Rescue Parade – Please Add Your Announcement
Tracy at The Best Parts the other day wrote of a Rescue Parade that someone hosted for the pugs (a type of dog) that have been rescued and claimed by owners who are now taking care of them. Some have been restored to perfect health and others still bear the scars of their horrible lives. As each one comes out they get a thunderous round of applause as they walk or in some cases are carried by their loving owners.
She says this about the experience of watching this and what the Father quickened in her spirit:
“I think the reason that both The Rescue Parade and the movie trailer touch me so deeply is because they are both shadows of a far greater spiritual reality. I love Acts 3:20-21 which talks about the restoration of all things. All. I believe in the end even the trees shall be fully restored (see Isaiah 55:12). Nothing will escape the love of God in His plan to restore all things.
It got me to thinking: I wonder if God will have a Rescue Parade at the end of time? Can you hear the thunderous applause, both for the created ones as well as for the Creator, as every created being circles the throne? The contrast of our former lives, filled with limping, blindness, poverty, oppression, and destroyed relationships compared to our new lives of joy unspeakable where every tear has been wiped away forever will cause all of us to come undone in a celebration like we cannot even imagine.”
As I read this post from somewhere deep in my spirit I could hear the Heavenly Rescue Parade that I would someday be a part of. I penned this which I left as a comment at Tracy’s site:
And this next woman is named Barbara. She was rescued from a life of Religion. She thought her God was mean, angry and demanding but when introduced to the Real Me, she was wonderfully saved and delivered. She went on to love those around her with compassion and beauty the rest of her life.
Abmo spontaneously added his:
And the next guy is Nestus. He was rescued from a small dark room where he chose to hide. He kept his distance because he thought God only loved others. He was introduced to The Father who knows him inside and out and suddenly he began to see others who hide in small dark rooms. He went on to love those around him and became a rescuer of others in dark places. When asked about it he said, "Hu? I only did what I saw my Father doing."
Then Tracy herself wrote:
And here comes Tracy, who formerly thought she had to do it all alone with complete independence. Because of this, it took her awhile to learn total dependence on Papa and on His Son's life within her, but she grew in these areas with every passing year.
And then Karen (SoCal) Wrote:
Here's Karen...... my precious one, who I loved from the beginning, but she didn't know it. So she lived in self-doubt, afraid to trust herself, seeking approval and validation from others. When she saw a glimpse of the real me she thought it was too good to be true and was afraid to believe. But she did believe and she did receive and she discovered that the truth is truly much more wonderful than she ever imagined.
Co-heir added his:
And here's Fred, who was stuck in a system where he had to have all the right answers all the time. I taught him to question and through the questions I slowly changed him into someone who looks like Jesus.
And next our friend Jeff McQ:
...and here's Jeff, who grew up with a Messiah complex, somehow believing he needed to be perfect, weighed down with the expectations of performance and a drive to somehow fulfill his great calling instead of trusting Me with his destiny. This pressure used to weigh on him so heavily that it drove him to compulsive behaviors. That weight is being removed from his shoulders as he realizes that he is free to be a human being, the same as everyone else--and is no less loved for it. He enjoys his life much more now.
Place of Grace (Annette) is delightfully next:
...and here is Anette, whom I loved all along. Even while she thought she should deserve my love by saving everyone else all by herself. I am so glad she eventually caught on and accepted that I do not want anything she can give, only what I have made in any case - herself!!
Tyler Dawn is brought on by her Maker who says:
Next comes Tyler Dawn, who used to love to have her religious owners praise her whenever she sang for them. She thought they loved her so much until she stopped and they said, "Bad girl!" She found herself out on the street and thought she was an orphan until she met her new daddy who picked her up and hasn't stopped saying "Good girl" ever since.
Brad enters with:
… and here’s Brad. I found him in what looked like the near-terminal stage of Nice Disease. Insidious spiritual autoimmune disease that it is, Niceness sends one searching externally for meaning in friendships, activism, and occasional grandiose acts of public pseudo-kindness – yet all the while attacking internally with self-inflicted guilt and shame. As in all forms of fear, Nice Disease eventually leads to panic or, as in his case, the coldness of depression. But now that he’s been rescued, he’s gradually warming up to the love of the Father, the leading of the Spirit, and joy in the Son. These give him reason to get up each morning to greet the dawn, not just face another day of pretense. Through restoration of soul and installation of hope, his imagination has been unlocked at last to foresee a bright and redemptive future … and each day, that helps melt a bit more of the “ice” in the Nice, and what’s underneath is revealed as “real.”
Next may I introduce Dave Aldrich?
So here's Dave A. He sees much of what other folks have written here about their journeys in his own. Most of his life he believed he had to be perfect because he figured that most others were except for him. He gave up trying a long time ago but the scars of insecurity, pessimism and a self-loathing spirit remained... until Father began to lift the veil from his eyes. Then he began to see his true identity and the immeasurable love Papa has for him. Now he is understanding true love, true purpose, and the only real and worthy identity is Christ in us as us.
And lovingly He introduces vestaoikos:
I would like to introduce My fair child. I found her crumpled in severe rejection and had to softly cleanse her from the brine of unforgiveness. If only she could see the beauty that I see in her. I cleansed her soft dove eyes from the slimes of distrust and held her repeatedly against My bosom, letting My Spirit enfold every fibre of her. My light cracked her cast of 'I'll do whatever to be accepted'. This woman, fellow children, is My fair child of whom I am proud.
Getting There, a new friend of Barb's who is still reeling from some wounds, comes next with:
Here is one who was somewhat like the lady in the kitchen always serving instead of sitting at the feet of Jesus. She served at the church with all her heart only to find false teaching, control and manipulation within the church she loved so dearly. After sharing her concerns, she has been excommunicated, no one has contacted her and these were her friends for years. She am in detox phase.. scared of church to some extent but she wants to go to church. So she is a process of re evaluating things and leaning on Me, the bible and the power of the cross to get her through this time.
Kathyescobar joyfully enters with:
oh and there's kathy. had it not been for the love of some dear friends who took her in and begin to teach her that she really was valuable and loved, she would have spent her life believing that she was nothing more than her past behavior and she deserved to be beaten. she'd try hard to please but never could seem to. it was exhausting. after being rescued from the confines of legalism & shame, she's learned how to rely on her Master, and trust that he really does love her just how she is. we've seen a lot of shifts in her the past few years and she's finally learning that she's safe. she's secure. she's loved.
And here is Sarah, whom I love next"
..who was running fast and hard down a path of total self-destruction. I snatched her up just in time and held her until her wounds of childhood abuse and spiritual abuse were healed. I spoke softly to her with words of kindness. I made her a friend, and she learned that I could be trusted. I have steadily been at work to continue to free her from tainted worldviews, cultural grids, and other misperceptions. We are getting closer as I show her Who I really am, how I see things, and what I am *really* like. I have taught her to enjoy asking me many, many questions!
Next, is a woman that to you, will remain Anonymous, but to me she is known and loved dearly:
When I found her, she was so desperate and grateful to be rescued. It took many years of persistent gentleness before she trusted My love for her and no longer shrank back from Me. As she was restored, she became eager to help in rescuing others. Before her dreams were realized, she became broken in ways that won't allow her to be a rescuer. I hope that she will trust my love and faithfulness in her dependence and suffering.
Here is Joe, known and loved:
Then there's Joe, a drunk and a problem with love for himself and others. He meets Jesus but then transfers his old feelings onto his image of God. So God hates a lot of people and excludes a lot of people. Then Joe has a revelation...God is Love. Joe begins to love. He loves people. He loves himself. He is given love from Father to do this. It's no longer about whose 'in' or 'out', its about love, unconditional, unmotivated, unquenchable love.God is love.
Larry comes next with:
...and then there is Larry. Larry would tell you he was saved by Grace, but he acted like he was saved by works. It took this thick-headed child many years to understand the true ramifications of Grace. It took him even longer to stop judging others in his mind. He's getting much more healthy and mature now. He finally realizes that he doesn't know everything and is learning to truly believe Me.
Oh, and have you met Ruth?
and then there's me, Ruth. Saved by grace '95, then utterly confused by religion and religious happenings thereafter. Gently restored by the Father to the Son's embrace; kept there by His tender love ! Childlike, I forsook the cloak of religion & jumped out of the comfort and insanity of religion. Now I just look for the beauty of Jesus in those I am privileged to meet up with each & every day! The one thing I can count on is Love, His Love, it will abide forever !
And please welcome Old Pete!
As I've said, I don't know where to start. I guess what I'm really saying is that this is my story, I have no idea how this might be helpful to others - or even who it might be helpful to - maybe as a sounding board for some in the earlier stages of detox?I am finding it more and more difficult to remember what I have said and written over the years. I seem to have this knack of asking the awkward questions to which there are no easy answers. Is that what some people need?I remember seeing the suggestion that the ultimate vision is to have no vision of our own - perhaps I'm getting close to that!
And here is Tera Rose, I know her as Jane.
....always knowing that she belonged to the Father at a young age, loving Jesus and believing in his goodness....until she tried to figure out how she could be good enough for him and searched...and found herself in places that appeared to be beautiful and holy...and trusted in shepherds that well, you know, turned out to be wolves in sheeps clothing...and now sits beneath the apple tree wondering, not if God exists, but What God is...and Who she is...and aching to have the infantlike trust...but grateful for the growing up process..believing in God...but not the church...wanting to walk like Him..but not with his people...wondering if it all amounts to the fact that she is simple of two minds; sitting on the fence; straddling two worlds...to be spit out in the end.
Next we have Deacon & Usher
Committed since the Jesus movement, strong worship musicians (truly believing we were not performing - not)for 30 years, loyal to a fault - all believing that ordination would signal arrival - it didn't - had to shut down a church as a layman to keep leaders from continuing abuse of the people - sought out a less "cultish" environment only to find the same results. Left the modern church when covenants, egalitarianism and academia became the most important issues and not grace or God. We threw off the clothes, dumped the titles, resorted to living day-to-day and are enjoying being what God made us - buzzards under grace.
Our latest entry is made by Dr. Paul, who joins the line saying:
here - a recovering pastor who has been rediscovering the grace of God after wandering in the wilderness of graceless religion for far too long.
Discovered the significant impact of internalized-shame on relationships and spirituality as well as its power to resist grace and healing. We all carry "original shame" that lies to us about our worth and God's love. Not only is it not addressed in most churches, it is actually used to activate people to do more (to be enough) and to conform (to not be shamed by the community/leaders).
Carolyn enters with this from her Father:
And now...here's Carolyn. She's very tender right now, so she is still a bit timid and shy with others...but she is coming along...she's healing slowly but surely.
Next is Ruth!! Welcome her with this:
And then comes another Ruth who got an e-mail several years ago from her senior pastor, telling her to step down from heading the music ministry "until you can respect the leadership of the church."
Which was wonderful, because on reading it, she realized that was just never going to happen.
Which meant she was free.
She hardly ever gets angry about the whole thing these days and is genuinely glad to not be there anymore.
And here is Fiona!
...Father opened my eyes maybe 18 months ago, when I pulled one thread and found the whole garment of the church unraveled. At first I was grief stricken, and angry, realizing some of the travesties that are taught in Jesus name, and how they hurt people. But now I am so much more joyful in my faith; understanding freedom in a way I didn't before; no longer attending an organized church, but walking the journey Father has for me, learning as I go, and having been blessed by the company of some others on a similar path that were led there independently. I truly desire others to enjoy the true freedom we have in Christ, but I know only Father can lead them there, in His time, working in their hearts. So I talk and write to those who are interested, as I feel led, and trust that Father will grow His real Kingdom - not the man-made imitation, though sometimes both are present in the one place. Still have stuff to work through - the internal things I took on board even subconsciously through 20 odd years in Pentecostal megachurches. But I trust that Father knows what He is doing in Me!
These made me weep as I read them. Our lives as believers do have Hope! If you would like to participate in our Bloggers Rescue Parade and write what you think could be said about your life, please leave it in the comments section and I will put it on the main page as it comes in.
Blessings to all of you this weekend. May the Spirit of God whisper into your ear how very much he longs for this day.