Sunday, February 12, 2012

February 12th

When I read my own story, I so often wish I had better lines than my own.

Why couldn't I have said something more worshipful or adoring than "You are still here"?


I read these lines in the 139th Psalm:

"You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it."
-Psalm 139:5-6

I thought, "Ah ha! Even David had to give up wondering on the mystery of it. It was too much, even for him."

I came across the words of a hymn as I was reading Waters on a Starry Night:

"When morning gilds the skies, my heart awakening cries, may Jesus Christ be praised!"

As usual, it gave me a start to see His name somewhere I hadn't expected; I felt a rush of secret pleasure. I know Him, I think to myself, with glee.

To the character in that book, Jesus was not personal. He was like a symbol: a cross and an empty tomb at Easter, and a star and a manger at Christmas.

Often, the first line of the hymn "My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine," is in my head. It just kind of lingers there; it has for weeks and weeks.

Two nights ago, I was resting in Him and meditating with pleasure on that phrase, yet again, and He interrupted me.

You are Mine, He said firmly. It is you that are Mine. I am the One that has you.

Over and over, He impressed this on me. I had to kind of catch my balance a little bit, and then I completely acknowledged it.

"I am entirely Yours," I told Him. "I have no good thing but You- my goodness is nothing apart from You. Whom have I in Heaven but You? And I desire nothing on earth but You."

(I like those lines from the psalms.)

The only reason why He is mine, is because I was created to be His. I can't help but notice that He has been teaching me this lately. It makes me wonder why.

But I think it partly explains why His desire is toward us- because we are first and foremost His possession, His portion, His thought, His expression, His own work.

"You are my God," I told Him one night, very earnestly and solemnly. "I have no other god but You."

And you are My girl, He replied immediately, with loving humor.

"I am my own person," I read in someone's blog and it was as though I had never heard the words before.

I can't say that anymore; I think it's only an illusion and a lonely one at that.

Or maybe it's just a stage of life that we walk through, to some degree or other- a line of thinking that we must learn in order to discard for something better and far more true.

Maybe, because we must first learn to possess ourselves before we can completely give ourselves away. This may especially be true for those of us who have been abused and had no healthy sense of self to begin with.

It makes me of something I read in Hidden Things:

"At any one moment in our lives we usually seek out a constituting other, a person, to serve as a kind of foil for our own identity. We find our identity through our relationship with another. They mirror this or that, and we either accept it or reject it...

"The genius of the first commandment was that by putting "one God before you," you were placed inside of one coherent world, with one center, one pattern, one realm of meaning. If you will allow me to use psychological language related to what we call salvation, let me put it this way: Having One who affirms us is a very good start for our ego structure and our growth as persons. God, for the believer, becomes the Ultimate Constituting Other...

"Without a significant other who is also The Significant Other, we are burdened with being our own center and circumference. That's pretty impossible, and futile if you try."
-Richard Rohr

Or, as C.S. Lewis puts it, and ever so much more beautifully:

"Each breath I drew let into me new terror, joy, overpowering sweetness. I was pierced through and through with the arrows of it. I was being unmade. I was no one. But that's little to say; rather, Psyche herself was, in a manner, no one. I loved her as I would once have thought it impossible to love, would have died any death for her. And yet, it was not, not now, she that really counted. Or if she counted, (and oh, gloriously she did) it was for another's sake. The earth and stars and sun, all that was or will be, existed for his sake. And he was coming. The most dreadful, the most beautiful, the only dread and the only beauty there is, was coming. The pillars on the far side of the pool flushed with his approach. I cast down my eyes."
-Till We Have Faces