Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Into the Light

You live in shadow. It gets darker through the years. Finally you respond to an invitation from the God of the Universe, who asks you to walk into his Light.

You take a step, and then, flooded with brilliance, knocked off your feet, you crawl like a suddenly exposed cockroach back into the shadow. It's too bright! It hurts! I can't stand it!

If God were as advertised, that would be the end of the story. "You want to live in darkness? Fine. I'll go away and leave you alone."

So, step one in getting along with God is to forget everything we've been taught. If I could talk people into one thing, this would be it: deal with God as He is, not as you think he is. If you don't know who he is, ask him! Who better to ask? Put aside the assumptions of judgment and ask.

And then you end up flooded with light.

He knows what that's like for me. He knows that I've wrapped myself around with layer after layer of protection. He knows that I feel pain as he dissolves those stone walls. He knows that at any one moment I'm on the edge of having had enough. That road to oblivion looks very attractive. He knows. He has been there. Forty days in the desert with no food, alone.

If God were the God of hellfire and brimstone I'd have been dead long before now. Instead, he is the God of relationship. It's actually simple: he enjoys my company. He wants to talk with me, in the cool of the day or in the heat of my anger. He has done everything he can to make it possible for me to be his friend.

It's all His doing. I have no claim, no honor. God made the plan and then did it. No promise. Simple fact. He has made promises that are based on that simple fact, such as bringing me back to life.

But it's painful. Pins and needles in the soul. I don't like it. The world rubs me raw without the walls I set up, but those same walls prohibit real relationship with God. He's talking and I'm playing submarine way down there in the cold depths, with my hands over my ears. Yes, plenty of excuse for him to just erase me as one more disobedient churl.

The God who made the Universe is willing to spend however much time it takes to bring me fully back to himself. It's not an easy trip for anyone. He very patiently works with me. He waits. The judgment fell on His own Son.

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