Tag Archives: captive

A Plea For ALL Captives

What is a captive?

Well, Webster describes a captive like this:

1 a :  taken and held as or as if a prisoner of war b (1) :  kept within bounds : CONFINED (2) :  of or relating to captive animals <captive breeding> 2 :  held under control of another but having the appearance of independence; especially :  owned or controlled by another concern and operated for its needs rather than for an open market <a captive mine 3 :  being such involuntarily because of a situation that makes free choice or departure difficult <a captive audience>

Yeah. That was me. A captive of disillusionment, disappointment, disgust, and eventually deep, deep discouragement.

And because I’ve been there?

I just can’t think of Prodigals as belligerent runaways or rebellious troublemakers.

No.

And I don’t think Jesus does either.

I believe He is heartbroken over one of His own who leave The Church.

I, perhaps audaciously, think He sees a Prodigal-sheep—as one who has infinite value and potential.

One of His who has been “taken captive” by all those ugly “D” words to which I was just referring.

So let me ask you:

What do you see when you say the word: Prodigal?

Uh-huh.

Now, what do you see when you say the word: Captive?

Isn’t the perception different?

I believe one word hardens the heart (just a bit) while the other word softens the heart and makes it willing toward compassion. Naive perhaps, but maybe it is—just that simple.

I also believe it is high time we who call ourselves His Church, begin to view our prodigals more as captives, than runaways.

Don’t we need to embrace them with compassion, rather than judgment?

I have been a captive of disillusionment; caged by my disgust and disappointments. And yes, I have been judged and condemned by my Fellow-flock. Perhaps that is why I view those who have left our churches through tears, rather than with raised chins and cold shoulders.

I think Jesus weeps when He sees one of His own, wandering.

I believe He wants us, in His Church, to be more proactive about going out and finding those we so quickly write off with our shaking heads and wagging fingers.

God loves Prodigals!

Every. Last. One.

Don’t you think it’s high time, we in His Church, did too?

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The Parable: A Cocoon Captive

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(DREAM-MAKER:)    Far enough.

Now go to the end of that branch…

Hang from the end…

and spin!

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CATERPILLAR:

What!? What?!

That branch… way out

(gulp!)

… there!?

Hang from the end?

Out there!?

Aviary Photo_131149849703701808(Oh-dear, oh-dear…)

I’ll fall for sure!

CATERPILLAR:

It is so dark… too dark to see…

It took so long to climb this tree…

It took so long to climb so high…

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CATERPILLAR:

This thing you ask!

This crazy call…

to hang from limb in outer space???

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(DREAM-MAKER:)     (Silence.)

chrysalis-clipart-butterfly-pupaCATERPILLAR:

Okay… okay…  I’ll go… I’ll go!

(Though why I should I do not know!)

See? I’m spinning, spinning this cocoon.

Oooo, I’m dizzy! This is too hard.

(grumble…) You ask too much.

(DREAM-MAKER:)        Nice n’ tight…

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CATERPILLAR:

Yes, I’m here. I’m spinning. Nice and tight.

(Ooooooooo!) It’s dark in here. I cannot move.

Why did You bring me here to this?  (Now what?)

I am squished in tight dark cell…

it is too hard… it is too much!

(DREAM-MAKER:)      (Silence.)

CATERPILLAR:

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chrysalis-clipart-butterfly-pupaCATERPILLAR:

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(DREAM-MAKER:)        (Silence.)

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Designer Dungeons

027aa9fa73140da2048987f35b3e8b8cJeremiah is a great friend of mine. We have spent many days together talking about God and our dungeon experiences.

He comforts me. He sent me notes of encouragement from so many centuries before, yet his frustrations, are as current as yesterday’s battles.

Yes, he is a great friend of mine.

While he pours out his frustrations in Lamentations chapter three, I listen, and I nod “yes” in all the appropriate places.

A good friend does that.

His dungeon is quite different from mine. His—designed for him—mine designed for me.  And the God who sees and hears, and knows everything, knows just what we need to get us from anger and frustration, to hope and trust. Jeremiah’s is tailor-made for him. Mine is tailor-made for me.

Your dungeon? Yes, it is tailor-made for you and of God’s knowing and choosing.

I know, you think yours is the worst. Jeremiah thought his was. I think mine is. But no, each one, each captivity is designed specifically for the one it encloses; designed to bring us to the end of ourselves and face-to-face with God.

It is love that closes us in.

Oh, I know. I didn’t think so at first. Jeremiah didn’t either, but after the caterpillar begins to adjust:

⦁ to the tight space
⦁ to the dark place

After he has:

⦁ made his case
⦁ and surrendered his race

He searches:

⦁ for God’s face
⦁ and finds God’s grace

And he discovers his custom cocoon? His designer dungeon? Though snug in spots, fits him like a glove.

And remember little caterpillar. Though tight and dark your cocoon may be—it is the place where wings are formed!

The DREAM~MAKER’S Promise:

He has hedged me in so that I cannot get out; He has made my chain heavy.                Lamentations 3:7Lamentations 3:7
English: World English Bible - WEB

7 He has walled me about, that I can’t go forth; he has made my chain heavy.

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A Caterpillar’s Prayer:

Father, when life seems to close in around us; when the darkness of despair threatens to suffocate all that desires Your will above all else, then Father, then come to our aid! Remind us in the very tight places, that You love us with an everlasting love, and nothing can shake that. Remind us that this is the very place Your wisdom has chosen for us; our cocoon to transform us; to form wings of destiny for Your plan and purpose.
Oh Abba… help us, when we forget.

Dearest Captive, He Sees You.

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I begin to write these notes to you, with some reluctance, and not a little trepidation. You see, I am like you—a captive.

I write this, or should I say, I begin to write this in Habakkuk’s Vineyard. A difficult place. A barren place. A place “with no fruit on the vines.”

Tough stuff living in Habakkuk’s Vineyard.

Not for weaklings.

(But then you already know that.)

I just want to say one thing to you today: He sees you.

God knows where you are.

It may be a literal cell. The world may have actually labeled you “a prisoner,” but I have discovered that “prisons” come in all shapes and sizes.

Captivity is not necessarily limited to a one narrow room.

If you are caught in the vise of a diseased or broken body? You know what captivity is.

If you are buried under mountains of debt?

(You know.)

If your life has been sidelined by the caregiving of another who has no hope of recovery, you rise everyday to face the dawn of another day—captive.

Lifeless job? Loveless marriage? Our prison’s may be wide and varied. Yet, I have discovered that though our circumstances may differ? Our needs do not.

And I need to know today: He sees me.

God’s eyes are upon me.

One of my greatest needs, for though the world may forget me? God has promised me He will not.

“…He calls them all by name,”

(He calls you by name)

“…by the greatness of His might, and the strength of His power; not one is missing.”

(You’re not missing either—not to God)

He sees you. He sees me. Though the world, (even The Church) may have forgotten us? God does not! He knows all about it; our captivity.

He sees us.

(our tears)

He hears us.

(our sighs)

We are not “missing” in His accounting!

Take heart sweet captive. The Omnipotent Hand that led you into captivity?

(…you aren’t there by chance.)

He will “keep you” today.

“…by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power.”

(He sees you.)

The DREAM~MAKER’S Promise:

Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing.  Isaiah 40:26Isaiah 40:26
English: World English Bible - WEB

26 Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these, who brings out their army by number; he calls them all by name; by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power, not one is lacking.

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A Caterpillar’s Prayer:

Father, please seal this promise to my heart today. I am so prone to: feeling forgotten. Remind me over and over again, that even if the world forgets me, You never will. Teach me today… just how much you love me.