Skip to main content

Inside the Lines

My English class has this reoccurring assignment; its purpose is to force us to learn new words. In all honesty, I couldn’t tell you any of the words I’ve used before this past week. I was asking friends for some difficult/strange words I could use; mostly because I was too lazy to actually go look for them myself. One friend gave some great words I’d never heard of before and will probably never use. The other friend, however, threw out words I’ve known since I was small – tyranny, justice, love. At first I laughed because I thought he was being funny, no way those are difficult words. Than it slapped me across the face like a trout (that’s for you Kellie!) – I use those words a lot, okay, maybe not tyranny, but I throw them around and I don’t really know how to define them. Even when I think I have a plausible definition, it seems to change in the blink of an eye; no decent definition is that pliable. Or is it?

I’m afraid that our current culture avoids defining everything, especially the important things. We throw words around as if we have mastered them the same way we mastered how to color inside the lines – trying really really hard and messing up a lot, until we color one picture correctly, and suddenly, we’re able to say we can color inside the lines. That’s all it takes, just one drawing – which is lucky for people like me who at this stage of life still struggle keeping it
What is love?
inside the lines. But, what is often left unrealized, words can’t be treated the same as those


pictures. They are not equal – getting a definition right once doesn’t cut it.

So, that leaves some pretty big questions. What is love? What is justice? Are they intertwined? If so, how? There is one thing that I know for certain, and that is that the answers to these questions are powerful, and they matter – far more than society and I have given them credit for.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I enjoy reading what you write - you have a way with words. I definitely enjoyed your analogy of coloring in the lines and it's true that we cannot give one complete, concrete definition to love. Look at someone you love and explain why you love them. Then, look at someone else and do the same thing. Chances are, you are going to come up with separate answers but they both have one core definition - you love them despite who they are. You love them for their flaws, imperfections, despite sins and transgressions. Your love for them overpowers anything they could do to hurt you or others. That is love - true, unconditional love. This is what God gives us each and every day, hour, minute and second. God loves us unconditionally despite our human nature to go against His teachings.

- Jessi

Popular posts from this blog

First in Awhile

The past year or so I have been working with the youth group at the church I grew up in. Such an odd thing to wrap my mind around. The group that in so many ways formed who I am today is something I still get to be there for. Though now I'm the responsible one. The mature one. As our interim pastor says, "the one with all the answers." (He JOKES anyway).
I show up and help lead where I can. Because it's what is needed. And it's a calling I feel I have on my life. To work with young people, to help teach.
The irony is that my journey lately has taken me through a struggle with discipline. Becoming the person I need to be and doing the actions to get me there. I watch my husband and it seems so easy for him while for me often it's a battle ofbut I don't want to. 
And I have to admit comparisons have only intensified that feeling. It's so easy to sit back and deny what I ought to do in favor of what's right in front of me. 
But I've been so blessed w…

I am Redeemed

You set me free. I don’t have to be, That old man inside of me. I’m not who I used to be. Thank God, I’m redeemed.
I’ve loved this song since it was released. The simple truth I so often forget. I am redeemed. It’s basic. Essentially basic. But why can’t I remember?
So often I find myself slipping into my version of “that old man.” I listened to a sermon awhile ago and the pastor talked about how everyone goes through times of desert. Then he started talking to me.
Just make sure you aren’t keeping yourself in the desert any longer than you have to. Longer than you have to.
The phrase played in my mind like tacky wordart. Big, bright letters swirling into sentences. Into meaning. Into my life.
I don’t have to be like that. I don’t have to do that or hide there. I am redeemed. Bought back. Made better.
Set free.
Don’t keep yourself in that desert any longer than you have to be there.
There is a special kind of grace in this remembering. I get to realize all over again how thirst-que…

Natural

My natural response to things is anger.
I’m a cranky person and it’s very possible that like Nick Miller, I’m aging into my personality. This old soul of mine has its downsides and a big one is not leaving room for other people’s choices. Even the good ones. The best ones.
For them.
I like knowing what’s coming. Being able to picture and plan. Super type A? Guilty.
But as I’ve grown I’ve seen the damaging of pictures and plans. The ones that don’t ever make it out of my head to reality. I’m creative enough to see beautiful things.
Fictions.
Learning that most will stay far from reality while not letting the flames consume me has been a challenge. I’m not saying I’ve done it. That I’ve made it and here’s my story of success. But that I’m discovering. That I’m starting to recognize the signs of anger rising, burning inside my head and heart – gulp, yep, I’ve got one.
What’s kept this battle raging is that it’s hidden.
I don’t usually – sorry Mom – blow up at people. I can hold it in or…