Love involves risk, a chance of loss and failure…

by Craig on November 15, 2010

light in the dark



I had been blissfully planning on blogging. Because I think about God so much that my head explodes if I don’t talk or write about him.

Then, comes the still of a Friday night. The night I get my domain names. Fear rushes in, panic blooms like black roses – with thorns. It was fine when it was all a dream without substance. But now…





and I’m crushed under the weight.


It’s one thing to stand back, admire what your heroes do. It’s another to try to breathe the same air.

Horror runs unabated like wild horses on a hillside. No reining them in, no horse fast enough to catch them, running headlong toward the cliff. Galloping faster than my heart, even as my heart is running unbridled.

Fears runamuck – to borrow a phrase.

I turn to family and a few close friends. But I can’t get anyone. It’s ok. They have their lives. This is my thing. I get it.

But the fear just grows, breathing gets harder, every muscle in my body tightens like the riggings of schooner tossed on the waves.

I can’t do this!

I’m going to fail – again – and everyone will see it.

Then comes today’s love.

Love involves risk…

a chance of personal loss, and failure.

It does not always play it safe.

Day number one. Fail number one.


Then the love begins to penetrate.

I need a Shepherd.

Sheep are cute, but really, really dumb. They wander off, get caught in thickets, or drown in streams. They never go where they’re supposed to. They are in constant need of a nippy dog, or a rod, or a staff – and a shepherd. Where’s mine?



He’s in the quiet and still fragment of my frenzy.

He’s in the one part of me that’s not in utter panic.

The part that right now is about the size of fruit fly, a baby fruit fly.

It’s the part that wants to run away, but still wants to run straight to Him.

I slump against the kitchen counter, in the dark. I can’t move. But the tears can. They begin their journey down my left cheek first. Then I blink to hold them back. And down one goes along the right cheek.

It’s how rivers get started.

One teary eye has a little too much salt or something and begins to sting. I can’t open my eye because it stings worse then.

Seems I can’t even have a break down properly.

And I hear, as quiet as a sheet on the clothing line, rippling in a soft breeze.


“Be still.”

The tiny spot inside grows.

“Always on the brink. You may fall, but I’ve never let you stay down, have I?”

“No. But you do take your dear sweet time picking me up sometimes.”

Thinking I have to score a point in this debate – win a point against God.


“Ok then, what to do with this fear…God?”

(said with all the wrong tone of voice – and you know – that too much pause before actually saying a name)


Always with the cryptic. I stand there, judging God.

(cue lightning bolt)

And me, with these free flowing tears – all the better for conducting electricity.

I’m always successful at the wrong things.

“It’s a stupid risk.”

“Love involves risk.”

He quotes my words.


So what does God know about risk? He risked his life. But he knew the future before he stepped foot on this planet as our human God? So I ask where’s the risk in that?

“I risked losing.”




“I could have lost you.”

“I know, I heard the first time.”

God is perfect, doesn’t need anything, doesn’t need us.

But he loves us.

He is all powerful but he can still get his heart broken.

I know.

I’ve broken it before.

For future reference, the plan is to go one love per day. But this one caught me by surprise. So please come back for part two tomorrow…

Oh, and typing these words – that’s like frolicking in the snow. Figuring out how to make this site do what I want? That will be the death of me. The. Death. Of. Me. (so if there are any WordPress gurus out there…)

Oh, one more thing…see down there at the bottom? That’s the comment box. Isn’t it cute? Don’t let it feel unable, unusable, and unworthy, like I did, and still do a little bit. Comment boxes need love too.

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Robin ~ PENSIEVE November 15, 2010 at 1:40 pm

You’ve done it, Craig. After months (longer???) of thinking, planning, considering, praying, crying out, studying, working, comparing…you’ve clicked “publish” :). Well done, you make it very easy to hear your voice and heart.

There’s beauty in the broken; it’s when the Hope of Glory shines through the shatters.

Welcome to the blogosphere as a BLOGGER :). I think you’re going to like it here….

{peace & grace}

~ Robin


Craig November 15, 2010 at 6:35 pm

My first comment ever. From one of my idols (not idol in the bad way – like IDOLS – but well you know). I am so ridiculously tickled and honored that you would remember to come by. I owe so much to you already. Thank you isn’t enough. It will be impossible for me to forget your kindness and encouragement.


I am His Beloved November 15, 2010 at 2:36 pm

I don’t have the proper words to convey how thrilled I am for you. I couldn’t wait to go online and find you here among this big world of words. But here you are, spreading the most powerful concept there is, like a life giving river, refreshing and sparkling…spreading the truth of His love.
Truly magnificent.
I am rejoicing with you.
and are beloved.


Craig November 15, 2010 at 6:41 pm

Julie, well I’ve said it all already, thank you. It is a big world of words – words aren’t the problem – it’s the tech – that is terrifying. Well so are the words, but tech will be the death of me –
To see you here is like you dropped by and brought hot tea – I’m blessed a ton. Thank you.

I’m not overemotional about this at all.
There are no tears.
There are no big heart thumps.
I’m all perfectly calm.

But you know better than that I bet.

Thank you a hundred times


gina reid November 15, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Yeah…amazing. Visually…very pretty. You are a real person people can associate with. “Love involves risk…” is a lesson for everyone. A risk is worth taking to be truly fulfilled and to be able to live without regrets is freeing. You have taken a risk and should never regret it. No matter how many followers you get and where this blog takes you…you have succeeded by just putting yourself out there. It’s about time. Your lifes lessons will benefit so many people. I’m proud of you!! lmb


Craig November 15, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Everybody, this is my sister. She here because she loves me. And I knew she’d be here – because that’s love. Look – that’s my sister – the apple of my eye!



Ann Voskamp@AHoly Experience November 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm

You know you are in the right place if you feel a little bit afraid…. because those are the places you need faith. A place you can’t do on your own. I sense His strength here and He’s irresistible.

I write these words on a computer with the screen all cracked in a thousand little shards. Best to just come broken. You do and in the cracking of the shell, Jesus leaks out, and the fragrance here is beautiful.

Thank you, Craig… thank you.

All’s grace,


Craig November 15, 2010 at 7:07 pm

Ohhh. And this is like # 32 on my 100 list. Ann – spelled without the “e” – but spelled with compassion, and grace, and love. Words are my thing. And when I run out of them I get the thesaurus. There’s never a shortage of them. But I can’t speak right now. The words are outdistancing my grasp. To see you here means the absolute world to me. You were the first blogger to grab my heart – the first to sear my soul – the one I can only dream of emulating. # 32.

There is a mountaintop, the highest one, and on that mountaintop lies a pedestal, and on that pedestal sits a lamp, and that lamp shines a light, and it’s so bright – but beautiful – and so clearly a reflection of the light of God – that you have to freeze – and approach slowly, and sit down, and look up, and put your hand over your heart, and say, thank you – just those two words, because you just can’t say any more.

Thank you to the woman who changed everything. (and the only one in the world I had shared secret story behind # 58,59, and 60 – until now)

Thank you – all …is…grace.


Elizabeth Esther November 15, 2010 at 7:22 pm

YAY, Craig! You did a big, brave thing! Welcome to the blogging world! And look! Comments on your first day! YAY!


Craig November 15, 2010 at 7:30 pm

EE – she who is brilliantly bedecked in the best kind of snark. Her Royal Snarkiness. I so admire you. I so heart your words. Mint Milano thank yous for coming here. You are one of my heroes you know. I am so beyond honored that you came by, and left a comment, so I wouldn’t feel alone,. That shows the heart behind the snark – you can use that if you want, I hereby yield all copyrights to Elizabeth Esther.


Linda Kruschke November 15, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Craig, Hmmm, “love requires risk.” That one requires pondering. Peace, Linda


Craig November 15, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Yup – it’s a sneaky one – and part two tomorrow is almost sneakier. Linda, the first one who told me “start the blog already!!!!!!!” You will always have a special place in my heart. I am so blessed that our words crossed paths. Thank you – for the nudges.


Linda Kruschke November 16, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Craig, I tend to be a bit impulsive at times, which is how I was when I started my blog. I just decided one day to start one, and I just did it. Posted 4 things on that one day – Sept. 25, 2009. If you want to see a rocky start, you should check out my first few posts. You can find them using the calendar on my blog.

As I recall, though, I just gave you a little scriptural encouragement about God not giving us a Spirit of timidity but of power. :) Peace, Linda


bill (cycleguy) November 15, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Congrats Craig on joining us nut cases who still think blogging is a good idea. :) I look forward to reading more of what you have to share. If you read my blog you can see that I am without internet at the office so my time is very limited on the computer right now. I will comment when I have more time and (I am sure) on more posts.


Craig November 15, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Bill, like you I have a mind that spins, spins, spins. I probably should subscribe to blogs but I just feel it’s more personal just to bookmark them and visit them “in person”. It could just be naivete. I’ll probably want subscribers. Writing I know. constructing a blog that actually works – total unqualified newbie. Thank you for visiting. Oh – so almost forgot to say – I bookmarked you – look forward to your next post. Thank you.


Sharon November 15, 2010 at 10:05 pm

Congratulations!!! You did it and you will not fail, there is no failing if you are doing it for God’s glory. I had noticed you commenting on several blogs that I follow and had clicked and found only a profile and no blog. It is not everyday you see a man commenting on ‘mommy blogs’ as you put it.
:-) and what an opening day you have had! Comments from Pensieve AND Ann pretty impressive, it would make lots of mommy bloggers envious.
Looking forward to reading more here in your corner of the blogosphere.


Craig November 16, 2010 at 1:29 am

Sharon – wow – you are an absolute – put it in a box, wrap it with a bow present I could never have expected. It’s 1:30 AM and I still have to finish a post on the twin brother of this blog – but I’m just gonna put on a pot of tea and go read me some Sharon first.

I am just floored. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

And yes I want God all over this, his will not mine, more of him, less of me.

I think you mommy bloggers are the single best community on the whole internets! The whole internets!!! (learned that word by reading Pensieve)

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


Melissa Brotherton November 15, 2010 at 11:50 pm

Beautiful, Craig. A spectacular first day! :)


Craig November 16, 2010 at 1:32 am

Melissa – thank you for being a part of it. You are one of those mommy bloggers that have inspired me. You keep up the good work. Just keep it up!!!!


Amber@theRunaMuck November 16, 2010 at 10:10 am

Love involves risk…
a chance of personal loss, and failure.
It does not always play it safe.

the truth. thank you.


Craig November 16, 2010 at 6:30 pm

You left a comment. ON MY BLOG. Thank you Amber. You know how much you’ve inspired me. God Bless


Gary November 16, 2010 at 10:46 am

God risks, but would God risk the eternal fate of those He made? Does God “gamble” with souls?


Craig November 16, 2010 at 5:48 pm

My first tendency is to blurt out a quick – defensive – “hey I’m right” answer. But that would be careless. So I have to ask myself. Was I careless with that point. And ask God.

So I stopped in my tracks and did so – I talked with God about it – thank you for that.

So in thinking – you made me think – and praying – because you made me do that too – and that IS AWESOME all on its own merit. Of course God didn’t gamble, he knows the end from the beginning. I think I’m a little bit Arminian in this. Your question shows that you know your intricacies of the faith. So I’m not going to explain that. There is Election, there is Freedom to choose – I don’t know how it blends together but I think it does.

I know the point I was making, or that I think God was making to me when this happened. I know it wasn’t that he “gambled” but I better be careful with my words. This is how heresies start – on the line blurred just a little – then a little more – and then,,,disaster.

Gary, I truly respect that question. I need someone watching my words to make sure they stand the test. I’m done responding – but not done thinking about it – or talking to God about it.

If you’d like to email me about it and continue a brotherly conversation on a really tricky point. I’d love that too. Just let me know.

I’d really like you to come back though. Wow – that was brilliant question.

Thank you.


Craig November 16, 2010 at 5:56 pm

and Gary – I just visited – so much deep stuff there – i think I’ll hang out a little and peruse. Deep theology. I’m currently in a heart knowledge more than head knowledge phase of my personal theology. When I knew much but didn’t have it in my heart – things were all wrong. If you have any recommended reading over there – let me know where you’d like a guy to dig in.


Gary November 19, 2010 at 8:55 am

The “deepest theology” is in the heart of God Himself, not at Tentmaker. And He invited you to dig, dig deep into His heart..right into his throne…which is actually in your own heart. First and foremost, God is Love. That’s His nature. He is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, sovereign and just. His mercy endures forever and His wrath comes to an end. His love is sacrificial willing to lay down His own life even for His worst enemies. He knows the beginning from the end, knows the depth of man’s inhumanity and prepared a lamb to be slain from the foundation of the world for the sin of the entire world. He is not a gambler, He is not a fiend, He is not a tyrant, He is not injust, He is not absent minded. He is not a wimp. He knew what He was going to build before He started and He has the power to complete and accomplish His plans perfectly. He will drag all mankind to Himself through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Jesus is Lord to the Glory of God the Father, not His shame. Jesus will overcome all His enemies and then deliver creation and everything in it to God the Father that God the Father of us all may be all in all. Now does that sound like a gambler (which is what most of us religious types are, gamblers projecting our own crapshoot ideas on to God)?

Now everything I’ve written is in the Book. But when it flows out of the heart, out of God’s throne within, it becomes a river bringing healing to all those around you. Flow river flow. If you open your heart right now, you will let the river of life prime the pump.


Sarah Markley November 16, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Beautiful blog, Craig. I always love your comments and the way you express your heart. You seem to read all the blogs I love too. Way to go!!

And congrats on taking a big step of faith to begin your own blog. =)


Craig November 17, 2010 at 1:10 am

Sarah M

There are just a few who I owe so much to. You are one. I am over the moon that you came here today. Over.The.Moon All I had to do was keep reading you and, and reading you, and reading you, and I learned a new way to write.

There are stars in the night sky.
You can’t count them all.
But you know, over the years,
you learn to spot where just those precious few are
the ones that are particularly yours
and you can see galaxies of stars
and point to that one, and that one, and that one,
and that one, and that one right there…
and those stars are the ones that light your way
Yours is just about the brightest light in my night sky

I can never thank you enough. And I am blessed beyond reckoning that you came here.


Debbie November 16, 2010 at 7:20 pm

I was so taken at how beautiful everything looks! And all the comments! I’m soooo happy for you! But the message stopped me in my tracks. That He did risk when He loved us. (not gamble. ;)) Thank you for following your heart that’s filled with Him! :) deb
p.s. I don’t think I know how to subscribe here . . .can you help me? ha!


Craig November 17, 2010 at 1:21 am

Deb – it’s after 1AM – I still haven’t finished the posts I need to have up for tomorrow – I’ve slept 3 hours in the last 48. And I’ll find a better way for Subscribing., But right now – way up to the top and to the right – in the absolute wrong color – and small small smallish print – put your glasses on – USE THE FORCE :) yup that’s it – the RSS button – Have I said yet that Wordpress will be the.death.of. me. There is “in construction” dust all over this site right now. But I do have the cutest little twitter bird – that I have :)

Thank you so much – you have been a blessing.


JennaFarelyn January 15, 2011 at 1:20 pm

That was some powerful stuff.

I’m glad you are taking the risk. And thank you for writing what it feels like after day one. I’m pretty scared too, and Im working on day three. Thanks for encouraging me to keep going even though I’m afraid of failure, of writing into the void where no one will answer, or care what I write about, of the possibility of oversharing when what I want to be is authentic but with just the right amount of information. I’m even afraid of giving my blog link in the form during the comment.

Seeing Amber, Sarah, Ann Voskamp, and Robin all responding here, I know you are getting great feedback from fantastic writers, and they are reading, and that is great encouragement. It’s mid January now and you are still writing. Hope I can say the same by April.


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