, I started living with a purpose in mind. Don’s film addresses living a life with a story, we are given one life, and one story (and one love according to Bono.) In the quote above Don speaks to the idea that we are given one life. I think it’s amazing we were given one life at all, life is precious and we were placed here with a purpose. Christine Caine would say that “God has called us to live in the time and the place that we live into to give solution to the world we live in. We live in a world that is broken, that is full of injustice, and that is full of pain. The purpose of life is not to arrive at the coffin safely. God has called us to a radical life.”
So this post today is to remind you all to live your life alive, live your life with purpose, with a reason, with a heart for the broken, with a passion for the gospel. So often I will pass up an oppoutunity to chat about the gospel with a friend in school, or aquanitince in a coffeeshop or bar, only to regret it later. What if we all intentionally lived a life that made sharing the gospel to those that were hurting a priority? What would our story look like?
I have been reading through 2 Chronicles, that’s old testament for those unsure, and I am continually surprised by the ways God grants wisdom and success to the kings who “did what was right in the sight of the LORD.” Although 2 Chronicles has lots of this dude was this dudes dad and he had this many kids with this chick and this many with this chick, it also comes through with some surprisingly inspirational and uplifting passages, such as this one:
“He prayed, “O Lord, God of our ancestors, you alone are the God who is in heaven. You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you! 7 O our God, did you not drive out those who lived in this land when your people Israel arrived? And did you not give this land forever to the descendants of your friend Abraham? 8 Your people settled here and built this Temple to honor your name. 9 They said, ‘Whenever we are faced with any calamity such as war, plague, or famine, we can come to stand in your presence before this Temple where your name is honored. We can cry out to you to save us, and you will hear us and rescue us.’” 2 Chronicles 20:6-9
I especially love the end, “we can cry out to you to save us, and you will hear us and rescue us.” That’s a promise that God has given us from the very beginning, he has always had our back, has our back, and will continue to have our back!
God is in the business of blessing you, if you’re willing to work for him, to serve him, and to worship him. Don’t think that by simply believing in him will he bless you. No matter what some people say, God is not all about giving you “health and wealth.” God is about giving you a life filled to the brim with his Goodness. Never in the book of Chronicles do we see a King being blessed by God without that king making it a point to have his kingdom be a kingdom reflecting a kingdom of God.
I want to close with this, today as you go to bed thank God seriously for all the goodness he has blessed you with. I know it can be hard, and I won’t pretend to have a life that is filled with hurt and sadness, I know many of you have lives filled with stress and hurt much more than mine, but let God know you appreciate the small things, the smiles of your friends, the warmth of the sun, the food on your table, God gives you these things whether you’re mindful of that fact, or not.
In Blue Like Jazz the lead character Don goes through a whirlwind of changes, he rejects the gospel and denies God’s goodness in his life, only to ultimately come back to the cross with a renewed passion for the hurting, for the lost, for those who have been hurt by the church. I want to make it my life’s purpose to passionately serve those who misunderstand the church, who are unwilling to accept a religion they believe is bent on eradicating the gays, and those who have questions about the existence of a God. Humans are flawed and the church is a creation of humans, God is not our creation, he is perfect, we so many times misrepresent him by simply being human. I want you all to join me on this journey. I want the remainder of 2012 to be a year of living a full life and a year with a story that has meaning, that has a real purpose, and a year that we enjoy, knowing that we have been so entirely blessed by a father who loves us so much he would send his son to be killed, by us, the ones he so passionately loves. We murdered his son, and we are the ones who he send his son for.
Thanks for reading, your support means the world to me!
“After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang:“Give thanks to the Lord; his faithful love endures forever!” 2 Chronicles 20:21