Man on the Marta

It’s funny how often God uses perfect strangers to speak truth into my life. When the words of those I know well fall flat and when the Scriptures seem like a foreign language, God sends an unsuspecting stranger. Tonight I met a man named Marcelles (pronounced: Mar-Sell-less). My sister and brother-in-law had dropped me off at the Marta station in Atlanta. I boarded, found an empty seat, inserted my Ipod earplugs and opened my Bible, staring at it more than reading it. I’ve had a rough go. I’ve found it very difficult to shake off the last two years. I had been feeling pretty discouraged about my life and as I sat there all those things weighed on my mind. I could tell that Marcelles was watching me and then he leaned in to get my attention. He asked me what I was reading and for the next 10 minutes he just talked and I listened. He told me about how he had been discouraged lately and how God had sent him to 1 John 4:16, “And we have come to know and believe the love that God has for us. God is love and the one who remains in love remains in God and God remains in him.”
He said that things can be tough, but that God is the God of all comfort and we cannot lose hope. We must put Christ first and do not give up. He kept repeating that phrase, “Do not give up!” He said that he just hoped that God has used him to encourage me and then he exited the train when it stopped.
It is one of those moments that you don’t tell anyone (or really even blog about) because you cannot do it justice. I just keep replaying it in my head…how I was feeling, what I was thinking, the things he was saying, the perfection of it all. God speaks to us. Even when we think He is nowhere to be found, He speaks; sometimes through a strange man on a Marta train.



Most people, subconsciously, spend their every ounce of energy searching for what is true in the world. I believe that even attempts to avoid truth are searches for alternate routes to truth. People should, however, spend all the energy intentionally and consciously searching for the truth and upon finding it, live it out. If I had, in my grasp, the truth about all of reality and chose instead to ignore it, supress it in fact and live for lies, would I not be the worst of fools? I would not have ignorance as an excuse. I would have no excuse at all other than my own stupidity. If we know what is true about life and what it means, why would we not spend every waking moment submitting ourselves to it and living out of it?
We know that Jesus is either a fool (off of his rocker) or the Son of God. And we know that He said, "I am the way the TRUTH, and the life, no one comes to Father except through me." And yet we still live as if he were simply a good teacher. We do not pour over His life, His movements, His Word and seek with our very soul to live out that truth. How can I be so foolish? The flesh is no excuse. Paul says, though we walk in the flesh we do not wage war as the world does. We know the truth, we have it. I have it. What am I doing chasing after lies, vanities, shiny gods that do not satisfy? I should spend every moment pleading for the Lord to help me close the gap between the reality of the way I live my life and His reality of truth.



It has been a very long time since I have written anything on here. i have no real reason for the hiatus. Maybe I have had nothing to say or no time to say it or maybe there has been too much to write about and not enough words to express it. I think the latter may actually be the case, but regardless I am writing, though even now I am not really sure what to say. Seminary is hard and at times it does live up to its alias "Cemetary." At times it feels like death or at least not like life, I miss feeling full of life, satisfied, joy-filled, glad to be where I am, fulfilling a purpose, supported and loved. The lack of this in my life is not the fault of Seminary. Seminary has simply amplified what has been a tough two year go. I am beginning to see the toll this last two years has taken on my heart. It is heavy, hardened, not expectant and not full of life. I guess life just feels this way sometime. I think more than anything most aspects of my current life feel unstable. I wish that I could say that these things have driven me to a deeper walk with Jesus and maybe in ways unseen it has, but I have found it difficult to stir up my affections for Christ. Though I believe His ways are true, I have felt little comfort in that. More than anything I feel like God has used these last two years to "kill" things in me. I feel like He is purging me, squeezing out ugliness in me, pressing on wounded places and I know that those things are good. I will be glad in the long run that He has done that, but mostly I wish I could feel His arms around me telling me its going to be okay, rather than His refining fire. Maybe for God they are one in the same. My best friend can put her arms around me and I can feel comforted, but for God comfort and love may look more different than anything humanity can offer to each other.