Wednesday, May 20, 2009



When I was in high school (no jokes about what century that was, ok?, thank you), we studied the prose of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a dark romanticist...
and I specifically remember The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

A Mariner who sailed a ship "into a sunny and cheerful sea" and the story progresses into unexpected, darkened experiences-- and an Albatross, normally a good-luck symbol of sailors, wasn't associated with its influence. The captain killed it with his cross bow--the bird brought fog instead of the breeze. Many things continued to get worse and other sailors hung the corpse of the Albatross around his neck, like a cross. That visual reached down into me and has sat in that little niche of my memory all these years.

The many themes that emerged from the depths of this literary work also sat down in my brain...two come to mind:
  1. all God's creations=value them (I felt sorry for the bird...he was just being a bird)
  2. guilt will circle overhead like a vulture until confession is true and professed..then God forgives and heals. (we don't always have control on the paths we go down, but we do have control on how we respond)

Parts of this writing remind me of Paul, from the New Testament, who was concerned for ALL of God' creation, especially the gentiles. I'm thankful for his passion and obedience in spreading God's Word out to the world...where would I be if it hadn't spread past the Jewish community?

Even though Paul was converted he confessed he continued to struggle...and in his struggles I have found hope on many occasions. Paul noted there were things he didn't want to do, but in his humanness he still did them. Have I been there? Can you say every day?! My comfort comes in knowing that we ALL struggle with our humanness, every day, every night...we wrestle up and down, back and forth with those items, people, situations we don't want to release, or can't release, to God's strong arm.

Paul once remarked about a physical ailment he constantly prayed to be taken from him, yet God did not take it away from him. I greatly associate with Paul here...I've prayed many moments, days, weeks, years for relief from chronic pain...a neck injury in high school is an albatross around my neck yet God has not taken it away yet.

Surgery is not an option, at this point, because the crushed disc is at the base of my skull and there is too much risk with the 7th-nerve region. This "pain albatross" flies quickly into my days, leading me into the misty fog of twitching eyes, shifting shoulders, knives piercing tissue that can't be seen and I moan like the sailors on the ship sailing in the dark abyss, praying for relief and salvation.

"Thank you, Jesus for the gift of memory...for the Word You live in to guide us and have relationship with us.

It is in these times of shouldering the albatross when You send His Word to comfort, remind, calm, and the list goes on...for You are the Great Physician, my solid Rock of salvation, the Light guiding my darkened spirit. My suffering is momentary, Your pain engulfed You for days. 

My suffering can be subsided with medication, You were given defiled water and vinegar. 

My suffering is in the world, You ARE sitting at God's Right Hand sharing my plight and preparing a place for me. 

Thank you, for reminding me this is momentary...You are Eternal and There I will not hurt!


Romans 5:3-5

"...we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.