Tuesday, May 14, 2019

why we don't have to live love deprived: lessons from drug rehab and this toyota

Craig, the young man at Auto Zone in the red shirt and confidence, came out and looked at the tiny rust spots on my hood--I asked him to because I figured he was working at Auto Zone so he'd know what to do. 

"Oh yeah, some spray paint will take care of that," confident Craig said.  

The shade of blue looked close enough to the shade of my new 2003 Highlander that all my friends just bought me. Confident Craig agreed. So $11, later I was standing in Auto Zone parking lot, confident Craig's support cheering me on, and I spray painted a giant blue circle, a very different blue than the color of my car, right onto my Highlander's hood. And then I didn't stop. In no time, I had bright blue polka dots across the front of my beautiful car. Then I stood there, wondering what in the heck I'd just done. And wanting to spray paint confident Craig's face. 

Next day, I knocked over my french press full of piping hot coffee, spilling its contents across my computer keyboard. Coffee-soaked computer hasn't recovered but I left it with Jason at the computer repair shop and I'm praying for a resurrection. If it doesn't ever come back to life, I'm going to spray paint it blue and tape it to my hood. For decoration. And go visit Craig. 

I've started praying prayers like this: 

"Help me not be an idiot, God."

So I packed up my secret place in the back of that polka-dotted Highlander and drove to a drug rehab. I unpacked my treasure--the thrill of knowing Jesus--all over the rehab living room. Colorful blanket laid on the floor, candle lit, secrets of the secret place shared, hard questions asked. 

That drug rehab living room was full of 17 women hungry for more love. Aren’t we all? 

Love love love--It’s what God’s made of. 

He’s longing, itching, intense desiring-—to come in, flood in, dance in, and pour love everywhere, all over all of us. Drenching our deepest corners and holes and moron activities-—with love. With Himself. When we've ruined valuable relationships and computers and have worshiped everybody but Him, He still wants to fill our lives with love. 

Those 17 ladies in recovery and me, we’re recovering from broken hearts and bad habits—-aren’t we all? 

I feel at home in rehabs with the honest and open and hurting. They tell their stories of habits and abuse without batting their tired pretty eyes. I wish the rest of us would be that honest.

I told those ladies the same thing He’s been telling me—-He likes our company. And His company is what we're created for. The simple truth I'm discovering--when we make space for Him, He fills it--I want to keep sharing with rehabs and neighbors and nations and you. 

In the midst of our hurting recovering hearts in the rehab living room, He--the great King of the universe--met with us and filled the space we made for Him. He always does. 

What are 20 minutes? What’s an hour? What else could I possibly have to do that outweighs sitting before my Maker breath-Giver who wants me to sit before Him? He made us for this. For Him. For love.

Those 17 girls and me, we know about hunger and longing and intense wanting. The deepest place in us, it can only be satisfied by One. We make damaging mistakes trying to get something else to satisfy that deepest place. No income, number of friends, loud applause, health, wild adventure, drug, man, or woman can satisfy that deep want everybody feels--for love. Love is the thing we're all starving for and there's only One named Love. He’s the God who became a baby in a feeding trough, then a carpenter, then murdered for the sins of the world. He did that so He can touch our deep insides, wash clean those nasty places inside of us, and bring us into intense intimacy with Himself. The Gospel! He's the One. He is Love.   

We don’t have to live love-deprived. Not anymore.

It's costly, but not complicated. He isn't a quick fix. He's a Mystery to be discovered with time and focus and songs and listening and reading those ageless Words.


Give Him 10 minutes of your time. 

-Tell Him you want to see Him and ask Him for help
-Read a few verses in the Bible 
(if you're starting, I'd suggest Psalm 139)
-Think about what you're reading, 
talk to God about what you're reading
-Ask Him to show you a picture of you and Him together. 
Close your eyes and wait. 

He's got enough love in His heart for you, too, if you’ll let Him love you. He never gives us anything except love. 

And He doesn’t call us idiots, or addicts.
He calls us lovers and family and friends.*

p.s. I still get giddy when I get in my Highlander, even with its new polka dots. Thank you, everybody. 

p.p.s. ask God to keep directing me and all my friends in rehab into His love--2 Thessalonians 3:5.

p.p.p.s. ask God to help my computer live.

*Lover-Song of Solomon 2:16
 Family- Matthew 12:50
 Friend-John 15:15