Oil says it better than my fingers, Grace says it best: flowing like blood, in the vein of us- humanity. The Oil of Grace.
Not my favorite theme to paint, for Its demand on mood and line, but this time It called me, “…into participation & companionship with His Son Christ Jesus our Lord.”(1Cor1:9). Everyday it changes me, every day it teaches me to forgive, love back, hold on to what held me, holds me.
“Is there a fear staring you in the face right now? Are you finding your faith in God’s promise shaking? If so, you are likely praying desperately for God to be with you. God will answer you. But you might, like Jacob in Genesis 32, be surprised by his answer.” Jon Bloom in “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
Today we faced a particularly difficult day with a young one who’s coping with medical challenges, we were worn out with love. Never used those words before, but there it was. As we huddled together in a quick call on the God Who made us all, these words went thru me, “…help us wrestle as we wrestle with our angel,” . This was in a way, our Lil Angel of Tough, teaching us lessons we didn’t know, but we were learning.
Sometimes we wrestle with an angel: the angel of pain, aloneness…look close.
Watch what happens.
Ach..Jacob wrestled with the Angel of God, He hurt his sinew, then pointed to a longer, tedious hazardous route in his journey, via southern Gilead, a den of thieves. What did the Angel whisper that Jacob obeyed, what did the hurt sinew do, but strengthen him to become Israel?
And when it was getting to dawn, Jake holds on to the Angel, “I will not let you go until you bless me…”
What secrets hide in such places that regular comforts fail to offer? Here we may falter, fail, recline in fear, doubt.
Worse. Often in our tangle with doubt, our greatest “Ally” will encounter us, even disable us till we realise the disabling process was enabling certain instincts we could never have guessed were within, just waiting its moment to be birthed. Now we are yelling, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” It is a miracle all by itself to be here where we now see what was needed the most.
The encounter breaks us, before taking us higher …like dawn. Oh like dawn.
There was Daniel, fatigued by an angelic visit he laydown exhausted, fevered. What more shall I say, we are ‘surrounded by a host of Witness more than we know’. Moses blanched white to the roots of his hair after a Tent meet with the God of Sinai.
Today if we’ve wrestled with a personal ‘Angel’, look in the mirror of the soul and soon oneday you will stop fighting the Challenge that was here in the first place to teach us to lean not on our own Fears, but on the One Who is above all human bondage.
Here, cherish Him, the Risen Savior Who lives that we too might stand ten feet tall, like standing grain,
I haven’t understood this – as much as I have during this past year: I’ve bitten into Its wood, Its Bleed. Its brutal honesty.
How do I identify with It’s utter ‘Insanity‘..
Why did the Christ do what He did, how does It help Humans?
When you break thresholds of pain, there is no pretence: Here you might forget what you knew & be provoked enough to see the Unseen:
~(Rejection is one of the Experiences one might process here,
~ Severance from human praise/ recognition.
~Acquired values re- group.
~When all is shredded, stripped naked, the human spirit is truly alone with his/ her source. Here there is no ‘I’ except in Its best possible way.
~Here, is ‘abandonment’. Buddha tried it, our wise men and sadhus go to the mountains, some sit years under a tree, in cave, for that ‘enlightenment’). ~When all human support is withdrawn, all expectation, one is free. Freed.
This takes you to another Place: some have names for it:
~A place of Quiet, where human standards/ learned behaviour/symptoms of dis-ease cease to control you: this is a new Place. We aren’t familiar with Its one Event: Friendship with the Invisible Friend.
♡ This is a zone where pain is Highest Common Factor; one thanks it for bringing them here.
This ‘here’ begins to re-arrange one’s own personal rules:
◇ You stand unafraid of ‘Alone’; free of human bondage, from Conditions required to be Happy. Happy is a 1% of This. (Wounds lose their power over you: you stop chewing on them).
◇You heal. Your scar makes you a new you: gravity isn’t existent in your dreams, your prayers. Nor human embrace/ respect. You transform.
◇You experience Beauty, Love. Acceptance. Courtesy to each other, unconditional of returns.
Christ of the Cross is more than printed religion. His Cross is an impossible to fully comprehend just yet un- negotiable symbol of the power of emotional (often physical) healing.
It changes the soul of your fibre, It bares to you your neighbours‘ soul, as your priority.
It smashes ego, but elevates respect for even you.
It raises the bar on compassion, It bends your nature to forgive; It shows you how negating pride is, how devastating to your purpose, & how lust wipes out life.
It exposes devices of Fear.
The Person of the Cross takes my itinerary: re- routes cowardly escape plans, away from selfabsorption/ destruction.
♡ It is unafraid of ‘loneliness’. It needs that space for progress.
I do not need my burden of being right all the time. I am a learner.
I appreciate the struggles of humanity/ blest by fellow-creations. Gratitude begins. It is a river of music and joy, of Forgiveness and lack of self adoration.
I look outward, I look within. It takes a certain recklessness to cut umbilical chords of acquired selfishness..
run barefoot through it, sing, worship, be all I was meant to be, whipped of discourtesy to the kingdom of God within us each, for free.
Here, I taste a new thing, a certain change of needs. The taste of dying selfishness, a resurrection of new eyes, looking away from dead habits.
And this: I see my heart, my core. There is a lot of condemnation. It is the worst kind of ‘nation’, the worst virus. I must shed that snakeskin, & forgive wasted time in order to forgive/ bless anything else.
All of this, courtesy of the Cross.
There’s more, a Designer more. Your prints differ from mine. We are nothing, and everything. Let’s not underestimate each others power in this life. You have my respect, I love you anew: you …flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone.
I don’t understand much, but my iris and iota are changing. Our blood, our DNA, are transient gifts, for specific use. I don’t want to miss a thing about this existence, nor misunderstand a single experience. This isn’t about my portfolio, my pitch, my bacteria, my journey is perhaps just an invisible weave in the tapestry of you.
We don’t have to understand flowers and bees and the generation of birds and black holes, or meteors flying around @ 20,000kms / minute? to let out the miracle of healing:
let it out of human-made cages, and let our songs sing,
Or let that song break our acres of deafness…
Or blindness. Have you watched a blind person listen to a song? Or a deaf person lip read? Or a lame one watch others’ running feet?
Sometimes we lose a little to access Treasures hidden in dark places. We are each others’ at the Cross. I went there to complain, and He points me to my brother, my sister: their shadow is my face.
I do not even want to understand it, it is complicated and not ‘nice’: if someone does understand it all then it’s not all they’ve seen. Here we must cling to no shame, or pretence : I understand how little I like the way Christ loves everyone equally.
Ugh, the Paradox of True Love:
♡ It provokes hate, because mankind lives to love self. If we worship anything, it is mostly a method to gain favour in the eyes of gods of wealth and superiority.
The Cross’s two beams intersect at the crux of the need for love. I went there for comfort, and He asks that we comfort one another. That’s why the Cross is hated. Misunderstood. Read as a symbol of weakness. Try forgiving/ love….when your thresholds of pain are at break neck maximum.
I know, tough. We lack that genre of maddening courtesy. We try, we stare.