images (1)“As a rector I try to keep the rectum out of my rectitude.” Doug Marlett in “The Bridge” (An Alamance County, NC writer)

Needless to say, I re-read this one a few time. Smiled and re-read it again. No matter how you look at it, it is an interesting sentence. No wonder English is a confusing language to those who have to learn it as a second language. It is confusing to those of us who use it without thinking much about it. “Rector…rectum…rectitude…” All nouns. Phonetically similar. Etymologically similar.

Yet –


Like people.

I like (well – most of the time) I like having “different” people in my life. People Conflict-photowho don’t agree with my worldview – philosophically – historically – culturally – spiritually. It challenges my beliefs – my strength – my faith. It is not always easy. Sometimes fear overtakes me, and I shake to the core of my being. Other times, the anger builds to a boiling point, and I just want to shake someone – hard – just like a pot rocking with boiling water. However – most of the time – I am humbled, and the tears roll down my cheeks as I groan in prayers without words.

“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them…”

I don’t understand when people surround themselves with only people who think the same way as they do. Blocking those who think differently as they challenge a fearfully held belief —- “I am right”. My greatest wisdom has come when questions have tumbled, jumbled and scattered my thoughts/beliefs across my brain – not to mention my life. As I gather and sort the pieces into familiar patterns, I often find new shiny pieces have been added. Filling gaping holes that I didn’t even know existed. Smoothing jagged edges until they seamlessly join together, piece after piece.

“I will turn the darkness into light before them
and make the rough places smooth…”

It is not easy to hold a Christ worldview in today’s world – where the Bible is relegated to a ancient, less relevant book – where the Lamb of Christ’s words are displayed prominently, but the Lion of Christ’s words on sin, evil, and repentance are slid off to the side. I ask myself over and over if I would be able to hold this view in the Middle East – facing an enemy who hates my Savior- in a classroom being terrorized – in an alley where knives, baseball bats, brass knuckles are as common as guns?

It is then, I remember the last part of this verse from Isaiah, and I rest on His promises once again. I may not understand His timing. I may not understand why I have these different people in my life. I may not understand why things happen the way they do. But – what I do understand is that He is “The-All-Sufficient-One”. The Shin in my soul. The promise keeper who sustains me. I just have to be patient, keep my eyes open, pull the new shiny pieces close, so I can examine and absorb their wisdom. Then – repeat these words over and over:

“These are the things I will do;
I will not forsake them.”—Isaiah 42:16





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