butter light

How does God’s Story strike you?

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God’s Word is more than a book.  It’s a place you go to.  You have to sit in the Story.  It’s not enough to read it.  Reading over it is no more engaging than a hand shake.  You have to sit before it – like with a friend and a slow cup of coffee.  You have to dwell with the text, not to manipulate, but listen eye to eye.

Sitting with the text is an action of acquiescence.  Only then are you led into the Epic.  If you read it – it’s merely text.  If you dwell – it’s Epic.

This is dangerous, of course.  Once the Epic gets in it takes over.  But the text is not a force {nor can it be forced}.  If that’s how you respond to it then you’ve missed it.  Don’t turn away.  Start over – like a kid.

When you dwell the Epic takes over.  It takes over by an irresistible invitation – similar to the glance between a woman and a man or when the eyes of a child meet a weary old soul or when you see a friend you haven’t seen for a very long time.  Your curiosity/delight falls into a happy stare.

The Epic seduces you one line at a time.  For me it started at john three sixteen.  He caught my empty glance then mouthed the words, “I love you.”  I knew He was right and He had proof.  The two of us, He and I were in a room alone.  It was as though I saw those words on the ceiling and passing through it way above.  I felt like the words were being said to the universe for the first time.

His words filled me up.  I quickly walked out of the room – not away from Him, but with Him.  I needed someone else to help me do what I was seeing in what He was saying.

Looking backward I see that this was transforming not so much because I saw that God loves me.  His love was only a broad avenue for bigger things.  It was to realize, even as a child, that God is and God is big, big in a holy way and that He had in Jesus crossed through my little existence.

This left me both in anguish and delight.  The Cross and the self-fullness of my soul had finally clashed.  He won.

True beauty is both complex and stunning.  That moment was neither.  The beauty of the moment was that it lacked complexity and had no shock and awe.  I never sensed anyone forcing me into this, even God Himself.  I’ve seen a forceful way with both children and adults.  I cringe.

Certainly God is not beyond using any means to draw us into Himself.  Some persons may need to hear God’s words like the drums of war.  For them I guess they can look back and find assurance that God loves them so much that He would hunt them down.  The Cross does that too.  Love is persistent.

For me the beauty of our moment is not the force of it, but the total absence of it – no other human in the room, no crisis preceding, no after taste of worship.  It was a bland moment.  It was in the middle of the week.  There, alone in that room, His Words walked through my brain, stopped in the center of my line of vision and lit up.

Augustine prayed, “O Lord, Thou didst strike me with Thy Word and I love Thee.”  I was struck indeed, but it didn’t feel anything like a hammer – more like the gentleness of sunrise; light creeping up on you, then you want more.

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I was struck by Light.  That’s what I needed.  It wasn’t hot bright, just little.  With the aide of a little light I found my place within The Story – not a noisy tale like the ubiquitous and fragmented narratives of a multiphrenic Self, but the calming saga of restoration with Holy God.

Life is not easy and it hasn’t been.  I have struggled many times and fallen short.  It’s hard to live up to that kind of love, but I’m still within His orb.  I am still looking for, staring at, other words and lines of words in His Words.  That’s my liturgy.  I continue under that Borrowed Light – it’s exactly what I need – it’s Epic.

copyright2010MarkOlivero. all rights reserved. may not be copied.

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