Monday, January 27, 2014

January 27th

Here are the next sections of my journal. Again, they are somewhat out of order. The first is an unpublished blog that I wrote in early 2012. As I was working on this, I remembered that old blog and got goosebumps. The last section is from this month and the rest are in order from last spring.

Around that time, I began to look for poems and writings- anything I could find that could provide me with some context for what I was experiencing. I found there was a whole stream of tradition that went well back into church history- usually in the Catholic or Eastern church.

This did not bother me terribly much, as I don't really belong to a denomination, myself. The language and the symbols they use are frequently old fashioned, but I still found their message reassuring and familiar.

I would collect the poems that especially spoke to me and keep them in the journal. One of these fits in well here. It's written by Clare of Assisi. She was one of the first followers of Francis of Assisi and founded the first monastic order for women- the Order for Poor Clares.


Happy, indeed, is she whom it is given to share this sacred banquet,
to cling with all her heart to Him-

Whose beauty all the heavenly hosts admire unceasingly,
Whose love inflames our love,
Whose contemplation is our refreshment,
Whose graciousness is our joy,
Whose gentleness fills us to overflowing,
Whose remembrance brings a gentle light,
Whose fragrance will revive the dead,
Whose glorious vision will be the happiness,
of all the citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem.

-Clare of Assisi


Written March 14, 2012-

Have you ever noticed how often Jesus asks people, "What do you wish?" or "What do you want Me to do for you?"

He asks this a lot and people are not shy about stating their desires. They tell Him.

I thought about that. I thought, "Jenny, what do you want in life?"

To be a mother is such a deep desire that I could not articulate it, but it was a part of me, as it always is. I also thought, vaguely, about getting a story published, one that would speak to other people.

Then I thought, what if I were calling to Jesus, as Blind Bartimaeus did, from the side of the road? I thought of Jesus standing still and calling to me. I thought of myself going to Him, and Jesus asking me, "What do you want?"

And I knew there was only one answer I would ever give to that question. I knew I would throw myself down at His feet, hold on for dear life, and pour out my desire without reserve. I would say:

"Entreat me not to leave You, or to turn back from following after You; for wherever You go, I will go; and wherever You lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and Your God, my God. Where You die, I will die, and there I will be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts You and me." (Ruth 1:16-17)


Written April 7, 2013-

I’m falling behind on this journal, but I wrote a huge poem that I posted and it made me shy with Him all over again, so for the past few days I haven’t been able to let myself be as vulnerable and present as I must be, to be with Him.

But this morning, I woke up comfortable and loving and Jesus had been so close and loving all the day before and all that night, just over and over and over again reassuring me and talking me through my fears and telling me to turn to Him and to give it over to Him, etc, etc.

So I found myself walking through a beech wood and Jesus was also there and I ran right to Him and I said, lovingly, “What are You doing in the beech wood?”

But He just caught me up close and I knew He had missed me. That is the thing. The extraordinary thing. He missed me.

I kept seeing Jesus clearly in glimpses. I asked, "How is it that I can sometimes see a glimpse of You so clearly, but I don’t know quite what You look like?"

The answer was a little bit beyond my current lessons, but it has something to do with love. It was as if, when I am resting in complete trust, given over to the flow of love between us, then seeing Him is perfectly natural. But self-awareness sort of disturbs the natural flow, and the more I get caught in it, the worse it gets. Not that that’s terrible- it’s only natural. That happens. It’s like static down the line.

And I realized something- Jesus meets me where I am. It’s that simple- that’s why I can simply go to Him- because He’s right where I am. So whatever the setting, He’s going to inhabit it. Because He inhabits me. It’s not complicated.


Written April 15, 2013-

Come here!

Be coming and become here as you are everywhere
and always becoming as you are and always were,
beginning and end.

You new, you ancient
Beloved, unseen.

Thrown out, these words like small stones
they glint and scatter-
Some dust spread out,
something left over.

Let me describe you,
you impossible, ever present
intimate and unknowable.

I know you.
I knew you before

and now also,
in the impossible presentation,
in the wounding and enlarging of this clutter.

But most of all-
beyond this point and in all points present,
where we are always,
touching at the heart of everything,
where my heart is presently beating.


Written April 22, 2013-

Sometimes the feeling of freedom to move into that inner room is strong and present and sometimes it’s muted. If it’s muted, I let it be and just rest in the moment and know myself to be sunk deeply into the heart of His love regardless.

If it’s strong and present, I move into the inner room. Last night, I knew I was free to move, so I came through and as soon as I did, I fell to my knees and then to my face on the stone floor.

I knew Jesus was sitting on the couch. I could see Him clearly- seeing Him clearly was His loving, open invitation for me to come to Him. But I told Him humbly, "Let me have the floor, I just want to be here."

And I did. I just wanted to lie there with my forehead against the stone. It was refreshing and healing to my soul, in some way, to be on the floor. I rested there for a while, letting myself be there.

I knew Jesus would come to me, if I stayed there- because that is what He does, and He did. Jesus knelt down and pulled me up into His arms and I said, again, "No, let me just lie here." I was simply myself, with my head on His knee.

He bent comfortingly over me, overshadowing me, almost like a weeping willow tree, with the branches sweeping down, and it was deep down comforting.

As I saw this image, I thought of how artists like to draw and paint that sort of image and how He is the inspiration for all creativity- He is the source of creative energy and how He is perfect love and the source of Life and how artists much be tapping into this sometimes without realizing it. Or maybe they do realize it.

When I sat up, I was filled with extraordinary love and I wanted to name Him and name Him, and this name came up from the deep places of my spirit, but I couldn’t speak it, so I called Him the Word and the Wisdom and the outlying radiance of the glory of God.

"But I know who You are," I said, picking up His hand and kissing His scar. "You Word of God, You Son of God and the Human One."

I looked up at Him with love. “Hello You,” I said. “You beautiful. You lovely. Logos.” I paused and then whispered, “Yeshua." Then I felt shy. “Maybe I’m not pronouncing it right. But that is what they called You, on those dusty streets. That is how they called You.”

I got up and He took my hand and I saw behind that dark opening that I sometimes come through and the opening was curtained back and there was an inner room inside there, dim and quiet and still, and there was one window that looked out into the green lawn, but was shadowed by deep green ivy, as though there was a trellis over the window and so the light came through filtered and green. And there seemed to be green, living plants in the room, and beautiful hangings on the wall and carpets on the stone floor.

It was comfortable and refreshing to my spirit, safe and lovely and I went in and rested, looking out the window and drinking in the quiet green light and He was with me.

We were talking again about how much I wanted to see Him clearly and instead, so often, all these images from movies and pictures of Him interfere with this clear seeing that I long for, and those bother me, because they are not real. I want what Jesus really looks like, even though I know He can appear as He likes- sometimes the disciples did not recognize Him and sometimes He is transfigured and the way Jesus appeared to John in Revelation is very different from the way He was, say, in the upper room.

"I want to see You as You are," was my request, which is of course, a bold and impossible request.

Because I can’t, yet. But Jesus loved that I asked and I know I will see Him one day as He is, and in the meantime, I will be with Him in these passing and fluid images that only hint at the full reality of Him, because I don’t need to see Jesus clearly to know who He is.

It was just a truly delicious time. It was comfortable and full of love and good humor and just… mutual delight. Worship and adoration of Him rose up from within me and I was so grateful just to exist, so that I could know Him.

So I put my face close to His and I whispered, "Thank You for thinking of me," and His face crinkled up into tender laughter, because it was too funny, but also so true and marvelous and I meant it from the very depth of my being.


Written April 23, 2013-

Last night I was determined to hold on to Him no matter how the seeing buckled and indeed, when I first realized I was there, I threw my arms around Him in relief and all sorts of weird things happened. But I just held on and knew it was Jesus and trusted Him with everything that I was and everything that was coming up.

I knew I had a lot of mixed up emotion and fears that were coming out in a healing way, and that those things always effect how present and clear I am able to be, so I just let it flow out freely and trusted Him until I was at peace. So that was trust at a deeper level than ever before.

When I was at peace, I caught Jesus up tight and I whispered to Him, “I choose You."

I waited, to see what He would do- sometimes I am recognizing that I am afraid He will do nothing, so I am constantly in action, and He loves me, on the one hand, and understands completely on the other, so that is fine, but how delicious is it to grow in trust and to wait for Him to act or speak.

He swept me up into His arms in a burst of love that was almost too great to be expressed. I kept thinking of the things I had learned, so I was able to just let myself be. I kept choosing Him and also worshiping Him, which is delicious.

Sometimes I couldn’t even speak; I took His hand and laid it against my throat and I said, "I can’t even speak how much I love You- there aren’t words enough, but You must know, You must hear what is inside me, what I would speak, if I could, what I would say to You."

Sometimes the love rose up almost unbearably and sometimes it was falling apart with a burst of purely joyful laughter at the wonder, or the goodness, or the joy of being with Him, to love Him and to receive His love.

I threw myself down prostrate, my head down and simply worshiped and adored Him. I let the adoration and love and yearning well up and well up within me. Then I rose up and threw my arms around Him and poured out all my love to Him.

It was as if the sea burst through a damn. I kept giving Him as much love as I possibly could. I kept reminding myself of who He was, the Son of God, my Eternal Beloved, that I knew Him, that we belonged to each other before I had been born, and that I was with Him and could love on Him. And I did and I did and I did.

And this passion eased away of its own accord and we thought, with joyful freedom, what shall we do? And we thought we would go out and I paused, and was all, shall we go out the window? But no, there was a door in the side, a little arched door and a step and He helped me down the step and we stood on the lawn.


Written April 29, 2013-

I blogged about my dream. But before that, when I lay down, immediately He pulled me to Him and He was so fully present and clear.

I keep saying that. It must be that I am growing to see Him more and more clearly each time, or slowly over time. I think that makes sense.

I declared, with loving abandon, "I worship You!"

And my head was close to His head and I whispered in His ear, "Your name is above all names," and

He turned His head and looked at me, with those incredibly deep, deep, intense eyes of His- ageless, with absolute authority held in perfect stillness and without depth- that depth being the perfect stillness of His love, which is unknowable and in which He holds all things. And I was almost afraid, caught and held in reverent stillness before God. It was as though I had drawn Him up from Himself.

Later, I was thinking about something else, and Jesus reminded me that each believer is a stone that is being put together in His house- which is His body- and that he is the One in charge of each stone. He has all kinds of unique stones and they are each in a different place in their walk and understanding with Him. They are not interchangeable, because they are unique stones and not bricks, and that only He could see the overall layout of His house, each stone cannot see this layout, because they cannot see with His overall perspective.


Written May 3, 2013-

So we were walking there and I saw Him clearly and my love for Him simply overflowed my soul and I had to stop and pour my love into Him.

The inner room was fresh and clean and shadowed but also full of lights. I looked up and saw Him- His face is sometimes so vulnerable lately, just open, so present. And gentle- His face is full of gentle, wide open love- that kind of vulnerability.

And I simply went right over to Him- He was smiling- and wrapped my arms around Him and loved Him.


Written May 4, 2013-

Went to bed last night utterly exhausted. Everything was jumbled. I’m beginning to realize, more and more, that it’s the confusing tumult of conflicting emotions and thoughts that causes the seeing to buckle.

Which is why being present in the moment- opening up to all that it is, is what deepens the seeing- but first of course, it causes a great deal to come up.

Maybe this is why so many spiritual teachers practice quietness. But quietness must not be the denial of emotion, but the expression and release of them- it's letting them flow up and out without resistance.

So last night, I was in this process very much. In the brief moments when I could see, I knew He was holding me close, but I couldn’t rest in it because of all the buckling that was moving through.

Then finally things settled down and I buried my face in His shoulder and just let myself go on breathing, let the last of the kinks come out, going over some of the things that had troubled me.

I let myself sink down into His comfort, to receive His love and care and He bent over close to me and whispered in my ear, let Me serve you.

And that was so… it echoed so deeply and so achingly with wonder, because that is what He does, at such a deep level and it is something I think most people don’t understand about Him or reject. But it’s all through His gospels.

Sometime afterward, I was thinking about authority, how that must also have its own kind of value and that the language of authority isn’t one that I understand, so how can I know if someone is speaking it fluently or not, or if not, in what way not? I could not know.

“I don’t speak that language,” I said to Jesus.

I speak it, He said with such quiet assurance.

Our faces were resting so close together, I looked at Him, at His quiet eyes and His quiet face, so still and full of peace and gentleness and also certainty. I was filled with wonder, letting the truth of what He said sink down in, thinking about how He has authority over everything and will give it all back to the Father. This was such a huge truth and Jesus held it so quietly within Himself, that I could have rested in it indefinitely and not grasped the edges of it.

I couldn’t wrap my mind around all those bloody images in the Bible and I wanted to, I wanted to see how the quietness of His perfect language of authority would look like within those passages that always terrified me.

“What does it look like?” I asked Him.

You just saw it, He answered quietly.

And I could not speak. Immediately, I heard Him saying, the greatest among you will be a servant of all. And I saw Him taking off His outer clothing and washing the disciple’s feet and I saw Him broken and bleeding on the cross, the greatest, most humbling service of love He ever gave, which was also the way in which He triumphed over all His enemies.

I took hold of His shoulders and put my head in His chest for a moment.

“That is profound,” I acknowledged quietly. “Jesus, that is profound.”

But still, my mind kept moving back to those passages of wrath, wanting to bring a kind of holistic understanding of those passages through this authority that is expressed through humble and loving and freely given service.

“But I want to know… I want to see how it’s expressed…” I said, honestly, but unable to put my thoughts into words.

You want to see how I rebuke? He asked quietly.

“No,” I breathed, immediately, terrified just at the thought. “No, I don’t want to see that. That is sacred.”

How I rebuke principalities and powers? He clarified for me- as He said this, it was as if I saw how He held them in His hand.

“No,” I replied honestly. I felt quite strongly that there was no way that I needed to know anything at all about what is clearly and entirely His business, a business I am sure He will do well, as He does all things well.

Or, like David, who put it very beautifully:

"Oh Eternal One, my heart is not occupied with proud thoughts;
my eyes do not look down on others;

I don't even begin to get involved in matters too big, matters of state, faith, business,
or the many things that defy my ability to understand them.
Of one thing I am certain: my soul has become calm, quiet, and contented in You.
Like a weaned child resting upon his mother, I am quiet.
My soul is like this weaned child.

O Israel, stake your trust completely in the Eternal-
from this very moment and into the vast future."

-Psalm 131, The Voice

I thought as deeply and quietly as I could- about what it was I really wanted- and the answer came up.

“I want You to heal my concept of authority,” I said at last, with such quiet clarity.

He heard and understood the request and we talked no more about it, having come to an understanding. I wondered, in the back of my mind, what I had just gotten myself into by this request, but I trust Jesus so much now, and I know that I can’t anticipate His teaching. I just have to trust and be in each day.

I just divided up this very unwieldy journal into two sections- the first year or so and then this section. Then I went ahead and read this entire section.

You know, it was in February that my relationship with God went down deep like this. Now it’s May. So that’s three months.

In three months, I accepted the kind of relationship with God that is far beyond anything I could have thought to ask for, or even imagine possible, and then I grew deeper and more comfortably into that experience. I went from having to laboriously work through shame, doubt, fear and uncertainty to giving myself over completely to Him, in trust and confidence and openness.


Written January 15, 2014-

I watched The Passion of the Christ, because I wanted to hear the Aramaic. When I came to Jesus that night, I was astonished and overwhelmed to realize that I was with Jesus- not an actor, but Jesus Himself.

I fell to His feet, boneless. He knelt down and drew me into His arms, but I couldn’t look Him in the face; I couldn't lift my head.

And this request was rising up in me, it was pouring out of me like the beating of my heart, like breathing, I was saying-

let me be with You always, never let me leave You, let me be with You always, serving You and loving You. I am Your handmaiden. Don’t ever let me depart from You again. I want nothing in heaven or on earth but You. Never send me away from You again- let me be like a part of the very structure of Your house, which cannot be moved out of it. I want only You, Adonai. Let me live in Your house forever and ever and never to go from You and let me serve You.

Then I listened, half afraid, to hear what He would say, my eyes on the floor, because I couldn't lift them to Him.

And He said- I have answered your prayer. I have already given it to you, you have it now.