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Archive for May, 2013

Did they see?

To Moses you gave Your name.

He asked for it.

He wanted to know whom to tell his fellow Israelites had sent him to set them free. Apparently, “God” wasn’t good enough. Too broad? Too general, perhaps?

He wanted a name.

And so You gave it.

It translates so poorly it seems.

A word in an ancient language that has been forgotten and remembered and shifted (just as English has). A name revered and protected and we may not be spelling it right or transliterating it right or pronouncing it right or defining it fully and it seems we just can’t pin it down.

But neither can You be pinned down.

Yet still, it is the name You gave us by which to know You.

The Existing One.

I AM

Even as I type it, my breath catches.

There truly is something to a name, isn’t there?

Especially Yours.

Which is what got me thinking this morning as I read. Yesterday’s lectio passage was from Your conversation with Moses in Exodus. 

Today’s was from John 8.

You spoke Your name again there.

Almost subtly. 

It would be easy to miss if you weren’t looking for it or paying attention to the flow of what was happening.

And sometimes the way John writes discourse can be overwhelming and confusing…

But I saw it this time.

There in the midst of conversation and question and the Jews thinking You crazy or demon-possessed and all this talk about God as Father and truth and how they didn’t understand what You were saying.

But I know they understood when You said Your name.

At least the ones who picked up stones to throw at you.

And I couldn’t help but think on how C.S. Lewis described the Pevensey children upon first hearing the name of Aslan.

How each had a slightly different heart-response.

I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, before Abraham was born, I AM. 

That’s what You said to them.

Of course, You would have been speaking in Aramaic.

Or did You use the Hebrew name?

Either way, Your intent was clear.

For some heard it and knew the connection You drew. The connection between You and God the Father, equating Yourself with God.

And they were immediately angry, defensive, derisive…

Of course, there may have been those who missed it altogether. Perhaps Gentiles or those on the outskirts of the crowd or simply folk who weren’t paying attention… or didn’t care to.

But I wonder…

Were there also those – though they are few, who see beyond what others do?

As You spoke the words, did they turn to look You fully in the face, their posture straightening and their breaths catching and their hearts skipping a beat?

As mine did this morning?

As they caught onto and began to realize the glorious truth.

Of who You were?

of Who You are?

Did You catch their eyes as the light of truth dawned upon them?

Did they see?

See You?

Oh, how I want to see You in the glorious truth of who You are!

May my head continue to turn, my breath continue to catch and my heart continue to skip a beat as I catch these glimpses of You as You reveal Yourself to us!

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I don’t know about where you’re from, but around here “it’s always something” is a frequent phrase with a rather negative connotation. It seems to inherently come with a sigh.

“Last month it was the brakes. Last week it was the fuel line. Now they say it’s the transmission…” Sigh. “It’s always something.”

“She forgot her gym clothes. She lost her retainer. She can’t find her library books and asked me for money to pay the fine because her wallet is missing.” Sigh. “It’s always something.”

“We dealt with the knee surgery. Then it was the appendicitis. There was a reaction to the antibiotics that he was on and now there’s a lump on his neck.” Sigh. “It’s always something.”

You get the picture.

Big or small, sometimes it just seems to add up more and more. And so the phrase with the negative connotation becomes familiar.

It’s always something.

And that phrase that tumbled into my head this morning.

Honestly, at this point I’m not even sure what the final impetus was. I mean, two days ago I’d woken “bright eyed and bushy-tailed” and had a fantastic morning where my body was moving decently and my mind was clear. Yesterday was a weary, foggy blur. And though this morning began a bit better – I was able to smile before even leaving my bed – the fatigue and brain fog quickly made itself known. I struggled through my shower to keep my mind focused on my morning song. But even as I sang my prayer for God to be my vision, my focus wandered. A hundred other things bombarded my mind and no sooner would I struggle to refocus on my prayer song then something new would pop into my head. Another symptom starting. Another task that needs done. Another something that shouldn’t be forgotten. Another physical command that fails to make it from brain to muscle.

And it was that sort of state that I was in this morning.

And at some point something happened or didn’t happen or came to mind which caused the sigh and the “It’s always something.”

Now you have to understand, that being raised on oldies and country music, when that phrase goes through my mind it is consistently in the tuneful voice of Joe Diffie.

And as I heard Joe Diffie’s voice sing the first three words of the chorus to his song of the same name, I immediately began to chastise myself.

After all, such a negative thought isn’t good. Or helpful.

But something stopped me from the chastisement.

A holy hand tenderly, yet firmly, grasped me on my shoulder and whispered into my spirit, “What’s the rest of the line?”

So I let Joe’s voice continue singing in my mind…

“It’s always something every day reminding me.”

I grinned.

Now, if I was from the third century and spoke Greek, I may have shouted, “Eureka!”

But instead I’m a twenty-first century American in her thirties and so instead looked heavenward and said, “God, you rock!”

And in case you didn’t make the connection like I did, it’s this: Grace.

There is always something that God is doing or showing or reminding me of. Something that calls me to gratitude. Something that reminds me of His character. Something that draws me back to His arms. Since I began the 1,000 gifts journey last February, I’ve become more aware of and noticed these things more. Little gifts. Little graces. All around.

And so while it seems that little and big things continue to pile up and cause us to roll our eyes or sigh and say, “It’s always something” it is also true – perhaps more true – that God’s grace is always everywhere, calling us to and reminding us of His love and mercy and justice and righteousness and holiness and faithfulness and…”

You get the picture.

There’s always something every day reminding me…

And so a new song came to mind and I spent the rest of my “getting ready” singing it.

“Great is Thy faithfulness,” O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

“Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!“
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
“Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

“Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!“
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
“Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!

Yes. There’s always something!

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