Posts Tagged ‘hope’


Posted: June 2, 2015 in brain belches
Tags: , , ,

There’s really nothing pretty about a parking lot.

It’s concrete and cracks.

It’s hard and gray.

But, occasionally you will find something growing through the cracks…

A dandelion.

There it is, beauty in the bleak.

A flower in the middle of frustration.

It’s art emerging from the asphalt.

Sometimes life feels like a parking lot.

It’s cold, hard and gray.

You feel like you are just parked, not going anywhere.

You are living with more pothole than purpose.

Stop, take a deep breath and look around.

Find the dandelion.

Grab the beauty in the midst of the bleak.

It’s there, it’s always there, growing where you least expect it.

Don’t miss it.

Tucked away in the 24th chapter of Luke is one of my favorite Bible stories. It is the story of two heart broken men walking down a dusty road. Jesus has been crucified and their dreams and expectations have died along with him. They are desperate to pack up their dead dreams and get as far as possible away from the scene of the crime. They just need to sort things out, so they take a walk. They are taking a seven mile hike from Jerusalem to a crazy little place called Emmaus. They are basically second string disciples, not Peter or any of the other headliners. They have lived on the fringe of the following, but it seems that God has a real soft spot for the second string…

Suddenly, they are joined by a third man who they don’t recognize. The stranger seems to be clueless about everything that has happened. But then the mystery man tells them that THEY are the ones who need to get a clue. He asks “why are your hearts so sluggish?” Then He starts giving them answers. Along with the answers comes recognition…a spark!

This is Jesus! And he is very much ALIVE!!! And he has set their hearts on fire!

“they asked each other, ‘were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32 TNIV)
God gives us heartburn! When we spend time with Jesus we are ignited! Sometimes when God shows up we might not recognize him, but, if we walk with Him, even accidentally, He will leave us ignited!
He is the source of the heat…
He is the light.
The fire is ignited as we walk and talk with Jesus.
The spark kills the sludge.
Our sluggish hearts come alive.
We are consumed by a holy fire.
Burn, baby, burn!
I also think that is the way that people are meant to find out about Christ.
We walk alongside them…we talk …our hearts burn…a spark is ignited.
We are carriers of the flame…
We are the fellowship of the burning heart.
Walk and talk with Jesus! Let him give you heartburn.

I love this story so much that it inspired me to do two things:

1. get a tattoo

2. write a poem

The tattoo is on my arm. It’s a permanent reminder of the everlasting flame.

here’s the poem:

I bear on my body the mark…

the mark of the burning heart.

engraved in my skin and engraved still deeper into my heart

is the symbol of the eternal flame.

I have joined the most sacred of orders, the fellowship of the burning heart.

it is made up of those who have felt their hearts strangely warmed and failures forgiven. those who have touched God and found themselves forever changed and consumed by an unexplainable fire.

the broken heart is transformed into the burning heart.

though at first I didn’t recognize Him, in time I came to know the Christ as the only one who could set my life aflame. I have felt the heat of his presence.

fire is life…

I have been ignited…

I glow in the dark…

I bear on my body the mark…

the mark of the burning heart.

The cast of the Christmas story are a pretty diverse group, everything from farm animals to angelic host. There were even bedazzled mysterious Wise men. They were Influential men of means. They were dignified and they brought gifts! They were important enough that they got the attention of King Herod. They were VIPs, so it’s really not a surprise that these blinged out star gazers got invited to the first Christmas party. But they weren’t the first to get invited or show up. In fact, the wise men were fashionably late to the party. They didn’t meet sweet little baby Jesus in a manger. They, probably, showed up after a year or two after the Nativity and met sweet little TODDLER Jesus. That is just proof that when God shows up the party can go on for a while!

The first to get an invite were…brace yourself… a bunch of smelly sheep herders!

WHAAA? What will the neighbors think?!

Shepherds were the first to hear about the Savior!

Shepherds were burly, socially awkward outsiders.

They lived their lives like gypsies or carnival workers.

They sure didn’t get invited to parties!

They were the overlooked and overworked. They were the minimum wage workers who did the dirty work.

They lived on the fringes…with sheep. (Have you ever smelled a sheep? It’s nasty. Ever tried to carry on a conversation with sheep? It’s awkward.)

The shepherds never got invited to parties. They were never welcome at big, important events.

They would screw things up. They would do or say the wrong thing. They smelled like sheep. They were a walking talking social faux pas. They were simply not welcome.

YET…these are the first ones to get the message from heaven

The Savior is here…there is reason to celebrate…AND…


This was probably the first party they got invited to.

The BIGGEST news of ALL time was delivered for the FIRST time…in a pasture!

The BIG news was not delivered to BIG people, not the high and mighty, politically powerful, rich and famous…it was delivered to the disenfranchised…the last and the least.

Then it filtered its way UP…God is backwards like that!

I think inviting the shepherds was God’s way of thumbing His nose at man-made social rules and expectations.

“For God so loved the WORLD.”

that seems pretty clear.

The kingdom is for shepherds and wise men, homecoming queens and wallflowers, freaks and geeks, insiders and outsiders, rebels and rogues, the popular and the polarized….

“Every kindred, every tribe on this terrestrial ball”.

It’s for pretty much EVERYbody. You AND that guy that you don’t agree with.

The Kingdom of God is wide open.

The velvet rope has been torn down, trampled on and thrown out.

It’s a party for you, me and that guy over there…

The Savior is here…there is reason to celebrate…AND…


Don’t miss it!