To The Boy I Refused To Love

This is to the boy I walked away from; to the boy I glanced at and realized: "Hey, you're funny. You're cute too," and proceeded to shut down all the ways to know him, all the ways he could have known me.

I wasn't ready to get to know him, to be friends with him because I believed in my clairvoyant abilities. I still do. I can see the future at the beginning and make a decision to either take the risk or not. And I looked at this beautiful and kind boy and said, "No, you're not worth the rejection, the pain. You're not worth a broken heart."

I wasn't ready to be a friend to a guy who made my heart flutter again. I've been burned before, and I wasn't willing to get scorched again. I still smelled of the last fire. The burns still flared. So I built this wall around me and avoided looking at him when he was anywhere near me. My lips were so tight in his presence; I wasn't willing to bloom, to be me. I kept myself budded up, wounded up in flight.

What he must think of me, if he even does, I can't blame him at all. I cringed whenever I saw him because it was better than letting my heart make a fool of myself again.

Years later, I still think of him. He's become the ideal, the idol of what I want of a man. The limited moments of when I allowed myself to see him, I gathered pieces of his personality and fashioned him on this pedestal, and he's become the standard. He's become this icon that is as real as the risk when I got a first good look at him all those years before.

So I've created even more of a chasm between the two of us. I made him in the image of all that I could never deserve. In my mind, perfection has become his defense. He is perfect. Who I created him to be is perfect, and I cannot get to know this creation. It isn't real. He is not real.

I'm running away from a phantom. And I have got to stop.

I'm sorry that I didn't get over my fear to know you. I'm sorry I never got to love you as a friend, as a person, as a real person with your own dreams and desires, with your own fears and insecurities. I'm sorry that I never thought that you were worth the risk because you are worth to be seen, to be known, to be loved as a real person even if you never loved me back in the way I wanted.

I wish I can get over you to know you- the real you. I hope I can because of all the things I've made up about you, there's one thing I know for sure. You are beautiful and kind. I wish that didn't scare me off. I wish it did what it was made to do- draw me near you.

Maybe it will.

Exodus 4

Last chapter, God comes down and reveals to Moses that He will be using him to deliver the Israelites.

God has come prepared. He has a plan, and He's waiting for Moses to co-sign on the execution.

However, Moses wants nothing to do with it and tries to dissuade God from using him; but He doesn't budge. Moses' excuses did not matter because like He said in the beginning, "I will be with you."

The Great I AM said, "I will be with you," and all Moses could focus on was his resume, his failures, his shortcomings.

Moses was pretty self-centered and couldn't see beyond himself to realize that God could and would take care of everything that would trip him up.

What if they don't believe me? "Here are three signs that you can show them."
What if the pharaoh doesn't listen? "I know he won't, and I'll show him to obey."
What if the words fail me? "Who gave you your mouth? Was it not I?"

God remains patient through Moses' babbling because none of it mattered.

His reputation didn't matter.
His rap sheet didn't matter.
His stutter didn't matter.

God knows who He calls. He's unsurprised by our hang-ups and short-comings. He knows and still chooses us, still wants us.

There is nothing in us too broken that cannot be redeemed by God. There is nothing in us too broken that can stop God's power from working through us. Nothing.

But Moses doesn't know that. All he sees is himself, which obscures his vision of the living God. So God sends Aaron his brother to shield Moses from confronting his fears and insecurities upfront.

With his comfort zone intact, Moses goes back to Egypt with his family, and his wife saves him from the wrath of God by circumcising her son. Afterwards, he meets with Aaron in the desert to rehearse the plan.

And the fourth chapter ends with God's plan unfolding the way He planned.

Exodus 3

I've written on Exodus 3 and heard about Exodus 3 many times that I can regurgitate something without rereading the passage. And sometimes that can happen to us, where we become familiar with something that we don't expect to learn or experience anything new. We rely on the old, but God is always going to the next, doing something new.

It takes humility and a working sense of wonder or expectation to be surprised; to let go of the old and lean into the unknown. To say, "Here I am," with an open and willing heart. To not get sucked into the comfort of yesterday.

I could go on with the analogies, but I'll stop to say that the word, God's word is alive and well. It's been approached a hundred billion times and it's as fresh as when God first spoke, "Let there be light." If you allow it, the bible won't become a routine. It's too sharp for that.

Talking about routine, Moses is stuck in one. He tends to his father-in-law's sheep until he sees a burning bush. And not one to mind his own business, Moses draws close to the phenomenon because the bush is on fire but not burning up.

Nosy man!

When he draws close, God calls out and orders him to remove his sandals because he just entered a holy space; he just entered the Holies of Holy.

(Because of the cross, I pray that we all realize that because God chooses to rest in us, we are holy; we are set apart not because of anything we do or anything we are but because He is here in us. We are not ordinary humans taking up space. We are His home.)

Then God shares with Moses that He's heard and seen what His people have gone through, and He plans on sending Moses down there to set everything straight.

Next, Moses says what anyone in their "right" mind would say when the Creator extends an invitation to join Him on a thrilling (horrifying) adventure: "Who me?"

And God says, "I will be with you," but He also says the best line I think He has ever said when Moses asks for a calling card. With these next few words, I see God speaking into a mega phone and dropping it because what else needs to be said when He says this: "I  AM WHO I AM."

Chills. every. single. time.

It's a full explanation even when it feels like it's not.

He is who He is.

He's the one that has seen that and has heard this and still chose to send His Son to the cross to die for a sinner like me and you.

He's the one who does exceedingly and abundantly all that we can ask or think. He is better than we've imagined too.

He's the one who spoke the world into existence, and at the mention of His name, all knees will bow down and all tongues will confess that He is Lord because there is no one like Him anywhere else in the universe.

And so much more. His name holds all that, all of His story, His being, His power.

Yahweh: I AM WHO I AM.

And He comes in the form of a burning bush to meet with a man who, as we will see next chapter, has written himself off.

But we'll see that God has a plan.

Remember that the next time He asks you to come along with Him on a journey you don't feel quite equipped to do.