I have to let go of a lot of experiences that I've been holding on to, trying to figure out the best way of framing them into a blog, but I think I have to simply write them out.
Last night I was in that inner place. It was evening. I was sitting next to Him looking at a low table and we were deciding what to do. We decided to play chess.
So I was sitting across from Him and we began to play. At first it was fun as we marched pawns out one by one, but as the game progressed, I began to get anxious, worried about protecting my queen and strategy.
Suddenly, I remembered who I was playing with and all the anxiety dissipated into joy. I plucked the queen up from her spot and placed it on His side of the board.
"I don't want to win against You," I said. "You can have my queen."
I waited to see what He would do. He smiled, His eyes warm, and picked up His queen and placed it beside mine. So we surrendered to each other.
I went over to His side of the table and sat down with Him. We were quiet for a long time, just being together in the quietness of that place.
"Are You bored?" I asked Him.
It's impossible for Me to be bored, He said, with a smile.
I thought about this. "I can see how that is perfectly true of Your Divine nature, but even as a Man, when You were here, it was impossible?" I asked. "Isn't being bored part of the human condition?"
He did not answer, but I knew He was interested in how I was thinking it through. I thought about how even an ordinary sea shell could captivate Him.
Even on earth, I thought, He would have found the beauty around Him- in the sky, for example or the changing weather or the way the light fell, no matter how pressed in He was by pain and need and sickness that broke His heart.
Furthermore, I remembered that the Father was always with Him, so no matter the tediousness of His labor before He began His ministry or at any other time, His inner life would have been alive with spiritual communion.
As I was considering all these things, I became aware again of the deep peace of that place and the lovely night all around us.
"Listen," I said softly, tilting my head. "Peepers! Do You hear them?"
We went out. We went walking through the landscape, through a garden hung with lights and down through a path between high, thick trimmed bushes. At the end of the corridor was a fruit tree in full bloom. All the blossoms were white in the moonlight and moving in the wind. The wind moved the tall grasses around it. We went walking down through them toward the sea.
There was a small beach with rock cliffs hedging it in. We climbed up the rocks. He leaned against an outcropping and I leaned back against Him, His arms around me. We watched the sea moving in the star light.
He seemed to like this spot so much, and then I realized something.
"You like this spot because it's where You are right now," I said. "Wherever You are, You love that place."
I felt His delight at my observation. I thought about how strange it was that God, who created a thing, should continually find that thing delightful- that each time He saw it, it would be as though He were seeing it for the first time, captured all over again by its beauty. It's as though God never loses His sense of wonder. He's so specific in His love.
Sometimes when I am with Him, I review my lessons, as it were. I try to open my heart up more fully to the things He's said to me so often.
I turned around in His arms and leaned back so I could see His face comfortably and went over a few things.
I thought about how God's plans and purposes are bound up in tender, overflowing, personal love of us. He is not interested in achieving power or glory, because those things are inherently His and always will be; He has nothing to prove on that account. What motivates Him is love- because love is at the heart of who He is and everything flows out of that.
"You love me for who I am, not what I do or how useful I am to You," I stated.
Yes, He replied, His face quiet and still. When He is listening, He is fully listening; He is fully present.
"I am the only one of me that there ever will be or ever was," I said.
Yes, He replied.
This was comforting. Being unique means that there is no need to defend or fight for one's place, one's identity. There's no sense of rivalry, or inferiority or superiority. There is just one specific person that I am. I do not have to try and be more or less than what I am, I can simply inhabit my own inherent self- my own space.
The next lesson was harder to articulate, because I had never, ever thought of God being this way, but I am learning, more and more, and deeper and deeper, that He is this way.
"And You... You allow Yourself to need me," I finished, uncertainly.
I do need you, He replied, immediately. Giving Myself away in love is the greatest pleasure I know.
Another words, God needs a subject to love and we are those subjects. It begins in the very person of God and goes outward to the rest of us as individuals.
Sometimes, when I am caught up in worship, I remember this and I speak directly to it.
"I accept," I whisper to Him. "I am fully present before You and I fully accept all that You are offering. I am right here and I accept You."
This moves Him profoundly. It is possible, I have discovered, in a manner of speaking, to sweep God off His feet. He does not hold back from love. He has no sense of false dignity; He does not care about maintaining an image. He gives Himself away in love and He openly receives the love given to Him.
I have found that simple longing is a direct route to Divine Love. I can get tangled up in my thoughts about how this is happening or in what way it's happening or how it can't be happening and then I become still- I let those thoughts rise up and fall away, like breathing.
I feel, instead, my longing. I let my simple, wordless longing rise up in the quietness of the thoughts falling away. Longing does not needs words, or proof or form.
Longing pours out of itself and goes seeking its Subject like a spill of water, like a little rill tumbling downhill toward the sea.
And here is the extraordinary thing- I find that I am not alone in my longing. It's an echo of His own, it's an answer to a question I didn't hear anywhere else but in my heart. I thought I was trying to find Him, but He was seeking me all along.