Named after the prophetess, Anna, found in Luke.
She is mentioned in only four sentences, but that is enough for me to see why my mother noticed her as she was reading. It is enough for me to understand why this prophetess would stick out in my mom's mind until the day of my birth. And it is enough for me to see that I could only wish to be like her.
If you've read my blog for any amount of time (and my sincere thanks for every single one of you who has), I'm sure you've noticed a familiar theme or cycle that circulates around this place at times.
It goes something like this:
I come here, looking down with new sight, at my grimy hands. Covered in blood.
I'm realizing, seeing, finding - yet again - that I am so thoroughly screwed up. And I am reminded that I'm a sinful wretch in serious, desperate need of redemption.
I start out with a miserable, sickening feeling at who I am and
somewhere in pouring out myself, within those lines
I'm kneeling at my King's feet.
I'm kneeling, calling out, begging, crying,
clinging to the hope he holds and the promises he's held.
It's through writing that I find my way from despair to hope. I enter in with a lost heart and mind, and God never ceases to meet me along the way. His light always comes through. I find his answers and truths when I start to write and process. So often I'm not intending to look for him - and so often I'm deliberately avoiding him,
but he always comes to find me,
meet me, grab my by the shoulders.
He never leaves my dry.
And he knew what he was getting into.
I enter in bemoaning and disgusted by my state. And I leave with a prayerful, asking heart. To my God who is able to make all things new.
But back to the prophetess Anna.
"And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem."
This page is supposed to be an About Me. But there's not much to say about that. So I'd rather say who I'd wish to be. I'd rather write out my reachings, admirations, hopes. Because I know I'm not that great of a person. I know I try to be cool too often. I know I fail more times than I'd like to ever admit. I cover up my muck. I do not give grace like I should.
I know I'm not enough. Life has at least taught me that.
But my namesake - she is a woman of God.
She fasted, worshiped, prayed
day and night.
And that takes more firm dedication, simple devotion, flooding passion, and intense focus than I could ever own. She saw Jesus - she saw this child, the Son of Man - and she recognized him. She saw through the human form, the youth, the body and saw
But beyond that:
with that recognition,
she went out with boldness. Proclaiming this Good News.
I see my laziness, fickleness, my likeness to a bending twig -
and I desire Anna's dedication. I desire her undivided attention, unceasing devotion, continual seeking that lived through the rising of the sun and the setting of the moon.
I see my utter blindness, my unfailing fallback of hypocrisy, my veiled eyes, mind consumed with self so that I can see no other -
and I want her sight. I want the sight that God gave Anna because she sought so hard. It was his gift to her because of her faith. And I want to reach that I might grasp. I believe God rewards that kind of persistent knocking. I want that reward.
I see my weakness, shyness, how I shrink back, and never step forward. How I hear him calling out for me to do something and disobey like a daughter of Satan, a follower of self.
I see my choices to let fear rule instead of the Spirit -
and yearn for Anna's bold declarations, responses of gratefulness. God's reward was great. And she observed that. Her immediate response was that of joy and fearlessness. Her response, I'm sure, was a sweet aroma to God. Her display of love, offered praises, and sharing of this sight God gave her
I do not own Anna's strength. I do not own her grace, her humble response.
And I'm not bashing myself. It's just the stony, metallic truth. I've got to face it. I've got to meet this despair head-on.
I may fall down.
Prostrate, flawed -
to ask my Redeemer
This is who I pray I am.
This, I hope, will always be my position.
I want to be found at the feet of the throne.
I want to live on bended knee, head bowed low, heart straining ahead.
I want to be changed.
I want to surrender.
I want to come alive
when I learn to die.
I am Anna.
A seeker, hoper, lover -
who finds herself, finds her place, finds truth. . .
when she bows down in surrender to her Savior.
For this is where I belong.