Two Kingdoms & Hope For A Weary Heart

img_8382Straddling two kingdoms. Some days I feel my legs stretching into the splits as the crevice between the two grows farther and farther apart in my heart. Looking down and wondering about a free fall. The tears flowing down my face from the pains of this one, while I gaze into the bliss of the other. When will there be no more dying, no more pain, no more ugly… and oh God, I cry out… where is the justice? The windshield wipers clicked back and forth in the rain… I wish I had one for my eyes too. Where is the justice? For children who suffer abuse around our world, for those suffering mental health that are judged and criticized while they are suffocating, for the hurting and the rejected. For the kids who hear whispers behind their back about their clothing, hanging their head in shame.. Don’t you think they wish they had nikes?? Or clean clothes? Don’t you think that they see the differences? Don’t we understand that no matter how tough the exterior is everyone would love a comfy bed like yours or a hot shower in the morning to be a norm? Don’t we know that every soul on this earth is struggling along every day just wanting to know true love… just like me and you?

But, oh the screaming and labeling. The shouting and the angry voices. The fear… the insecurities.

And so where is it that my heart lives? In this struggling, fighting, insecure world? Or does my Saviour invite me to look elsewhere?

Seek His kingdom now. We are in this world… not of this world. My heart is breaking for us as we straddle the two, but oh that we might more and more gain sight of the kingdom He offers!

We must awake all our senses to this gift. Take a deep breath, and inhale the fragrance of His grace. What we don’t deserve, but so freely given. My pastor this past week in his sermon said, “free, not cheap.” No, not cheap – this costly, precious exchange of His life to give us ours with feet set firmly in a new kingdom! May we stretch out our arms and let it flow… We have the opportunity to be the healing hands of Jesus.

For those struggling with mental health who need to be carried!

img_8386For the poor and rejected!

img_8385For the neglected and forgotten!


For those without a voice!

Aren’t these the ones that Jesus reached out to? Didn’t He come to seek and save the lost.. the broken.. we that are in need?

img_8310Because the kingdom that He invites us to seek.. Oh, my friends! This is the kingdom of a radical Saviour who sees the value of a soul!

It’s a kingdom of hope!

It’s a kingdom of peace!

It’s a kingdom of joy!

It’s a kingdom of love… love that is patient and kind. Love that isn’t selfish or rude, or seeking its own interest. Love that isn’t boastful or conceited. Love that doesn’t get excited over wrongdoing… running in corners to whisper or delight over tragedy. We know the passage.. but do we really sink into the passage? Do we see how God pours out that passage lavishly all over our own lives?

Oh God, Your kingdom, come..

What will your heart given to the complete trust and reign of God look like? Take a minute to ponder that… Seek His kingdom first, Christ says. And all will be added. So, we look at the line we straddle, we lift our eyes up to Him, take a deep breath… and free fall into His love. His kingdom. Every choice, every thought, every talent.. all His. What’s in your life that you can place to use in His kingdom? Why, simply your all. All. All. How shall we walk in one kingdom, and live in another? That’s the miracle He offers us. Seek His heart today. Openly look to Him with eyes afresh and clean…not clogged up by the media, fear, or our own understanding. Lean in; freefall in His love. God will guide you as you navigate this messy world with a pure heart to fight in His kingdom for the news of this love.

For meditation: 1 Cor 13, Proverbs 3:5-6, 1 John 2:15-17, 1 John 4:18-19, Matthew 6:33-34


cared for

plantTo be cared for:

“Having needed care and attention.”

Care is defined as “close attention or concern for another.”  Clear, nurturing, competent, affectionate, confident, intentional, specific.

What a concept!  What a need!  Of course we think muchly about caring for our physical selves through eating, exercising, not too much sun, plenty of water, the right supplements for my needs, and other things we deem necessities.  But, emotional care for our souls is a need, too. Maybe an overlooked need often, as we just busily make it from day to day..

So, for my lack of a better way to convey my understanding, the best description that helps me understand how to be cared for, is to think of what is not cared for: neglected, left alone, unattended.

I have a shameful confession.  I am terrible at caring for plants.  And, I LOVE plants.  I love gardens!  I love all things green! They are a gift that reminds me of life in such a vivid way.  Yet, sadly I don’t attend the needs in a consistent way, and my results are usually not good.  😦  Yep, I’m good at talking to my plants, but I forget the consistent things like how often to water, when to have sunlight exposure, etc. for each particular one.

I think caring for something, most importantly, takes consistency and understanding individually the needs.  Daily showing up. It’s truly loving in a way that is seeing who that individual is, and how to nurture their life helping them on their own journey.

What things make you feel cared for?

Deeply we feel this need, and we cry out sometimes, “Does anyone see me?  Does anyone hear me?”

I’ve looked into the eyes of the forgotten.  The ones who starve emotionally to know they are cared for.  Maybe you’ve looked into their eyes too.  Maybe even today you’ve looked into starving eyes as you peer into your mirror. I know I have at times, too.

Little ones.  Big ones.  Poor ones.  Wealthy ones.  Fast ones.  Slow ones. Sweet ones.  Salty ones. We’re all in this same boat together.  We all have this need.  We all long to be nurtured and cared for.

Can you reflect on a time that you felt cared for?

Maybe as your grandma cooked your favorite dish of chicken and dumplings when you came to visit?

Possibly when you were a child and your aunt for Christmas bought you a purple dress that you had been wanting?

A foot massage after a long day that expressed closeness and tenderness?

“I made you a special play-list of some songs I thought you would enjoy.”

Or, the fact that your girlfriend knows how much you like your quiet time, and even though she’s an extrovert she intentionally and freely encourages you to grab those moments?

A big “atta-boy” from a friend when you are successful in something you’ve worked hard to accomplish.

A cup of tea, someone running your bath, and taking care of some of your daily tasks to offer relief from a difficult day?

“You lost your phone again?  It’s ok.  I’ll help you search, I know you’re in a hurry… Don’t worry! We’re in this together!”

A time when your friend knows your down, and picks you a bouquet of your favorite, fresh flowers?

Clear, nurturing, competent, affectionate, confident, intentional, specific.mountain-climbing1

See, my bamboo needed less sunlight, and plenty of water, but my cactus needed less water, and more sunlight.  Neither one can thrive, and be truly cared for if I try to nurture them in the exact same way.  We are all uniquely, and wonderfully made.  I want to be known specifically, and I can’t be nurtured truly unless you find out who I am, and what’s needed to help me thrive.

Friends, let’s not be neglectful of one another. What a joy that I can contribute to your life, and receive the same gift from you!  We aren’t nurturing if we lump each other in a whole category together, or if we choose to only look through our own lenses at what each other’s needs might be!  Tender attentiveness is the key to truly learning how to care.

If you are someone reading this today, and you do feel starved and abandoned please know that you are not alone.  I encourage to reach out to someone that you think might can help you.  It takes courage, I know, to admit where we are, but someone is out there who can nurture and care for you.  I would love to hear from you, and know that you are on my heart! People do fail each other — this life is messy!  But, dear heart, God does not ever fail.  God cares so deeply for you, and this verse has helped me through many a night of tears, “The Lord your God is with you. He’s mighty to deliver. He takes great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love. He rejoices over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)  In my life, He has been with me through it all, and His delight in me has been my strength and joy.

flowers in the rain

PS:  Here are a couple of links if you are interested in thinking through a little more of who you are individually, or if you want to share concepts with others in your life.  I think it’s fun and helpful to be intentional to slow down some and think about our uniqueness!

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman helps us understand a little more of how individually we feel loved/cared for.

This personality test is based on the work of Briggs and Jung, and you can surf the internet and find more like it.  I like this one, and think it has a fairly accurate assessment for most people.


Center for Relational Care, MacMillan Dictionary (2015), Abraham Maslow, Robert McGee, John 13:34-35, Philippians 2:4, Galatians 6:2.


It’s everywhere I look today.  The media are splashing details all about. My Facebook page is filled with comments.  Everyone around me is talking about it.  My newspaper has numerous articles surrounding all aspects of the trial.  The sad tragedy of Caylee Anthony tugs at our heart-strings, and stirs a sense of realization at the pain, suffering and injustice that children must walk through in this world.

Sadly, the fact is Caylee is not the only one.

There are millions of children all around us in pain.  They carry burdens that are far too heavy for the strongest of us. They suffer physical, emotional, and verbal abuse.  They are alone.  Neglected.  Cold.  Starving.  Hurting.   Some are only just down your street.  Some are across the ocean.

Let us not be stirred to only use our words.  Caylee has left this harsh world… but many, many more remain. How can we help?  What can we do?  Is there even one that we could assist in easing their pain?  Look around you.  Ask God how you can be His hands and feet to show a young heart the way to relief, and to share with them the hope of eternal joy.


‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

      “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ “Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ “Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”  Matthew 25:35-46

Some ideas for a few places to contact. Find out how you can get involved to help:  (If you have a recommended place to share, please add to list…)

World Vision



Holistic Christian Ministry

Forgotten Stories

Buckner International