“Love is the face at the center of our universe. A sacred smile; Holiness ready to die for intimacy.” (Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts)
Jesus, God in flesh, became all I needed because all I needed was to be reconciled to the Father. His process in me is one of continual restoration, resurrecting the dead in me, and He does it all with joy.
“He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” (Zeph. 3:17)
He sings His love over the earth, over me, and trees clap their hands and oceans dance. Oh, let my heart hear the refrain, the notes that are cool water over dry places! He sings and draws close enough for me to feel the heartbeat as surrender takes place.
The more I am emptied of the strong will that resists, the more the wounds are healed, the more I experience with thanks the intimacy He came to restore. Emptied to be come full of God. Surrender arrives post-struggle, after I’ve pounded my fists against the walls in me, and He has pried my fists open, “palms to sky,” to receive the love and acceptance so I can place my hands in His.
Encompassed in an overlapping warmth, I am speechless with new vision. And yet I can feel the strain against it – there must be more. He helps me give thanks and the peace rises higher like the pulling up of a blanket. I’m reminded of praying over my girls when they were small and realize we are all small. And yet we are the object of His affection.
As I am pulled through to deep, “You are faithful and won’t let go, even when I resist.” Even then He calls, He sings, for He knows my greatest need is to know Him. The Garden – intimacy, enjoying the union – communion, removing anything that would disturb is His goal. Yet we are so different from His perfect nature – here I lack for words. The difference, the closeness is alien compared to what I am. And yet He invites anyway, continuing the song that courts oneness.
Heaven on earth? Isn’t that my job description? And yet to be able to invite it here, I must have it, receive it within myself. He invites, I say I’m willing to be made willing, and He brings it – making wrongs right, making soiled soul clean.
In this beautiful season, this time of becoming as much one with Him as we are able is upon us in these days of Rosh Hashanah, Days of Awe and repentance, and yet the pull, the squeeze, I fight it. The next level demands more of me, and yet freedom of spirit is always the gift I receive in exchange. Breathing there will be different, walking there, different. Sweetness.
It is Him I need and as I let Him draw me closer, I find I want to lean in and allow that Love, those arms to encompass me that were once stretched out on rough wood. I try to raise my unanswered questions. Help me lower my resistance that distances me from Your heart, Lord! “Just be willing.” That’s all and He is glad to do what brings wholeness and life. I wait, hoping to have eyes opened wider. He has given, made His fullness available to me, to all. And He woos us and helps us take in more of Him.
A veil rent, earth shaken, and a stone rolled as love-blood spilled out. A cure, all given, done, and finished in a moment that all time revolves around, and yet we are unable without His aid to receive. Defenses finally fall and Heaven smiles like a lover. He refuses to stop with just a portion of my heart for He came to redeem and free all of it. And He restores and deepens the communion for which I long and was designed. Over and over again He will come, His timing right, His purpose sure for He will finish the good work He began. And I will be able to say, “And forsaking all others” I put my hand in Yours.
(c) Sept. 2011, Robin Lawrimore