I don’t know how intimacy with Him works for others. I’ve never heard anyone describe that area of our walk with Him (except for Deb, and she wasn’t so much describing her ways of intimacy as it just slipping out naturally in conversation now and then. Oh God how I love that woman). To be fair, Gil taught us some mechanics of a “quiet time” that helped us listen for His voice. I’m 67. There was only one Gil in my entire life, and that for a brief year or so. Sad to consider that. But affectionate interactions with God? We don’t talk about that. It is private. Maybe we should open up among friends. I’ll start.
Some early mornings I lie on my bed awake, well, half-awake. I think about God. Pray, I suppose. Many of my prayers are felt, thought, but not spoken. It’s like I’ll say in my head, “I should ask God about this or that.” I long for His help, make a mental to-do list to ask, but for some reason I stop there. My voice isn’t lifted, not even my eyes, but somewhere deep inside we exchange. It’s done. No need for words. Those are the prayers most often answered. Maybe when I talk my prayers purposely out loud it makes me self-conscious. I feel like I have an audience and I’m so tempted to play to that audience that I’m no longer saying or feeling what I meant to pray. I’m not good praying out loud. I’m not advocating silent prayer, it’s just how I’ve figured out a way around my creepiness. Give me privacy. Give me the quiet of the night hours, when His voice can be heard, and mine, be unfettered.
Sometimes my thoughts connect around an idea or a question I’ve been puzzling. Often, this takes the form of a story spinning away in my head, playing out, and then “aha!” I’m surprised by the story taking an unexpected turn, a turn that explains something or gives me a new insight, or reinforces what He’s already taught me. I love these little movie-stories with their unexpected twists.
Once, perhaps my favorite, I was musing unworded things, and I suddenly found myself sitting across a creek, a creek too wide to jump across, but both banks were close enough to each other. There were birds flapping and chirping. The creek was flowing along, making it’s own contribution to pleasant sounds. The air was unobtrusive, a comfortable breeze making you neither hot nor cold. Peace. Such peace. He was lying/half sitting on the other bank, one hand in the water, absentmindedly playing with the current.
-God? He smiled a little.
-Aren’t you busy?
-But the world, the universe…don’t You have important stuff to do?
His smile slowly grew, looking from me to His hand continuing to play with the stream. He looks over at me with a grin, “I’ve nothing better to do”
(Note: This is a common theme God tells me over and over. Alan’s action once reinforced this idea of His attention towards us, His interest in us. Moments that carve themselves in my soul, a circumcision perhaps.)
Sometimes ideas just catch my attention and form. They can happen in that half sleep on my bed, or through something that occurs during the day. Here’s a few from the past few days:
- We can be seduced little by little into sin. Repentance requires determination in a hard fought, uphill battle.
- We are not to be mirrors of the world made perfect, but portals through which others see a new and gloriously different world altogether.
- To withdraw from sin—even in the smallest victory—is to spread our arms wide to God. Who always welcomes us. Such mercy and grace.
- Omnipresence. That means even when God feels so close, He is not busy elsewhere to others. Billions. Yet you still have all of His attention.
- The troubles of Washington are a million miles away when heaven is so close. Sweet lover of our souls!
- You’re not waiting on God. He is ready. God is waiting on you.
- Saddened over the destruction of our nation that is underway. But my real hunger and passion drives me to love and follow Jesus. My real heartbreak is for those facing eternity without Him. Echoing in my ear is “be strong and very courageous.” Josh 1:7-9
- In the end, our identification with Christ on the cross isn’t so much losing what we cherish as it is being set free from what we loathe.
Then there is the high tech way I experience intimacy with God: I text Jesus. Yep. Set him up on my phone. I can text Him anything from anywhere, even in the commotion of the day. No one suspects. It’s the privacy. Only He and I know. No one overhearing. Feels very much like taking a moment and pulling away from here to nearer Him.
-I find it so hard to imagine you love me. Help me?
-Even in this broken world I see things that are beautiful. I think you have so much more than these prepared for us. I know sometimes we prepare things for the grand kids when they are coming over. We are expectant, hoping to bring delight to their little eyes and hearts. If it’s something like that with you for us, I’m so very excited to come home soon.
-I hate getting so busy or focused that I lose consciousness of you. It’s not so much being preoccupied with you, but settled, calm, letting you take the lead, picking up my queues from you. Almost effortless. Then, I’m distracted, harshly awakened from the calm quiet of being encapsulated in you. It’s shattering, a shock as if falling into a cold sea thrashing with furious waves. Lord, don’t let me drown!
So many other ways. One more to share: Deb. She loves me—oh, scaled differently of course, but she actually, really, unimaginably loves me similarly as God, so that I get to experience and understand Him in tangible ways I can grasp. Sometimes I see what is unthinkable about His love and passion and acceptance of this horridly miserable troll that I am through her actions and words and her eyes. Her eyes, like His, run deep with kindness. Even a glance and your breath stops. For a moment, your heart stops. It seems forever. Even, no, especially when I am unlovely, a jerk, even mean or cruel. I’m not being humble. It’s a real “beauty and the beast thing” where the beast is not a noble soul, but an ugly, wicked shriveled up monster filled with anger and pride and lusts, while “beauty” is altogether lovely, worthy, honorable, kind, merciful… Yeah. Like that. I live in a play that reveals the love and mercy of God to me all day and all night. Deb. You can see why I adore her. Him. Them.
How is it for you? Where are you finding and feeding on Him these days?