Thursday, December 20, 2012

Coming Alive

I sat across a table this morning with two women who BRING LIFE.  We were discussing what word we would use to describe 2012. Joy.  Courage.  Coming Alive.  It was a jarring revelation to me that mine was, “coming alive” because so much death has to happen in order to LIVE.  Ironically, a small death in me is leading to more life.  I had a lot of conversations this week, but one particular conversation cost me something.  It felt like death. I left knowing I had been obedient to do and say what I needed to say, and while the other person was encouraged, I felt grief.  I had a choice to either sink into my couch and weep and go to a dark place or I could worship and reveal my heart to Father. I have no idea how or why, but God wooed me to engage with him.  Tears were still there.  The feelings of being exposed, vulnerable, and nothing in it for me were still alive and present, yet I felt life. I felt glad.

This morning as I was getting ready to meet my friends I thought about how everything Jesus did cost him something.  Everything. Was he the loneliest person on the planet?  The most misunderstood?  Hated and his life sought after yet also adored and loved, but what did it cost him?  He laid down his life.  He called people to new life, to follow, to change vocations.  He healed and some did not thank him.  What was that about?  How I forget to thank.  Lame and begging for years and then what we think is our deepest longing is met, we immediately forget to thank him.  It cost Him.

Laying down your life to love your brother or sister will cost you.  I was wrong when I stated that there was nothing in it for me. Yet, you and I gain everything.  I gain a deeper understanding of what I want to resist, yet long to embrace. The Gospel – Jesus is our prize.  No guarantee in this life but HIM- the hope of glory.  This isn’t a popular message.  Why does it have to be about me and what’s in it for me? People cringe when I tell them my favorite book is called Shattered Dreams because we do not want to hear that life on this earth might not work out the way we hope and dream. I remember first reading it and throwing it across the room.  Sorry, Larry. 

However, it leads to invitation after invitation to KNOW him.  To know we are loved and to enter in to communion with the Creator. So this bit of grief this week has turned to a deeper gladness….a kindness…an opportunity to press in and come out smiling.

It feels vulnerable.  Some people who read this are not okay with vulnerability on the internet/blog world as it makes them uncomfortable, but in so many ways it is healing for me.  It costs me something to write.  My pride.  Which probably needs to die anyway. 
There’s an unveiling that happens.  The unveiling of the heart, the face… exposed. I started wondering what the veil symbolized in a wedding ceremony. Over time, the veil became a symbolic means of assuring the husband and his family of the bride's virtue. The lifting of the veil during the ceremony signified that the groom was "taking possession" of his wife by seeing her face.  In some traditions, it served the dual purpose of symbolically "revealing" the bride to the groom's family.  How true of what God does in us……if we choose to stand before the Groom as the bride/the Church and reveal our face to him so he can take hold of us.  Come for us, Father.  Until then, may we continue to lay our lives down for our brothers and sisters as you reveal yourself to us.  You make us come alive.

Sometimes Cold Play says it best.