Sunday, January 22, 2006

human stain

I felt very inspired tonight, as i listened to Brian Houston sing "Wash Me Clean". . . Brian Houston is a musician/singer from Belfast. He's amazingly talented. He's got an emotional rawness and honesty about him. . his music is haunting and rocking and so cool. Every BH CD i have bought, i've worn out!
Everyone needs to be clean. Everyone needs to have an inner sanctum.
Life can be so filthy. There is so little that's pure.
I need to be clean. I feel the badness in my soul.
Why can't i be happy for others without something slithering into my mind to ruin it?
jealousy. . .envy. . . anger
why does self and pride always work its way in to every thought or feeling (or work its way out more likely)? Why must i wish to be better positioned, or feel better? Why do i need praise? fish for compliments? crave affirmation? and if someone else gets this attention, why do i feel slighted?
Gifts and talents -- why can't i just be glad to have some? why must i go comparing them to someone else's? This is the insidiuous grime that cannot be lathered and rinsed away.
I can't even feel for someone until i put myself in their place! What's that? Why can't i just feel for them? When i really think about my true nature and its terminal self focus and how natural it is for me to think the worst, criticize -- my mind produces it and my mouth pushes it out there. Its like i have no control mechanism, no red light to stop my thoughts and words, not even a caution signal -- which is why apologies are necessary - but shamefully underused. Its all too easy, effortless in fact. After over 4 decades of personal experience, i now see myself for real. . i know my badness - its at the core level and this is why i need cleansing. I'm not like a self-cleaning oven, i need someone to do it for me. I've tried, it doesn't last, it doesn't work. This is basic humanity -- bad to the bone and desperately in need of some good.

Its deep in there isn't it? Nobody needs 'badness lessons'! We start young and we perfect it as we go along. We can deny it, justify it, excuse or wink at it - but that won't change our condition. We can turn over new leaves forever - they get old. We can try to wipe the slate clean . . . but it always gets dirty again -- its only a matter of self and time. We can will ourselves to be 'good' one minute and the very next, our good will evaporates. It can be so subtle, happens in degrees and little increments. A small white lie, a mean, stabbing thought, a tinge of jealousy, a little feeling put upon here, a bit of resentment masquerading behind a smile there. Do you feel these in your heart? lurking, crouching and coiled in there. . just waiting to strike out. Its so easy to tear down, label, gossip - it can seem fun, even entertaining -- making us feel great, better, elevated, smug. Raise your hand if you've caught yourself! Ever notice how people can find satisfaction when well knowns become has beens? People secretly like it when others fail at something. How quickly we can turn if say a couple we know breaks up - we need a scapegoat - we may say "Well, I've never like him." Fairweather stuff like that. . . How fast have i jumped to wrong conclusions, assumed something? judged someone? Where does the need to be superior come from? Why is it down in there, jumping out as sarcastic jibes or smart assiness? Why, if someone's more beautiful, intelligent or talented than i am, why do i need to find a flaw so badly? Do you ever drive yourself crazy with your bad self? Ever feel like Fred Flintstone when he was being a jerk and hurt Wilma, who then challenged him to be able to live with himself and cleared out to live at her mother's while he thought about it? After only a day or two with 'shadow Fred' he literally couldn't stand himself as he faced his selfishness - and he then begged his wife to come home and begged her forgiveness.

I've met my 'shadow self' and she's a bit@#!! I've come to the conclusion that this is why i need redeeming. This hideousness that's ever ready to take me over, spoil and ruin me and do the same to others, THIS is exactly why i am so desperately, desperately in need of cleansing, washing, saving. My condition (like the movie title) 'the human stain' is a very politically incorrect word, which makes humanists and agnostics alike cringe and cry out --- quite simply. . its sin. For which there is only one stain remover -- the love and sacrifice of Christ and the goodness and power of the spirit of God. By the way, it took me years to clue in to this and even more to believe this and I do believe it. I believe it from experience, from the active power of love, from seeing this in other lives and from knowing and feeling this in myself. Even so, i battle daily with that propensity of mine to go back to what i know, like a dog to its vomit, because i have a core flaw. But I have a will and i can use it to submit that inner beast to the power of love, of God and i can be clean and i can even stay clean if i keep submitting. Trouble is i don't like submitting it offends my pride!!!!! BAH! Life here in this soul refinery. . . is nothing if not a challenge to my free will. But you know, I like a good challenge.

WASH ME CLEAN Brian Houston Copyright 2002 - Thankyou Music*/MCPS
Album: "Rollercoaster" distributed by Kingsway Music

I am the one with the unclean lips
I am the one whose mind is jaded
I am the one with the impure heart
and all my innocence is faded. wash me clean in your river of mercy
restore my soul by a clear blue stream. . renew me again.

i am the one whose walk is faithless
I am the one who walks away
I am the one whose debts are many
and I am the one who cannot pay -- wash me clean. .

you are the lord who is my fortress, you are the lord who is my hope.
you are the lord who is my refuge. . the only safe place for my soul.
wash me clean in your river of mercy. . restore my soul. . . renew me again.


emmsy said...

garbage night again... i like your thoughts a lot. pride and arrogance are so flippin hard to deal with and cut down, to be humble and the likes.

Kathryn said...

yeah, its garbage night tonight! the eternal struggle for us eh, pride, etc. . . .

Anonymous said...

I think you're absolutely right; every time I think I've beaten temptation and sin, I lose again. It is like my default setting, it is so annoying. But how do we change our default setting? I'm finding that I can't reprogramme myself, but I just have to pray that the Holy Spirit will. The other thing I really cluckily try to do is use the name of Jesus - like if I'm having thoughts about some other woman to actually say Jesus' name over and over again.

Anyway, thanks for the Brian Houston lyrics. I absolutely love that song - a worship leader at our church played it quietly during communion a few months ago and since then I've been hungrily seeking BH music. I have worked out the chords but search on Google for the lyrics, and it led me to your blog. Anyway, God bless and keep fighting the good fight x

Love from carl in Leicester, UK

kathryn said...

Carl! welcome and thank you for leaving a comment on this post. I was really happy to read it! Yes, the default setting is a good way of putting it! *and it IS annoying, isn't it?!* yes, the Holy Spirit will! He's so awesome. There's a lot of power in the name of Jesus. Good for you, using it.

I hope you find lots and lots more of Brian's music!!! Have you looked up "The Hudson Taylors"? (Brian was in that group) their album "Hurricane" is great! I will keep fighting the good fight! you too!!!

in Christ. . .


Anonymous said...

Hi, I bless God for the moment i entered this blog. You're just writing my life. This is a fight which i am almost giving up if not of the grace of God. Please just as God helped u please i will like that help. My inside is just so dirty i need cleaning. Please pray for me. I love your blog. said...

Dear Anon: I WILL pray for you to feel as loved by God as you are, which is incredibly much. And to feel confident that He is able to make you feel clean and trust that He can do this in your heart!! I'm so glad that God could use this post to speak to you!!! Thank you for finding my blog! Do you have one?(or do you want to remain anonymous? which I respect)