Evil Teeth

They are so white

and so pretty

and fit perfectly

within two sets

of gums.

They’re rooted

just so,

and when the people

see them, they rejoice.

But here our little hearts

weep and wail

because truth

is a bitter sword

between our own

teeth.

Not evil,

but not pretty either,

biting down on

cold steel

and tasting

the blood of

our martyred

hearts.

Burn Those Boxes

My experience of following Jesus started with the demonic. It was a black night terror sort of feeling and yet a strong powerful buzz that rushed through every single one of my cells.

God showed me the true darkness that lies beneath the shiny facade of this world. I didn’t know why until I had time to think and pray on it:

  1. I would never have become a Christian unless something drastic occurred (check).
  2. He wanted me to understand the power Satan can have over people (check check).

It’s easy to turn on the television and see skin and flesh and hate it with all your might. And if we go that route, that’s exactly the sort of thing the enemy will enjoy, sitting back to slow clap.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Ephesians 6:12

A lot of you are trying to make sense of all these things and jam them tight into poorly made boxes. It’s a waste of perfectly good energy, friend.

And then, on top of that, once the boxes are crammed and the seams are spent and broken open, we like to go online and talk about what we’ve just done. How we’re right, everyone else is wrong, and ultimately we’ve solved the problem.

No. We are all wrong. Jesus is right. And he already solved the problem by dying on the cross.

You feel itchy, no doubt. Your hands want to do something, your mouth wants to say something. Well, here’s the good news: you’ve already been given a directive and here’s how that plays out:

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Matthew 22: 37-39

Oh and one more:

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

James 1:27

There are no sides. There are just people. As Christians – let me rephrase that – As TRUE believers (because not everyone who calls themself a Christian actually is), we’re to be medics and help any and everyone who needs our help. We’re to humble ourselves to Jesus and follow His command.

We are not to dole out personal judgment.

Does that mean we agree with the state of the world? No. But the world is the devil’s playground, a mere carbon copy of what it was originally meant to be. The boxes here are warped and won’t carry a darn thing.

So leave them. Walk away. Look at the world with fresh eyes and look at the people as flesh and blood and hurting hearts. We’re here to heal them, not break them. Something to never forget.

Little Bitty

There’s an Alan Jackson song that features these lyrics:

“Well, it’s alright to be little bitty
A little hometown or big old city
Might as well share, might as well smile 🎼
Life goes on for a little bitty while”

When I was a kid, I enjoyed the tune but found the lyrics to be atrocious.

I wasn’t going to be small. I was going to break out of Arkansas and become a best selling author who lived somewhere grand, maybe NYC.

God had other plans. Thankfully.

I’m understanding the value of small. Of how little moments measure up to be so much more than a big house, fast car, a little nip here, a little tuck there. Those things aren’t inherently evil. But when we make them idols, they take on a whole new life, or better yet, an entity that’s absolutely devoid of it.

Christ knew the value of small. He worked with only twelve disciples who all had their faults, not a million subscribers patting him on the back. He valued getting close to people, truly knowing them, and allowing them to reveal their hearts.

He worked against the idea of Babel, the insidiousness that infiltrates when people put more stock in themselves than in the absolute sovereignty of God.

Christ knew the value of a mustard seed. Of how the greatest things come from the tiniest of truths.