Muddy: Clear Talk and A Good Father
One of the reasons I don’t watch the news or venture far off my own Facebook page is because of what I call the muddy bleed. I have been busying myself with watercolors this week. And I had an epiphany, or maybe it was just a sinus headache.
Either way, I thought I would share.
In watercolor media, the bleed is my favorite part of the art. I love when the colors magically dance together, separate or blend.
However, if you add too much or the colors don’t blend well together you get what you call, mud. I have turned in pieces to my art agent and been met with… “this is too muddy,” or “this bleed turned to mud.” I am getting more keen in my practice to notice mud when I see it.
And right now, there is a lot of mud in the world of media. I don’t want to see it and I certainly don’t want to make the mistake of believing it is art or some kind of poetry.
Furthermore, as a native New Mexican, I have seen mud turned into something magnificent. A sturdy structure can be built out of mud… it is called adobe.
And I propose the muddy bleed associated with our world’s current crisis, is the confusion or misguided belief we have somehow earned this current trial because we are in trouble with God.
Some of us, have built a house out of that lie. We have hung pictures on the wall, brought in our favorite chair, kicked our feet up, and decided to stay.
I am not the boss of you. Heck, I am hardly the boss of myself. Still, I think it best to consider, you might want to move.
In last week’s blog post, I mentioned that I thought everyone had already covered all there was to say about the COVID-19 virus. I still feel that way. But this week I realized, I had stopped saying the things I am called to say. Maybe I got busy with my art. Actually, that is just an excuse. I was not writing as much for other reasons.
And after a few emails from readers, voicing concerns about the state of the world, and a tele-appointment with my primary care physician and another with my counselor, I was diagnosed with a sinus headache and an epiphany. The sinus headache required antibiotics, the epiphany required some words.
We indeed have a physical virus plaguing our country, but we have a muddy mess in our understanding of God.
I have said this before, my earthly father is one of the main characters in my life that has brought me to every good conclusion about my heavenly Father. And I don’t want to start a fight, but my daddy is the best.
And during this nationwide lockdown, I have found I am fine one day and a purple hot wreck the next. The struggle is real. Even for an introvert such as myself, I need some social interaction. So Wednesday of this week, with my head pounding I got in my car and drove to Starbucks. I ordered through the drive threw, sucked as much non-familial conversation out of the barista as appropriate, although he still may have thought I was hitting on him, and then sat in the parking lot and cried into my latte.
And then, I texted my dad.
Make it back to normal.
Ok. Working on it.
And he sent a heart.
And yesterday the governor of Texas, Greg Abbot announced that he is moving forward on “reopening’ Texas in May. That announcement was followed by two emails. One was from our daughter’s school, a survey about the best way to have her high school graduation later this summer. The next was from her principal… he is off the respirator and making his way to a full recovery from the virus.
I texted my dad, “thank you, daddy.”
He answered with a smiley face.
And while my daddy is better than you daddy, I know he didn’t really fix the world’s troubles. I also know, we have a ways to go. But the childlike conversation reminded me, once again about the Father’s love.
Whether your earthly father is the worst or second in line to my dad as the best, we share a Heavenly Father that is simply wonderful.
The muddy bleed is the seeking of a relationship with this God, whose ways are perfect and mixing it with the law of religion and words of the world and misinterpreting circumstances for punishment.
We have to live on this germ soaked planet, and there are messes. There is hurt, frustration and trial. But good daddies don’t terrorize their babies. Good daddies don’t envoke plagues on nations, take away jobs and groceries… especially toilet paper, from their children because they have had it with the ways of the world.
And words were a part of the epiphany, but they are the world’s words, not mine. In a single day I saw, or it was divinely brought to my attention, the words that Christians use to justify or explain the walk. “This is how we have failed God.” And, “I let God down daily, and He is refining me through this season.”
I propose we are all being refined in our thinking and how we have lived, but I stand firm in my belief, God’s ways are not the world’s ways. Greater, if I texted my dad with that type of language I know it would look something like this…
I am sorry I fail you every day, thank you for still loving me.
I am the worst, I am a sinner
Are you in jail? Do you need bail money?
I just fail every day
Are you drunk?
What a muddy mess.
[bctt tweet=”We indeed have a physical virus plaguing our country, but we have a muddy mess in our understanding of God. ” username=”httpstwittercomjamiamerine”]
This conversation is hypothetical because above all, I don’t want my dad to think I am crazy. But it is also understood, we just love each other. I am not perfect and He loves me. But I don’t justify his love as grand because I believe I am not worthy of His love.
This type of language is the muddy mess I have been witnessing. It is this rote, formalized, habitual language of the “unworthy sinners” trying to justify love and explain away trials, under the blanket of religiosities.
Furthermore, what better time than locked in our houses to redefine the relationship, and send a message, “Hey God, make it back to normal. Make it better than it was before. Show me how to cope. Let me go to Target.”
I can almost hear Him now, “Ok, working on it baby. <3.”
So I am most convicted, though not in trouble, of this, we can talk to God in the most casual and genuine of ways. He gave us human relationships, became human Himself, to show us the commonality of love. We can voice our frustrations and hurts without bowing or sitting in a pew. Easter wasn’t canceled, just the services we are accustomed to.
And He hasn’t turned His back on us, His wrath was settled on Calvary. Once and done, the veil was torn, and He sat down for a casual conversation about the day. My epiphany was that mud makes things less vibrant and pretty. Even if you hang pictures on the wall and make it look like a home, adobe will eventually show cracks and gets worn by the elements.
We are invited to a time of rest. And we have an opportunity to change somethings about our relationship with this God. We have been afforded a season to really get still and talk to this Father who is the great I am.
He loves perfectly because He is love.
And He is fully available and present.
There may have been a tornado or hail storm while you were in quarantine, but this is not the end, no one knows that but God. Don’t read those posts and dwell in darkness. Fear is the opposite of love. And perfect love casts out all fear.
On the other side of the COVID-19 debacle, I have great hopes, that we will have met with God in a new way. Outside of our congregations and habitual religiosities, we will have had an opportunity to really experience this God and the greatest mystery, Christ in us, the hope of Glory.
It is the freedom He paid for all of us, to call on Him who is love.
I highly recommend you start the dialogue, “Daddy…”
Jesus be all over you. Love, J
He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18-2:4
It’s a perfect time to delve into your identity as DAUGHTER! Check out the I am Cards for Women in my Etsy shop. I currently have them marked down to $5. Speak to Jesus and speak the truth of you birthright into you life! Down load them immediately upon purchase! Original art and sayings by me! Get them here!