Each of us has the capacity to lead others to places in the Spirit of God where others have never been. Just as our fingerprints are unique so our experiences of the Spirit-realm bear a likeness of our personal journey with the Godhead.
Reader, listen to the notes and the chords and then slip down in between. I’ll take you to the places where I’ve broken fallow ground. The prunings from previous seasons were planted here. Irrigated with disciplines I’ve cultivated and tears I’ve shed … a vineyard has come of it. First along the edges of our experiences, and then further in. The Glory pierces through us as we plumb the depths of the place where God has made Himself at home.
With the Glory of God covering me as with a garment, I step into the unknown place. I slip through the crease, the weight of Your Presence pulls me into another realm, an atmosphere heavy with Your gaze. Underneath the Everlasting Arms. At once I’m with You, alone with You. You who sees my heart. You that are acquainted with all my ways. There is nothing hidden.
Unwinding, unravelling twisted places. Setting down straight places. Pulling captives from the briars. Pillars of unbelief bend toward the Light. Portals open wider. Glory floods through. Encompassing, engulfing, surrounded by Presence that floods my being with Light. And in Thy Light we see Light. I am laid low. I rest. He’s carved out a place for me. A place that is safe. A deep breath. Rest. Sing to me, Father. Your songs that refresh my soul. I am alive in You. And there is no place that is covered. In all my being I find my safety in You.
Partnering with God for creative miracles. Lining broken places with the Glory of God in such a way that they are recreated. Their design and function are not replaced with something that works, they are completely recreated in accordance with the blueprint of Heaven. Glory is smeared like oil in all the ravaged and torn places. The breath of God finds its way through every crevice.
Hebrews 4:12-13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
The year I met Atticus was the year I first began to understand my father. Atticus Finch, from the pages of Harper Lee’s book To Kill a Mockingbird, was a legendary man. As a scholarly gentleman and Scout’s Dad, he taught the world how to life a life of integrity and quiet dignity. He insisted on living transparently enough so that his kids could learn from his experiences. The battles that Atticus fought in rural Mississippi were viscious and visible. The story revealed how compassion and a steely resolve to do the right thing were life-changing for black and white Americans in an era of steep racial tension.
I learned more about the intentions of my Dad’s heart there in the pages of that Pulitzer Prize winning novel published in 1960 than before or ever again. One day I read on the flyleaf of the paperback book, “To Scout … ” and then I knew that my musings were accurate. He saw me there on those pages, asking the tough questions about life, just as I saw him as Atticus.
How I wish I had that book in my possession once more! I would stare at Dad’s words in the flyleaf, written in his quirky penmanship. I would scour the memories in my heart just to be able to know my Dad a little more than I did. You see, we all hope that we are Atticus whose heart was expansive and whose motives easily read in the condensed storyline. And we all hope that we are eight year old Scout, whose inquisitive questions and struggles were from the vantage point of innocent curiousity.
The thing is, we walk together through life and we think we really know one another. It’s not until stuff happens … an assault, a racially-charged lawsuit, or even a much more mundane failure … and then we begin to know what is in a person’s heart.
Back in their day God tested the Israelites in order to know what was in their hearts, to know whether or not they would obey His commands. I know what it is to want to know what is in a man’s heart. As I said, if I had my father’s copy of the book I would have those words he spoke to me as Scout. I am convinced that Dad would have longed for me to sift from the ashes of his life ~ the worthless minutae that seemed to dominate the years ~ and glean the rich, gold nuggets. He would have wanted me to embrace his moments of an expansive heart.
Perhaps you’ll do the same for me.