Love sacrifices…empties itself…takes the form of a slave

by Craig on March 20, 2012

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34 hours into my Lenten fast, and desire for food is gone…
or maybe it’s submitting to the desire to meditate on You. More. Lord…
to talk to You more…make use the focus this fast is yielding.

And I read Ann today and this struck me…

“…the call isn’t so much about carrying your Cross across a lit stage, but down the Via Dolorosa.”

The way of the cross is the way of sacrifice – and that will often mean…the way of suffering.

And I have to be ok with that.

And I realize…
this fast of mine is no great sacrifice.
I heart this fast…it’s a gift!

Anyway…I’m recounting the journey of my 48 hour Lenten fast…meditating on the Stations of the Cross. The journaling of the fast began here – and if you’d like, you can follow the posts one after the other…to this one. That’d be about 48 minutes of slow reading…24 if you’re a skimmer ツ 60 if you like gazing at pretty pictures ツ

And I smile…
eyes are teary…
been that way for a while.

These are not the tears of the women of Jerusalem that You chided, Lord.
These are the kind driven by hunger and thirst of the soul.

And I talk with you about the 9th Station of the Cross.

You fall…

a third time.

Infuriated Roman soldiers…
the only vent for their anger…
the souls of their feet striking your side…
the snap of the whip splitting the air…
and your skin.

My 15 year-long drought of sleep…

source

…my thorn in the side…

it’s taught me how you felt.

The head spins…
the stomach churns…
the mind wanders…

and the only thing that feels…
not at all good…
but at least…
less bad…
is to lay down and rest…

just for a minute…that’s all…
then you’ll keep going…
you have to rest…
just a moment.

Your body forces you to the ground more so than the weight of the beam.

Roman sandals on the dirt…


the cross below them…

You below the cross…

Your face disappearing into dirt…

…again.

Your Sacrifice was not only the time on the Cross, but here…
and before here…You sacrificed heaven to walk this hard, jagged earth.
You gave up so much of infinity…just for us. Our Savior…

Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. (Phil 2:6-8)

And I come to the limits of myself…
36 hours into this Lenten fast.
I can’t think…empty…needing rest…
just a phantom…of a trace…of a reminder…
of what You felt, Lord.

It could be the pneumonia that’s not quite healed.
It could be my normal lack of sleep.
It could be lack of food.

I lay my head down for more than a moment.

You didn’t have that luxury.

This fast is no sacrifice…

Your entire and eternal life…

that…

is sacrifice.

 

Linking today with Ann and others…
stepping together in the rhythm of God…

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa notes March 20, 2012 at 7:24 pm

It’s a spiritual experience to read this, Craig.

So no more words from me yet, just thank you for the blessing…

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Craig March 21, 2012 at 7:26 am

Lisa, I just have the privilege of relaying what I received during the fast – it was magical – I was listening hard – and I heard – and now I get to share. Thank you for being a blessing to me. God bless and keep you Lisa.

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Katie March 20, 2012 at 11:13 pm

Thank you Craig.

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Craig March 21, 2012 at 7:24 am

prayer completed – twice – and email sent (once) – and thank YOU my friend. God bless.

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Kris March 21, 2012 at 12:01 pm

what a journey the fasting is, the slow dying that comes when we allow for the hollowing, the hallowing of the soul. How mighty is He who comes in and fills the void, He who lifts our faces from the floor and bids us onward…. blessings to you brother as you continue to seek and to serve. By His strength, for His glory.

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Craig March 21, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Krissie, you are poetic even in your comments. Thank you. And yes, it’s ALL God – less of me – more of him, as you put it, “He who comes in and fills the void, He who lifts our faces from the floor and bids us onwards.” HIS strength. HIS glory. God bless and keep you Krissie.

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Sylvia March 21, 2012 at 1:14 pm

I was just thinking similar thoughts this morning, Craig, about how no sacrifice any of us might make can even come close to The One He made for us — including not just the cross but His whole life on “this guilty sod.” We can’t begin to comprehend. Even when we’re called to give up and give over (for good) what’s nearest and dearest to us, we only get a tiny taste. What a Savior!
Thanks, Craig. God bless!

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Craig March 21, 2012 at 1:26 pm

my first thought, after reading your very first sentence, was how our Lord is eternal – and his sacrifice has BEEN– and WILL be – eternal. We are “everlasting” – not “eternal”. Everlasting, to me, is the best word because we had a beginning – but if we love him, believe him, and love others FOR him– we live forever. But only God has no beginning and no end. So our sacrifice can never be what his is, no matter what we do, because his sacrifice is eternal – ours is just “everlasting” – and that’s ONLY if we do it perfectly – and we won’t be capable of THAT until later. Thank you for inspiring me Sylvia – hopI didn’t get too preachy – God bless you my friend!

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Nicol March 21, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Reading your words and appreciating them… and your life.

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Craig March 22, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Nicole, thank you, the subject matter deserves much more appreciation than the words. I just heart when I talked to him – and I listen – and then I get to spill.

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steph March 21, 2012 at 5:12 pm

tears. for such beauty and a broken heart in the contemplation. thank God He came to make me whole again.
thank you for sharing.

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Craig March 22, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Steph, it’s so easy to get caught up in the everyday life we live without remembering that our Lord lived a REAL life and walked with real feet on the Via Dolorosa. None of us are whole if we don’t have our Creator with filling in the missing pieces. Thank you Steph, and God bless and keep you.

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Connie Mace March 21, 2012 at 7:41 pm

To fast from that which hinders our sight, to see Him clearer…as you ponder and share Craig, perhaps we also get a better glimpse of His Heart.

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Craig March 22, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Connie, the fasting DID seem to open me up, but I did learn that it was more than just the fasting – it was the contemplation. I think going without food doesn’t bring us closer – it’s doing that plus thinking of our Lord. One might open us up – the other fills. You know? Thank you Connie, thank you, and God bless and keep you.

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Shanda Oakley March 22, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Oh Craig! You impressed on my heart that MY sacrifices are nothing in comparison to His SACRIFICE.
Our sacrifices are a journey, no matter what we sacrifice. The journey only ends when we come face to face with our Lord.
Thank you for this beautiful capture of fasting and sacrifice.
I cannot fast because of my chronic migraines. Sometimes I wonder if it is an excuse but when I do fast from food, I suffer for a week or so. However, this made me want to try again.

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Craig March 24, 2012 at 1:06 pm

first of all Shanda, I apologize for being so late to reply to your comment. No excuses – just sorry. and what I found out about fasting – it’s not really the letter of the law that counts – it’s the spirit – I was shocked to find out that the Catholic rules for fasting are the ones most filled with grace – I WAS Catholic – and Catholicism has such a bad rap of being so rules-ish. You know? Yet they included leniency within the fast. I was just recovering from pneumonia as I entered the fast – and I have a 15 year long insomnia which always keeps some sort of illness knocking at the door – I guess what I’m saying is that if we come into a fast with our hearts seeking God – and give UP to gain – with a little bit of grace filled wiggle room in the rules – I’m pretty sure God will heart that! So I’d say figure out a way – maybe even consulting with your doctor – that would work best for you and your migraines (and I’m really sorry you have those btw – really!!). If it opens you up to the Spirit of God is much as this did for me – well – you’ll be amazed. God bless and keep you Shanda, and thank you.

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Jennifer March 22, 2012 at 4:25 pm

I love how you said that this fast is a gift and not a sacrifice. It’s the least we can do for our Saviour!

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Craig March 24, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Jennifer, first I want to apologize for taking so long to reply to your comment – I’m really sorry – I’m usually a lot faster than this. Anyway… Sorry.

And Jennifer, I went into this *secretly* thinking it was some great and grand sacrifice – the fast changed all of that – and it WAS a gift! It was, as you put it, “the least we can do”– and really, it was God who sacrificed during the fast – and met me where I was. He’s good that way (◔‿◔) thank you very much Jennifer, and God bless and keep you this day! Will

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