In the 90’s I wrote something during a time of great dealing. It was an amazing time when the Lord pulled me aside and began to dismantle my offenses with Him. He came in to defend His right to love me in whatever way He saw fit. It amazes me to this day that He even had the graciousness to address my complete resistance to His sovereign will in my life. I deserved death but He gave me kindness and patience.
Here is what I wrote:
Penny for the Plate
My heart has treasured, like a bag lady, the refuse and scum of this world. As I step before His holy throne, my offering, my oil, my presented gifts are empty bottles mauled by the mouth of this world, left with remnants of spit and backwash and fit only for the dogs. Rags soiled with the stain and smell of those things man chooses to wash down the drain.
Why would this King of Kings bother with these abhorrent things?
Because these were the articles of my worship. Artifacts which stood between my unbridled passion, my yielded heart and ungarnished devotion.
These were my treasures and life savings, the penny for the plate. It was all I had to offer so He received it because it was what I loved.
As I have reflected on Jennifer’s recent posts, this writing came to mind. What we each have to offer the Lord is the widow’s offer as seen in Jesus’ parable. She had just 2 mites but what she gave was far beyond all of the other’s offerings. She gave out of her complete poverty. She had nothing but what she did have, she gave.
Penny for the Plate State
We all come in this pitiful state. We have nothing of any true value to give but that which holds our heart. Jennifer realized her love for a precious, worthless thing. The thing that gave it such value to God was the value it held in her heart. And we all have valued, worthless treasures taking room in our hearts. God affixes value to them because of the sheer hold they have on our passions and love.
Today in this moment Jennifer’s post is a mirror for me. What meaningful, worthless thing holds a place in my heart? What maintains its right to capture energy from my passions? What is it that stands so boldly between God and my unbridled passion, my yielded heart and ungarnished devotion? This is what God values because He values me.
[…] I wrote back in 2013, but it was actually from a poem I had written in the 90’s. And it was “Penny for the Plate.” And I said, “My heart has treasured like a bag lady the refuse and scum of the world. As I […]
John your words of late, and those of Jennifer and Martha in recent posts, have touched me deeply. Today, however, it was the picture of the Hands holding me (?) that moved me to tears. I have a precious sister in Jesus who found out yesterday that the baby boy in her womb has a hole in his heart. I have shared this post with her. This news was particularly difficult for her, as just one year ago her four month old daughter died in her crib. I humbly ask that you join me in praying for this dear family.
[…] initial blog was entitled Penny for the Plate and was actually written as a response to Jennifer’s posts and […]
YES!!!YES,YEs!!! “The thing that gave it such value to God was the value it held in her heart. And we all have valued, worthless treasures taking room in our hearts. God affixes value to them because of the sheer hold they have on our passions and love.” Soo profound, what ever holds our hearts , holds our love!!! Whether it is a “good” thing, a “toxic” thing, a “worthless” thing or “any person or thing!!! . Our hearts are more precious beyond belief to Him and hold the key. That’s why I am learning still to guard my hearts with… Read more »
The very existence of other loves makes Love burn with passion and jealousy. He burns becouse He cares what we love, becouse those loves are so pitiful in comparison to Love that they make Love burn with Love-Zeal.
And Love-Zeal (becouse of His very nature) burns and destroys the pitiful loves we so cheerish in the battleground of our will.
In the presence of Love, there will always be a kind of clash and a burning of you.
This your experience regarding “God cherishing my loves”, I would love to hear expanded. I would love to see where He has taken you through this road.
In what measure and how does God value me through my loves?
Very interesting indeed…
Amen John !
My heart is so warmed by your love, trust and the openess of your own heart.