“For true doctrine is not a matter of the tongue, but of life.”
Nothing reminds you of your lukewarm tendencies as does a barrage of chaotic or unexpected life events. At least, this has been the case for me. I, much like everyone else I know, has felt the unparalleled strain of the world lately. Whether it be within the walls of our own homes, or the stains and streaks of unwarranted suffering, slashing loved ones. It’s all around. The death, the hurt, the words, the poison targets people are aiming. The strain and indifference and valleys in-between what used to be and what suddenly is. It’s like the decay of human relationships and health and belief and love are hanging on the air – so thick that I know I’m not the only one suffocating.
Or, maybe I am and it’s my turn to stumble through a bit of the pain which other people have gracefully marched through their entire life.
And… I’m presented, once again, with my lukewarm default. Because, you see, lukewarm works when things are bright and vivid. Stale and familiar prayers and chants and positive vibes are so taupe and vague and perfect and normal, when all is well. They satisfy.
But oh, when you hurt. The hurt that reduces you to your very lowest and most raw shadow. When you have no where to go, so you sit in it. That dark moment is when lukewarm is the very most disgusting thing that has ever resided within me. If we are in a place of aching and all we have are lukewarm sentiments to soothe us, we have no solace or hope, whatsoever. Nothing.
I’ve been a shell. I’m a walking Laodicea.
I am tired of lukewarm. Lukewarm has moved me through hard conversations and short inscriptions, proclamations of faith, and hope and believing. Lukewarm has resembled fiery passion for short moments, when I was introduced to uncomfortable situations but nothing has made me confront my own comfortable coma like real mental torment.
For this grinding ache, I shout hallelujah! I rejoice in hurt and falling tears that will come and go as quickly as the wind blows and dies away.
Pain and swift-changing reality has given me the greatest gift. It’s cracked me wide open and let everything pour out.
It has turned over a mirror and forced me to stare at my deplorable lukewarm nature and finally let it float away on the ever-changing winds of time, life, pain, joy.
I hate lukewarm. I don’t care if lukewarm comforts people and releases them to be acquainted with me. I abhor lukewarm because Christ is revolted by it. With lukewarm, I am so much farther from the Father then if I had never known of Him. To think of so much of my life being squandered with lukewarm platitudes and my imagining that I was, all along, white hot.
Lukewarm is my worst nightmare and it has been a constant companion for many years, sparked with genuine moments of intense strength where I saw glimmers of real faith. It’s gotten me by. It’s given me just enough to maintain. Be enough for others, but never for me or Him. I knew it, too. That’s the most horrible admonition.
And so, once again….
I say thank you Heavenly Father, for pain.
Without heartache, I would be living without a victory march, but simply a half-forced smile.
But with pain, I feel. I will live loudly, vibrantly, boiling and burning hot.
Laodicea, no longer.