Tuesday, July 21, 2009
This 'face' drew us onto a long highway heading east on Gros Ventre Road the first time we visited Jackson several years ago. We were there a month earlier in the year, and the 'slide' had more snow in it. Up close it looks like the face on the Campbell's Soup can. The trees that remain in the crater left by the slide of 1925 look like eyelashes.
This time when we took the road we went past where we turned around last time. The wonderful secrets of the red hills and arid yet flowery trails were quite the contrast to the dark grey-blue Grand Tetons sharply pointing in the distance. Such sharply contrasting geology has always been intriguing to me. But following a 'face' on the side of a mountain...who could resist?
At this point in my life there are 'roads' I want to pursue and roads I will not continue to travel. I pursue relationships that are uplifting and nurturing. I back out of those that are abusive or manipulative. Even verbal abuse from an organization, albeit a church, is a sign to get off that road. Abusers don't like it when you get and hold boundaries about treatment. Beating down a person, whether it be with words or body parts, still leaves wounds. Jealous accusation or possession by another kills affection. Abuse kills respect, kills love, kills relationship, kills bodies.
I have seen the effects as a massage therapist that even verbal abuses have on a mind and body. Sometimes verbal abuse in the forms of name-calling, shaming, manipulations, in its insidiousness, is hard to identify. But when you are the receiver or target of it, it is like your body and mind boundaries being raped. Verbal abuse is a life-stealer. Tough words, but the experiences and results of injury are undeniable.
I believe that God has made me a warrior woman in being able as a teenager to draw a line in the sand and stand up to my father's abuse. I threatened to tell, and did. He continued the pattern on other siblings and future wives and children. I discovered the inner strength to stand up to him and consequently stand up for and minister to other women that are trying to leave a cycle of abuse.
Seeking His face leads you into the battlefield. The sword is raised. His right hand goes before us. He is worthy to be praised and we are worthy to be saved. Jesus came for that very thing. He is awesome, and believes we are, too.
My heart says of you, " Seek his face!"
Your face, Lord, I will seek. Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior. Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. Teach me your way, O Lord; lead me in a straight path, because of my oppressors....
I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27 8-14