Be Kind.

good morning, internet world!

I want to ask something of you today. I want to ask of you the difficult but important task of refraining from judging others.

In a world of instant information, it is so easy to learn of the actions of others. We hear of how one parent responded when their child asked for gender reassignment surgery. We hear of how one parent failed to notice a dangerous  situation and had their child devoured before their very eyes by an alligator. We hear which strategies a parent uses to raise their child with autism. We hear other people’s religious views, their politics, what they eat, who their friends are. There has never been a time in history where there was so much to critique in the lives of other people. And, as author Brian K. Vaughan said in Saga, “[sic] you can’t see their face to know when you’ve gone too far.”

In this world, where people’s hearts can be torn open, in an instant, by people on the other end of the world:

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be kind. It is utterly imperative. In our increasingly rare face-to-face encounters, we must always keep it at the forefronts of our minds to be kind to one another. If you think something positive about another human being, don’t assume they just know. Tell them. Tell them why you love them, tell them what makes them valuable as a human being.

In Christ’s Love,

Morgan Grace Hart

(Photo credits and to purchase:  https://laspilla.com/product/be-kind-do-good/)

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My Snuggly Bunny

The other day, I saw an image that took my breath away. It was a pastel watercolor of a young boy, falling asleep on a porch swing, with a young rabbit curled up on his chest. The image was so gentle, so peaceful, that it brought tears to my eyes.

With a little research, I found out it was from this book:

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Furtively, I went online to order a used copy. Looking over my shoulder, I made sure no one saw me order it, made sure it would come in a plain brown box, as if I was buying something obscene!

This is how deeply I hate being the sensitive person that I am. It feels too much like weakness to me. I hate personality tests that rate other people as “lions” or “wolves” while rating me as a “dove” or “doe” or another useless, severely weak animal.

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I hate people seeing me crying at a movie, or looking at a children’s book. I even hated it when I had my first child, and some coworkers came to visit. I felt pathetic and laughable to be seen in such a state, marked as I was by blood and bandages, not fully dressed, unable to sit up unassisted. While I loved my child like crazy, the presence of a newborn in my arms did not help. In my mind, this one visit ruined the image I had worked so hard to cultivate: the image of a strong, self-assured, working woman.

It hasn’t gotten any easier since that day. In mixed company, I avoid talking about being an artist, for fear that it will make me look moody. I avoid owning anything that is too pink, too lacy, or too silly, for fear I won’t be taken seriously. I think about creativity and emotion – my “soft” side – as something inferior, an embarrassment that must be covered up at all costs.

This time, though, God has not been silent on the matter. He told me that while I may despise my “soft” side, it’s actually the part of me that most closely resembles Him. He said love and sensitivity – and with it, the ability to be hurt – were Godlike traits. He said that the problem was not sensitivity at all: it was the fact that someone, influenced by the Devil, had told me that I shouldn’t be that way.

In my mind’s eye, I saw a flowing river, and at one spot, its movement was being impeded by an ugly, rock-covered sand bar, jutting out almost to my full height. Jesus told me not to worry, that we’d work on it together, over time. And He took my hand and told me that He loves me.

He loves me.

I can’t count the number of times He’s told me this, sometimes through others, sometimes through scriptures, and sometimes from His own mouth; but every single time, it catches me off guard. He loves me. The God of all the Universe loves me.

Beloved Readers,

May you find His love today and throughout the week.

Sincerely,

Morgan Grace Hart
Scripture for Today:
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death
— even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.”
Philippians 2:1-11 – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage?search=Philippians%202:1-11&version=NIV

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God’s been on me lately to write on this blog again. I’m always resistant, because it’s always a rough process to put my heart out there, and I also doubt frequently how much good I am really doing. But I promised God that I’d write this blog, and there are still stories left to tell, and so I’m here again today, writing, hoping some good comes from it, though I have doubts.

I suppose I should start by talking some about what actually happened on the weekend that I rededicated my life to Christ. It was a weekend at Prayer Lake, and where to begin? It’s a weekend hanging out with God. People who have done this themselves find this easy to grasp, plenty of outsiders would try to tell me I just talk to myself for 2 days, or keep an imaginary friend. But I know the “sound” of my own thoughts, and I know the “sound” of someone else’s thoughts.

Withholding some of the discussions that were too intimate to discuss here, this is what I wrote in my journal about it, to help me remember:

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Jan 18-20, 2018:

This [trip] was fairly different from the one before. It was more with the Father than the Son. I thanked Him many times for His Son, Jesus. I had been thinking recently that a lot of Jesus’ work was to get me to, and in love with, His Father, whom Jesus loved so deeply and derived his personality from, and was trained by. So I spent a lot of time in intimacy with the Father, too, talking to Him.

When I got there the first night, I kept going around, straightening up my belongings, stopping to think about things, etc., and at one point I said, “I know, God, I know. I’m avoiding You.” Something evil had been active in me lately to keep me from being able to hold still or focus my thoughts to commune with God or receive any healing for anything. It had been up and kicking terribly lately, so much so that several times I’d walked out of church. And while I didn’t have as much trouble entering the cabin [as I did last year], my mind constantly darted around, not holding still long enough to interact or pray for any length of time.

I did not realize how badly my mind had become scrambled by that point – probably from phone and internet use — until I went to sleep that night, and being in a room all by myself, I was waking up in the middle of the night saying, “give me 5 more minutes son, I need more sleep,” and “I’ll help you in a minute, give me some time to get out of bed,” and a million other pointless, meandering dreams masquerading as reality.

Saturday I woke up, and my brain felt like it was starting to unscramble itself and get back to normal. I spent a lot of the day talking to God, about different things, much of which was not particularly important. But I told him how I was having doubts lately, how through comedies and stuff I was watching on YouTube, so often the message was that religion is ridiculous and there is no God. “I worry, sometimes, God — what if they’re right? What if I am just imagining You? And even if I’m not, how am I supposed to be a light in a country where people are so disproportionately against you?”

“Magic talking box telling you about reality again, eh?” He responded.

And that was pretty much the end of that fear. Because He was right – a rehearsed, recorded show does not include near enough information to know the heart of these people, their spirit, their circumstances, their background. I have no way of knowing what or why or how they stopped believing, or even if their words are true or just for comedic effect. As it’s strangely hard to remember sometimes, entertainment is not reality.

As evening came, I crawled up comfortably in a chair, and looked again at the compilation book from Passion of the Christ, where they take stills from the movie and match them to a well put-together account of the Passion, woven together seamlessly from all four Gospel accounts. When I closed it, God drew my attention to Him. There was an open door to the bedroom, where it had grown dark — I hate the dark. The Father said very clearly to me, “come be in the dark with me, and let me wrap my arms around you.” I hesitated for just a minute, then rose and crossed over to the bed in the dark room. Without any resistance or pretensions I came to Him, just a sincere desire to let Him be able to have me as He had made me. “After all,” I thought, “how often does He get to have me all to Himself?” (Sometimes I think of how human beings like things like fishing or sleeping or golf, but avoid these tasks because of their responsibilities to work; and when a day comes that they’re able to skip their work responsibilities, they are overjoyed to be able to do what they really wanted to do. For God, whose greatest drive seems to be intimacy with humanity, how wonderful must it be to have a moment where He is able to put aside all testing, encouraging, arguing, etc., and just be with a person, surrounded by the joint love of belonging to one another?

I crawled into bed, full of the joy of being His… completely unsure what to expect next, but unbelievably happy. Some kind of extra joy was welling up in my heart, too. It was the realization that our interaction, though brief, were things that only people who really love each say, or care about. There was no rehearsal and no falsehood and no fear that I didn’t fully believe what I was saying and doing. By the workings of the Holy Spirit, I had grown over the last fourteen years; grown through those first days of shouting and throwing things at Him; through those later days of making peace with Him; now His love welled up inside of me every time I looked at Him, and I got to experience a small reflection of that wonderful love only He could fathom. And further joy was the realization that “come be with me in the dark, and let me wrap my arms around you,” might not just be for tonight, but also a calling placed on the rest of my life.

I remember the dim gray outline of the sheets as I slid in, wondering what would happen now. Before I knew it, I was asleep. What happened during that sleep, I have no memory of. But when I woke up in the morning — Wow! I was so completely, perfectly joyful. Not laughing, not sleepy, just joy.

I wondered at first if I should even get out of bed, the feeling of joy laying there was so utterly complete. I found myself rolling from one side of the bed to the other, orienting myself in one direction or another, amazed for some reason that at all angles and in all shapes, the joy was still on me.

I got up eventually, reluctantly, and began doing the simple tasks of cleaning up and greeting the day.

At the end of the weekend, He started talking to me about the idea of rededicating my life to Christ. In a voice full of affection, God the Father told me, “I’m not opposed to starting all over again.” It struck me as somewhat romantic – a promise to keep trying, to do whatever was required to keep the marriage of souls alive and fertile.

That night, on the ride home, I decided to rededicate my life to Christ. The idea had begun to take root during my time at the cabin, but came to a fully-formed thought just miles from home. I pulled over, rededicating my life to Christ, with praise, with a commitment all over again to restore His throne in the seat of my Heart.

God bless you, and have a good weekend.

*As I have mentioned before, quotes attributed to God on this site, unless scripturally referenced, are simply my closest understanding to what I believe I felt Him say to me. They are not meant to substitute for the Bible, and may be distorted by my own cracked lens of perception. Thank you.*