Monday, April 16, 2007

glow in the dark lives

i celebrated a milestone yesterday - 7 1/2 years of abstinence from sexual addiction, chocolate and some other destructive behaviors. it was wonderful to mark this anniversary with serenity and the knowledge that i have been really working my program.

part of my abstinence includes the discipline of sitting on the edge of my bed every night before i go to sleep and reading the "next" part of wherever i am in the bible. i pick whichever book interests me and read it through, pick another book and read it through. while reading in james (i come back to him frequently) i noticed a verse i hadn't seen before - james 5:10 - "Take the old prophets as your mentors" - i have always wanted a mentor and had been avoiding the old testament as of late, the warring and violence (and plain old inconsistencies irritate me) - but i love james and thought "what the heck, maybe i'll read one of those old prophets to see what he means".

so i started isaiah - crap it's long. and lots of it is crash and burn religion, it was hard to get through it - but somehow on easter i was actually at isaiah 53 - uncanny timing, and last night i had progressed to isaiah 58 (i only read the "next portion - however peterson divides it, that's what i read). i thought 'oh man, now i'm to the good stuff' - yes, i have read isaiah before - it's just that the NASB and the NIV are just like reading someone else's mail to me - the message draws me in, makes it personal some how.

i awoke this morning to find that my dear friend erin was reading my mail

Marking this place...

“You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, making the community livable again.” Isaiah 58:12
for those of you who don't know erin is a highly skilled renovation carpenter, she is so humble she probably wouldn't tell you herself - but this verse is HER - turns out i was reading HER mail!

read the rest and see if it's your mail too:

This is the kind of day I'm after:
to break the chains of injustice,
get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
free the oppressed,
cancel debts.

What I'm interested in seeing you do is:
sharing your food with the hungry,
inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
being available to your own families.

Do this and the lights will turn on,
and your lives will turn around at once.

If you get rid of unfair practices,
quit blaming the victims,
quit gossiping about other people's sins,
If you are generous with the hungry
and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness
your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.

I will always show you were to go.

I'll give you a full life in the emptiest of places --
firm muscles, strong bones.

You'll be like a well-watered garden,
a gurgling spring that never runs dry.

You'll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
rebuild the foundations from out of your past.

You'll be known as those who can fix anything,
restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
make the community livable again.

Isaiah 58:6-8, 9-12

mentor me isaiah!


wilsonian said...

Even this evening, I can't read this without bursting into tears. This is the life we've been called to... this is what we've been cheating ourselves from.

I haven't been one for memorizing scripture (I know, shame on me), but I will be meditating on this chapter of Isaiah for a long time.

Can't help thinking too, that when Jesus gave the sermon on the mount... it was again a case of fulfilling the law. He must have had Isaiah on his mind when He preached that day.

btw... it is SO FREAKING AMAZING to be on the same postal route as you :)

Sarah Louise said...

Well, I'm hopping on the postal route. It's never not a good time to read Isaiah.

"being available to your own families" is one that has been on my heart--what a great translation!!

wilsonian said...

ps. forgot to congratulate you :)

Deb said...

Congratulations bobbie!! You are truly an inspiration to me. Oh and I LOVE that section of scripture. I completely agree with Erin..."this is the life we've been called to".

ebony said...

"i noticed a verse i hadn't seen before"

Isn't that amazing? I love to read the Bible for that very reason. Every single time a new revelation appears that I could swear wasn't there before. How many other books have such staying power and just "power" over so many lives?