Bitter Batter

“He is no good.”

Freida’s brown eyes narrowed as she folded her arms and leaned back against the couch cushion.

I had said only a few words before she rapidly declared her judgment.

I tried to begin again but was cut off.

“But—“

“He is no good. What do you expect?”

Her voluminous conclusions drowned out my further facts and details.

“He’s trifling.”

“That’s what they all do.”

“He’s needs to be ashamed of himself.”

“I’m so sick of all of them.”

Eventually, I settled into silence as she preached the tainted sermon to her own choir.

As she spoke, I could almost see the words as they exited her mouth.

Each letter blackened with toxins and spiked with pain.

So heavy with hurt that entire sentences crashed into me.

Causing me to inch away from them…and from her.

I think Freida makes her batter each morning.

Her bitter batter.

Furiously stirs it in a large ceramic bowl.

The thick ooze poured into 3×4 muffin tins.

Baked at 500 degrees.

Each morsel slowly eaten until the tongue absorbs the flavor.

The bowl and spoon are licked and washed clean.

Until the next day.

When a fresh batch is made.

The ingredients came into Freida’s life 7 years ago.

She’d been dealt a heavy blow: Her 17-year marriage was ending.

Her ex-husband inarguably was the cause of the demise and had soon remarried.

Which made Freida’s recovery that much tougher.

And though it appeared from all outside appearances that she was rebounding quite nicely, any conversation with her proved that assumption wrong.

This daily dining on bitterness has become dangerous for Freida.

Its aroma repels those around her.

Its flavor colors everything she says and thinks.

And her emotions are gaining weight.

Added pounds that sadly will only make her sink.

We all have or will encounter situations that damage our spirit and make us look at life scornfully.

And left to ourselves, it is an easy opening for satan to convince us to stir the batter.

Bitterness will never let us heal.

But forgiveness does.

It is always difficult to forgive the source of our pain.

And sometimes it’s even harder to forgive ourselves for getting entwined in the first place.

But by praying for that person and asking Jesus to help us to release the grudge, the flow of bitterness will begin to slow and eventually cease.

Jesus, the Ultimate and Constant Forgiver, can completely heal the broken heart.

And only He can make the broken heart forgive.

Praying for Freida and for all who have bitter batter in a bowl.

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Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

Colossians 3:13

 

Snowflakes

snow flakes

I saw a snowflake the other day.

Not just a dollop of white cool.

Or a flicker of a crystal.

But a real live snowflake.

With sophisticated arcs and patterns

Chiseled peaks and valleys

Soft ice carved into order

I watched it for a moment as it landed on my coat sleeve.

It kinda tickled me.

This thin piece of art coming from the air.

A light wind made it flutter for a bit but it stuck there.

Until it melted.

Beautiful slivers of ice that cascade

Float

Dance

Fall from the sky

Only to melt.

Something so stunning just to be strangled by the atmosphere.

This beautiful thing created only to melt.

We want good things to last forever.

Snowflakes to be preserved in sub zero sculpture galleries

The glitter of life to sparkle on for years, decades, millennia.

But they don’t.

They can’t.

For since the fall, the nature of earthly life is to end.

Just like the nature of snow is to melt.

And knowing its lifespan would be short, the snowflake was still made a dazzling beautiful thing.

Because God wanted it to…be.

So while we’re here for however long we have,

every time our faces are warmed by a new day’s sun

we are to love

praise

cherish

enjoy

and to be.

Live, you beautiful thing, you.

It’s what you were created to do.

______________________________________

“After looking at the way things are on this earth, here’s what I’ve decided is the best way to live: Take care of yourself, have a good time, and make the most of whatever job you have for as long as God gives you life. And that’s about it. That’s the human lot. Yes, we should make the most of what God gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it, accepting what’s given and delighting in the work. It’s God’s gift! God deals out joy in the present….”

-Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 (The Message)

 

Performance

“At this point many of His disciples turned away and deserted Him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?”

 Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and we know You are the Holy One of God.”

I was searching for this Scripture from John 6 when I came across this piece. As a struggling legalism survivor, I can relate to losing sight of God behind the curtain of performance.

Excellent reminder that His love eliminated the law.

http://www.gracefortheheart.org/whereelsecouldwego.html

War of Words

Coral’s nails rapidly pounded against the ceramic mug.

 The thin taps pinged in the air as I tried to reassure her.

Coral was worried.

In her lap was her performance review and she was terrified of reading it.

Still frantically tapping her fingers, Coral breathed a shuddering sigh.

“I am so worried about he’s going to say.”

Looking at ourselves through the lens of someone else can be crippling.

When another describes who you are, bombastically in a crowd, whispered in a half empty room, or written in a confidential email, we take it with absolute legitimacy.

Because if they are able to give voice to it, then it must not be made up.

It must be true; I am that.  

And as a result, our strides regress to crawls.

Stutters start to distort our speech.

And the heart becomes a hostage of hesitancy.

We become afraid to move.

Which is why God wants us to trust Him.

Jesus put value, esteem, and purpose in every single one of us.

We are not just His children or His creation.

We are His masterpiece.

Works of beauty that are cherished more than we will ever know.

Important souls who have much to offer, much to enjoy, and much to do.

Too much joy is found in the existence that God gives.

Which is why the devil uses man’s opinions to keep us from fully living.  

You are not that.

You are not what they say.

You are who He says.

The words of people can be louder than the Word of God.

But the Word of God lasts longer and is stronger than the words of people.

In the war of words, the truth always wins out.

Trust the truth; toss the opinion.

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The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that.

-Proverbs 29:25