This scripture has been an opened tab for about a week – like a message sitting in the background waiting for me to quiet my thoughts long enough to pay attention to it. It’s a scripture I’ve heard a thousand times and yet I’ve struggled to speak this over myself because I don’t want to see “the punishment of the wicked.” I don’t want to see others in pain or hurt. I want everyone to be saved from the darkness, the sickness, the poverty, the (insert everything we can see that’s awful in this world today). But as I opened this up and felt a bit of anxiety stirring inside of me as I read this passage, thinking to myself, Who am I to deserve anything good when the world around me is hurting so badly?
And then, I heard a voice whisper inside of my heart, “The girl with a little of faith left… and it only takes a mustard seed…”
I did a study years ago on many words, and still today find it fascinating to research the etymology of original texts that have lost so much meaning throughout eons of translations to various languages and doctrines. The word “wicked” as I recall in a study back then had to do with faith in yourself, rather than faith in God. And as I opened up the etymology today and also referred to the Hebrew meanings of such, I see a correlation that brings us the root of our intentions. The “wicked” in pagan meaning points to the witch in a negative sense – someone who does something or uses a weapon of sorts to poison another. It’s interesting how we can use lots of things from food, to medicines to even our words either to heal or to harm another. What is the intention behind our actions towards others? In the Hebrew texts, there are references made to those who become experts on scripture, or “The Word of God”… And who those who study the scripture in order to be puffed up with knowledge or pride are considered “wicked”…
I remember one time I was reading through the Bible thinking to myself, “that one reminds me of this person and that one reminds me of that person,” and I felt this strong voice come over me and say, “No, read it like you’re the only person on earth.” It’s as if God wanted me to know that I’m not the judge of anyone, nor am I appointed God over anyone else. I can only judge me and search my own heart to know what my intentions are.
For a long time now, that’s been quite challenging. I’ve wanted something so badly that I can’t have. And like a little bratty child, I’ve thrown temper tantrums, tried to manipulate and control a situation so that it might work out in my favor. I feel like a child even now as I write this, imagining myself sitting on the floor in a puddle of my own tears as God is standing against the wall with his arms crossed asking me, “Are you done yet?”
And as I type this, thinking through dreams that I’ve had and those that have been shared with me too by others, I wonder if what I wanted would’ve been the very poison that would’ve taken me out. Even if not to kill me, perhaps to paralyze me from walking the path that the Lord has ordained for me in this lifetime.
My daughter shared with me recently a character that comes into her nightmares often – a vampire from the movie Twilight (the chick with the red eyes that was trying to kill Bella and Edward). She asked me, “Do you know what she does to her enemies?” I said no… She explained, “She paralyzes them.”
So many images come to mind when I see my own walk – understanding that I’m free to walk, run, fly on the outside, but what do I feel on the inside? Stuck. And I think about the man I met who is bound to a wheelchair, yet he travels the world giving speeches to others and writing books. In a recent video I saw him on a stage say this, “I’m less paralyzed than most people in this room.” I knew he was speaking metaphorically. And I ask myself, Why does it take a tragedy like what happened to Chad, in order for a person to wake up the mortality of this life and number our days – to decide to walk in a path of service to others – to use our gifts in a way that uplifts, rather than tears down and that heals rather than wounds another?
I’ve been sitting around in pitty, waiting for God to change my circumstances and to give me back what I feel like I’ve lost. I’ve been waiting for him to heal my heart and fill my cup with new love and new joy – seeing what’s been taken from me and what hasn’t been returned. I tell myself often, “God always gives a replacement.” It was that way when Jesus went to the cross and created connections with his mother and disciple, and also when Job lost everything, piece by piece. But perhaps what hurts the most, is seeing that he did do that for me… and what came in was better than anything I’ve had before.. But I couldn’t hold onto it.. as it seemed to not want to hold onto me.
My entire life I’ve been trained by my experiences to let go and expect to lose people. All have sort of served as a revolving door in my life. I believed that everything and everyone had an expiration date. Today, I don’t believe that way anymore. I feel like I’ve found something eternal – something worth holding onto. And so I ask myself, why would God show me something that I want only to tell me that I can’t have it? Why would a good God give me something I’d asked for, only to then take it away? And do I believe that?
What is the wicked? Maybe it’s the one who dwells in doubt instead of believing that God is guiding the ship and that all things are working for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose. I pray today to be covered in the Lord and for the Most High to be my Dwelling place… my home, where I’m safe, surrounded by his angels on command and loved more than I can imagine..
“A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone” (Psalm 91:7-12).