Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Kiss of God

Last night I spent a short period of time in imaginatio divina. The Christian fitness program that DiDi and I are attending concluded with 10 minutes of stillness, so I used the time to go back to the waterfall.

My time there showed me just how much healing has taken place in this last, grueling year, despite the pain and loss that continues. Or more likely, through it.

Normally when I step under the deluge, the water is so cold it snatches my breath. It pounds and rips my clothes away, along with the crust of accumulated sin. Once through, the air is warm and I catch my breath and go to Him, primarily as a child, to crawl on His lap.

Last night was different.

I approached the waterfall across the same stone bridge (strange to see a bridge leading into a river rather than crossing it...) and began bracing myself for the impact. But as my foot first touched the downrushing water I felt the difference. I stepped in fully, and instead of the icy shock that I expected, the water flowed soft and warm over my body. It was more viscous than normal water, and scented. I stood beneath and breathed, watching as it poured all around me. Flower buds coursed down as if growing within it like water lilies.

Knowing I didn't have a lot of time, I walked out of the beautiful water into the cavern behind. The air was warm and scented with its usual mix of perfume and incense. And He waited there, as always.

He waits on an elevated stone seat. This time I approached Him standing tall, perfumed from the stream. I walked, not rushing, luxuriant as he watched, waiting. I climbed the steps. His arms reached out for me and I stepped in to His embrace.

Skin to skin.

Thank you, Lord, for teaching me what the kiss of God is like.

What a difference this was from the cold, huddling child who first climbed on His lap. What a difference a long, hard year can make. What a difference to go through such a year with a friend and encourager who speaks God's love into your heart.

Thank you Lord. Thank you DiDi.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

It may be a ---long--- wait

This morning I was thinking about the pain of not being understood by the ones you love most. The pain of being judged so severely that you are shut out of lives. It's a topic I think about every day.

I'm using a Christian book on eating and fitness as a source for daily devotions, and today's task was to look at a problem situation in a positive light. So I took the pain that I'd stewed in most of yesterday and went back to viewing it the way He does.

Before I moved, I had a pretty good hold on the positive. It was clear that He was directing me to go, right down to the date I was supposed to leave town. I didn't understand why it needed to be so soon, why it couldn't wait until my son started college in the fall. But when His direction is clear, you have to move or live to regret that you didn't. His direction WAS clear, and the last thing I wanted was to be wandering around for 40 years.

(I may not have that long.)

I was confused about the timing and my heart hurt at the leaving. But my hope in the eventual outcome He had in mind was strong. And so I left, to start this new book of my life. And now I am dealing with the consequences of the move, some of which I expected, others of which are surprises.

This morning I thought about the Israelites as they left Egypt. I realized that some of them probably stayed behind, afraid to go when they were called. Angry that their loved ones would be so foolish as to follow a God they could not see, based solely on a series of events which merely seemed miraculous. I imagined their judgments, their sneering harshness, their hurt, their turmoil.

How could they possibly understand such apparent lunacy?

But look at the outcome.

And so I am comforted by the reality of time. I know, despite the moments or hours or days of painful wondering, that time will reveal what needs to be revealed. That light will fall. That the ones left behind, or watching from distant lands, will come to understand and see the beauty of the unfolding.

In the meantime, I wait.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Affirmation of love despite

I've been thinking about John's account of the resurrection, and (as often happens) saw something I'd not noticed before. I'd never focused on the fact that Joseph of Arimathea kept his discipleship a secret out of fear of the Jews.

It is amazing and encouraging to realize how patient God is with us. He allowed this man, who did not have the courage to proclaim his love and fidelity publicly, to play such a pivotal role in the Gospel narrative.

I wonder what he went on to do afterward? I wonder what transformation must have occurred through such a profound affirmation of His approval and love?