[Lately I’ve been practicing a new form of adoration. Instead of just a verse or two or three that describe Jesus, I’ve been taking a passage about Him from the gospels and sliding myself right in there — feeling the desert-dust on my knees and smelling His sweat as I stand near enough to the scene to adore the God-Man I get to witness. Friends, this flesh against God-made-flesh perspective, turned upward into adoration, is doing a number on my insides. Would you consider trying it with me?]
Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him,“Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:1-10
He sought you, Zacchaeus did, not thinking of what he wasn’t, but of who You were. Your power, even then, outside of his frame, was enough to overshadow his worst thoughts inside.
And You noticed him. You saw through shame and found his hunger, way up in that tree.
You knew him. You understood that the sum of him was more than the weakness by which others labeled him.
Early seeds of hunger are what You notice. You wait, not to pinpoint our lack, but instead to highlight our hunger. Oh, Jesus, Your lens is so different than what I’ve imagined it to be.
What’s buried deep, You seek out. You call forth. I adore You, God, for seeking and searching out that man, that day, and for seeking and searching out me, now. You see, not with the eyes of flesh, though You put on flesh to make Yourself known. Though You wore my skin, Your eyes cut through bone and marrow to find heart.
I love You, God, for rewarding hunger with even more mystery. I see You here, living meekness with those with whom You took company and I realize You wouldn’t have called it meekness …it was just You. You live meek and I realize I barely know this great Man, mystery.
You took up residence in his home, like you take up residence in me. Your visit to his dwelling foreshadowed Your home in mine. You are not threatened by my flesh, but bound to win it and the fire in Your eyes burns through mess to see what I am becoming at Your fingertips.
“Today” was a new day for this man because you declared it to be so. You do the same for me, always making a new day out of what seems unsalvageable.
Jesus, You are the safest Man I know.
You don’t shrink back from my failures, but You lean in. You reach. You seek. And You save. All of Your life, all of Your actions, are set to save.
The inertia of this world pulls low and draws down, but You lift up and out.
You came for the lost. You came for the lost parts of me. “Today I must stay at your house,” You say to me now, like You said to him then, when you see me all sin-bound, but hungry. You identify me by what You came to do in me, therefore I move from one who is lost to one being saved. I am marked by You, early, and Your mark is more potent than any assessment of me that I may make.
You find me, just like You found him.
And I love You, my Savior.
**So what do I do with these posts, you ask, other than just read them? First, if you haven’t yet, read: Why I Adore and Morning Chai, Explained to give you a context for this little space on my blog.
If you are compelled, I invite you to participate. Set up a space and time in your own life to begin adoring. Over laundry or dinner dishes, on your commute to work, or in the wee morning hours — five or ten minutes is a great start. You can use the verse I list here every day or two as a launch pad for your own adoration. (Showing Up gives you some practicals.)
Then practice praise.
Add to my adoration here, by posting a comment with your own words back to God about God …or hide it in your heart. Or wait until a Monday and link up to my adoration posts with your own adoration.
I promise your weary soul won’t regret it.
***You can easily subscribe to these devotional meditations as they are delivered, by using this feed: http://www.EveryBitterThingisSweet.com/posts/chai/feed or by entering your email address in the second box on the right-hand side… (scroll up a bit)
Additionally, all of the Morning Chai Posts can be seen, in the order of posting, by clicking here or adding this address to your reader: http://EveryBitterThingisSweet.com/posts/chai
Photo compliments of Mandie Joy.