Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Lost and Found

Father, I come to you without expectations, without my pride, without hope and without strength. I come as I am; with gaping wounds, bleeding from the inside out, scars from the years of battle and my shattered heart is carried in my hands, the tiny shards waiting to be pieced together. As I step into your light I shy away. Your beauty is blinding and your light casts shadows on the darkness buried deep within.
It's the first time in so long I have felt able to enter your presence. I am trembling, with fear, with excitement, I can't tell which. As I kneel at your feet my head is cast down. All I can see are the mistakes I have made and the times I have denied you. I feel too numb to cry. The trembling still has not ceased.

You take a step towards me, you lean down to tend my wounds. I flinch. It's been so long since I have let anyone this close to me. You bind the wounds by whispering words of love and tenderness. They act as a healing balm, soothing to the ear and calming to the mind. The flow of scarlet blood stops, and the flesh begins to heal.

You then lay a hand on me and begin to trace my scars. I cannot see past the pain. It consumes me almost completely. I still want to flee, to shy away from the heart-aching beauty before me. But I stay. Part of me knows you won't hurt me.

Next you take my hand, prizing it away from the face it tried so desperately to hide from you.
"Lift up your face, child." I try but it's heavy. Your voice is soft and kind, but still the most I can manage is to raise my gaze from the floor. You then lift up my head. With my gaze fixed upon you, you begin to speak.
"Child, beautiful child, you are mine and I am yours." You see my heart lying upon the ground, shattered into a thousand tiny pieces by an ache and desire for love which has shown me only destruction.
Piece by tiny piece you gather it up, recreating and remoulding it into something beautiful. A slow and steady pulse begins to revive it once again. You place it back into me, becoming its life, its centre. Father, you are moulding me into something beautiful.

I feel so vulnerable but I have never felt safer, I have never felt this trust before; love had always been something painful and destructive, a force to avoid. Yet here I am in the presence of your love, coming back to life.

You then see that my garments are still but rags. I want to hide in shame. Beauty this perfect cannot be tainted by my ugliness. Yet still you love me, and still you tend to me. I glance up and see a gown. It is stunning. It glows brighter than the sun and its beauty speaks of hope, freedom and peace. It's then I realise: You mean it. "I am yours and you are mine," I say. A smile begins to cross my face. I look up at you and seeing that you delight in me I want to dance and sing and the joy is unspeakable. You offer your hand, I take it and that is when I know: we are infinite.


Sometimes you're the only thing I am certain of. Amongst all of the chaos and all of the heart ache, you are the only thing which is constant and unchanging. And that is all I need : to know you are stronger than everything which hurts me and to know that your grace will get me through.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Happy Endings

I love chick-flicks... the whole film, builds up to boy ending up with girl and them having "the moment" right at the end of the film. You know the one I mean, the dramatic music, the cheesy speech, the heart wrenching kiss and the utter happiness that the "right" people have found eachother. You assume that from that point on, as the credits roll that everything will be perfect. That life is "fixed."

I think as Christians, that we can view people's stories of salvation as "happy endings," in the same way that the life changing kiss happens in the film, those beginning moments of knowing Jesus, those journeys we have travelled, all culminate in a beautiful, crazy, life changing moment which fixes everything. And yes. I am not denying for a single second that the moment/the story of us coming to Jesus isn't miraculous or beautiful or crazy, but that too often we can assume it means that from there on in things are perfect. That becoming a Christian is the happy ending we've been searching for. But that moment is not the end. 

It is the start of something mad, something wild and something beautiful. But the mountains we faced before, the things which held us down do not disappear, the storms don't stop coming. But knowing Jesus, and loving him gives us a new confidence. It gives us a new found hope which gives us the strength to weather the storms, the ability to climb those mountains. It helps us to seek beauty in a world of ugliness and it helps us to love those who we most struggle with. Being a Christian doesn't mean we have it "easy," but it means we have the knowledge that God is greater than those mountains, he is stronger than those storms which batter us. And he is on OUR side.

Every day I live is a testimony to the grace of God. Every day is a demonstration of how good He is. And every day is a fresh reminder of however painful life is, that I have something that nobody can take away.