Stretch Marks

Stretching: autonomy against all odds. Autonomy within community.

 

Cheese balls. Rice Krispy treats. Fresh bread. Thick-cut bacon. Eggs from the market.

 

How is one to practice self-control in such a situation?

 

Self-control is a fruit of the spirit. Self is a hungry creature.

 

As Madame Guyon writes, “the death to the self life” is necessary:

 

“From this time [of the Holy Spirit’s flooding her soul], I found myself in the enjoyment of liberty. My mind experienced a remarkable facility in doing and suffering everything which presented itself in the order of God’s providence.”

 

I feed my desires, and they grow ever larger.

 

I suppose the easier thing would be to integrate into community that has shared values.

 

But then, Madame Guyon was no nun; she was married (fairly unhappily) with children.

 

The death of her son, then father, then daughter, then husband brought her closer to God.

 

She did not remove herself from the world. Living in the world purified her, through trials.

 

“This transformed soul,” writes Fenelon, “does not cease to advance in holiness… Its life is love, all love; but the capacity of that love continually increases.”

 

Does that love mark me? Is it noticeable? Is it less conspicuous than my consumerism?

 

George Fox wrote, “The Lord had said unto me, ‘If but one man or woman were raised up by His power, to stand and live in the same spirit that the apostles and prophets were in, who gave forth the Scriptures, that man or woman should shake all the country in their profession for miles around.’”

 

Might God raise up another leader for an American revival?

 

Shall we become a people of prayer?

 

And it is no longer important whether I live or die; whether I teach or am trampled.

 

Does my desire for God outweigh my desire to treat myself?

 

John Fletcher preached: “O for the fulness of the dispensation of the Holy Ghost! Pray, pray, pray for this! This shall make us all of one heart, and of one soul. Pray for gifts—for the gift of utterance; and confess your royal Master.”

– Sister Still

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