I spoke too quickly. I gushed. I said words about what’s been buried deep, but in a setting that was meant for laughter and easy fraternizing. And there it was, out there, that intimate expression lobbed into hands which couldn’t quite catch it.
I went under, internally.
Ashamed of my deep and unable to pull myself from the web now spinning in my mind. What will she think? was my first train of thought. Self-evaluation wrapped itself around my ankles and I was immobile. I exchanged fear of God for fear of His children — a toxic move. And not too long later, I came up for air with the next thought: oh Father, I did it again. I looked to another’s reaction towards me instead of Your thoughts on me … and here I am, now, bruised from this fall.
Little did I realize, right then, that this very blunder — the words spoken hastily and my impulse to recoil and inhale shame — could be a stimulus.
I was made to enjoy beholding God. I was created to find my greatest pleasure in staring into His Word and receiving His whisper, in life-communion.
But I can’t get there when divorced from myself.
We work against deadlines, we lead others, we clock-in and clock-out and, in between, we respond to emails, scan facebook posts, receive calls and send texts. Some of us spend the bulk of our hours shaping little hearts and doing all the seemingly mundane things which help us do so. And for all of us, no matter the walk, our days are comprised of hundreds of interactions where our life brushes up against another and circumstances inevitably leave a scratch.
If you look closely, you have days full of those scratches.
And somewhere in there, when we move towards beholding — adoring Him — and we’ve run dry before we even start, we wonder why He lies dormant, within.
But it’s those very life scratches, the dozens or more, in one given day that are not separate, but unto. They lead us into the God-Man we’ve begun to crave. It’s not “once we get past those” that we find Him. It’s right when they happen.
Every single circumstantial rub, which felt like a sting, is fodder for having my flesh brush up against His beauty.
I can not truly live life-beholding, divorced from the inner-workings of my heart. Communion doesn’t happen in a silo.
He put on flesh, then, for my now. He came to bind, me to Him.
And exposure before Him doesn’t shame me, it transforms me.
So, before I adore (on this recurring Monday holiday I’ve instituted for myself, when the column to the right-side of my blog moves front and center), might I humbly suggest some veins which I’ve found to be rich?
Because if I — one who gets her knees scratched often, many times by my own failings — can find a healing that changes me by gazing deep into Him, I know it’s possible for anyone. (I’ve logged years in the hamster wheel of self-condemnation and spiritual barrenness.) Sometimes I think He uses worst-case scenarios to prove just how good He is.
Come with your irritant. That hasty word you said and the response it created in another (or in you), that rough brush with your spouse, the negative feedback from work over which you’ve lost sleep, the eye on another’s perception rather than His perception, the child whose will seems unbending — all of these things are meant for resolution inside of your times with Him.
We’ve patterned ourselves to avoid facing our irritants because we don’t have a proper understanding of what He does with them. We see them as barriers to Him, rather than as the passports they really are.
Instead of weak attempts at “working it out” before you sit at His feet, come dirty. Position yourself as broken — because you are. Not posturing, justifying, ready with a defense to once again plead your case back into His courts, but with a whisper which says Daddy, this hurts. And I’m learning that I barely know You.
Let the irritant do the work it was intended to do: create hunger.
Hunger is the currency of His kingdom.
Exchange your poverty for His riches. Repent. The deepest drinks I’ve had of Him, of late, have been at the wells of repentance. Repentance isn’t heaping shame, it’s dipping in to Him — dirty — and coming out clean. It’s the deep life-sigh which says God, You are so …. other.
This place is a place of rejoicing.
(That night that I told you about, above, made for one of the sweetest mornings the next day. I took my embarrassment — my “fear of man” — and then my sadness which I’d chosen to hear from her, about me, rather than Him, about me, to His feet. And He spoke the kind of tender words which allure.)
He draws near, not distant, when I sit on His lap and say Daddy, I need you.
Behold. Adore. Take the hungry stance produced when you saw the day’s scratches as something to draw you into Him, rather than to overcome, and ask Him to see the lines on His face.
Sit yourself in the scene of scripture and ask to see what He saw. Smell the sweat droplets which fell on the desert dust below the cross He carried for you. See the fire in His eyes when He turned towards the woman who reached for one hem of his cloak. Watch his shoulders wretch as He weeps with the friend He loved, Mary, when He saw her pain in the face of her loss.
Jesus was a Man.
He knew flesh, then, so you might see God in that flesh now.
And every single hiccup of your daily life was intended to foist you into His lap.
This Monday will not be like any other Monday. He has new Words from His ancient book to speak over my mundane.
(Check back here in the wee morning hours for my adoration post. This post was a bit of a warm-up :))
Photos compliments of Mandie Joy.