Friday, September 15, 2017

I Carry Your Heart

April 22, 2013 Published Blog

I've been recovering. We sent the video camera back on Friday. I arrived at the store an hour early, not realizing it didn't open until 10am. That's how eager I was to get the thing off.

Fortunately, there was a coffee place in the same mall, so after a moment's hesitation, I went in to order a hot drink.

I had a head cold over the weekend and on Friday it was just beginning to gather steam. When I gave my order, I felt as though I were speaking through layers of cheese cloth, and had to say each word with slow deliberation, both because of the husky quality of my voice and because how does one pronounce Tazo or Venti? Despite this, I did receive the correct drink in the correct size and I took it outside with me.

There was a sort of brick paved patio there, with ivy grown up thickly over the brick pillars that held up the roof. Where I sat, I could see out through an arched opening all over hung with green. It was beautiful, despite the fact that it looked out into a parking lot, and then to a busy intersection and then to a hospital.

In fact, there was a sign standing there at the intersection with a glowing digital display that announced the time incorrectly. Thinking that I had arrived over an hour early, I got in my car and entered traffic to head home to wait there, and then Keith called and confirmed that the sign was wrong, so I turned around and drove back.

I then sat in the car another ten minutes until the open sign blinked on and that is the story of how I mailed the video camera back to its homeland. Which, shockingly, is not purgatory, but somewhere instead in the Midwest.

Despite my cold, life has been slowly going back to normal. The feeling of life being a constant obstacle course centered around the videotaping has slowly eased away.

Our friends graciously agreed to sit before the torture device, and they said beautiful things about us. Hearing what they had to say was healing, after all the insecurity.

After all that, the editors will make a video only three minutes long. But at least we will know, if we sit waiting for months on end, that we did all we could.

This morning, I came across this passage:

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;  does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;   does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;   bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part.   But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

-I Corinthians 13:4-10

The deeper my relationship with Jesus goes, the more I learn to trust Him, to lean into Him, the more beautifully I see Him in this passage. His humility, kindness and patience are some of the most lovely, unexpected and moving things about Him.

"You are so comforting," I told Him yesterday, almost in surprise. As I thought back, I realized that most of the things I hear from Him are purely comforting.

And immediately, Jesus humorously reminded me of His own words: "But when the Comforter comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me." (John 15:26)

Like goodness! It is not on accident that He used that word, though I know it has many other connotations- Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby, according to the Amplified Bible.

Right now, we cannot have perfect knowledge, for we know only in part.

But what we can know is the abundantly, tenderly loving heart of Jesus. We can be comforted that in His loving work, He never fails.

April 23, 2013 Published Blog

Two years ago, I was walking in the park after having posted another blog, having shared another experience, and because I had shared it, it had lost some of its natural and easy intimacy for me.

"Even this I gave away, and it's not the same," I said to Jesus, sadly.

I will give you more, He assured me.

Lately, I think back to that and wonder. I had no idea how much more He meant.

I'll tell you a story.

Once there was a girl. She lay down to sleep, but instead of sleeping in this place, she woke to another place.

That place is hidden in the heart of God and is everywhere at once; it is where our life is hidden with Christ in God.

In this place, there is a stone paved room with stone pillars and a green lawn and woods, and a crumbling white cliff that falls away to a distant sea.

In that room, there is the Son of God and the girl is often with Him in that room, which is their room, which is His heart.

This is a fairy tale, yes? It's as beautiful as one. I can't prove that this is true; not even to myself.

My only choice to enter the room or to pass it by. But who would choose to pass it by, if the door was open?

I always go in.

Come here, He says, holding out His hands. Just come here to Me.

And I do.

Who can explain God? Why is He as He is? His love is a profound mystery and a present reality. It goes beyond what we can see and it sustains us as we are.

I was lying on the grass with Him, my head on His chest, simply being in the peaceful freshness of that place. His hand was outstretched on the grass, palm up.

Moved by an impulse, I slid my hand down His wrist to His hand and as my fingertips moved over the scar, I felt something indescribable- something of awe and wonder and love and He whispered, you know who I am.

These are the experiences that lie at the deepest part of me. My deepest life is like this:

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
                                                          i fear
no fate(for you are my fate, my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

-e.e. cummings

Many times I think, what do I want to pass on?

What is the best thing that I have learned?

This is the best thing that I have learned: God is love. He created you for love. The world, for Him, was not complete without you in it.

He had so much love within Himself- the circle of love that is given and received endlessly, in the Trinity- it spilled out and over, creating the present world and we are all caught up in it.

I can't tell another story, because I don't have another one to tell. This is what my life has taught me.

The truth is not something you know, it's Someone you know. We can't completely comprehend it, but we're in a relationship of love with Him and each relationship is unique, and at some level, unintelligible to others.

We all begin in the boat; we all start off with the tutor.

But eventually, He will come walking out over the water to us. Eventually, we must leave the school room.

And how frightening is that, to let go of the certainty of the law and to fall into grace- what if we sink? It is frightening to step out of the boat, to walk over the water to Him, just as oneself, alone.

If we don't have our tutor, then how do we know what it true, what is our place, how we are expected to live? How can we walk on the water? What if He lets us down or we lose even what we thought we had? After all, the storm is clearly raging.

Even so, we each must stand before Him alone, just as we are, and we are each of us His servants upheld by His saving grace, boat or not.

He is always holding out His hand across the water.

He says, I love you. Come here, come here to Me.

April 23 2013 Journal

Last night I was determined to hold on to Jesus 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 that I had a lot of mixed up emotion and fears that were coming out in a healing way and to just let it flow out freely and to trust Him.

When this finished, I clutched at Jesus with relief, pouring out love, and I whispered to Him, “I choose You.” I discovered that phrase recently and it lit up in me. It conveys so much.

And then I thought, let’s be in the inner room. Going there, I saw Him clearly for a moment framed by the open door, His back draped in the white robe that falls in folds from His shoulders. It struck me all over again and to the quick that I was with Jesus- just the sight of His back filled me with such a burst of uncontainable love that I threw my arms around Him and held Him close and loved on Him.

When I stopped, He pulled me around to face Him and I waited, to see what He would do- sometimes I am recognizing that I am afraid He will do nothing, so lately I am moving or speaking almost all the time, which Jesus loves, on the one hand, because He loves me, and understands completely on the other, because He knows exactly why I do things, so that is fine, but how good is it to grow in trust and to create more space for Jesus and to have trust to listen for more than half a beat?

Jesus swept me up into His arms in a burst of passion that was almost too great to be expressed. I was caught up and held tightly. I kept thinking of the things I had learned, so I was able to let myself be present and be seen, a given gift, a time of joy for someone- for Jesus. 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."

Joy and love had caught us up over and over again, sometimes the love becoming almost unbearable and sometimes falling into a burst of purely joyful laughter at the wonder of it, or the goodness of it, or the joy of being in each other’s presence.

He knelt before me, and in immediate response, I knelt down and put my head down on the floor and worshiped and adored Him. I let the adoration and love and longing well up and well up within me, until I could hardly hold it all. Then I rose up and threw my arms around Jesus and let all the love be poured out on Him through me. Then I waited to see what He would do and it was as if the sea burst through a damn.

I kept giving Him as much adoration as I possibly could. I adored His heart and I understood, then, those pictures that show His heart on the outside of His chest. Because His heart is powerful, living, beautiful.

I kept reminding myself of who He was, the Son of God, my Eternal Beloved, that I knew Jesus, that we have loved and belonged to each other for so long a time that I don’t even know long and that I was with Jesus and was able to pour out love to Him. And I did and I did and I did.

And then we thought, with joyful freedom, what shall we do? And we spoke without words, in such a fluid way, and decided to go outside. 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 Jesus helped me down the step and we stood on the lawn.

And then we were in the city, in a large room and there were people there. I was so completely overwhelmed that I couldn’t support it and I put my head in His chest to hide and the people were gone and the room was empty. And then I was sad and regretful, but I felt as if I couldn’t go back.

And then there was a staircase and Jesus was leading me up the staircase and up the staircase and up the staircase and I was trusting Him and letting Him lead- though I was anxious and wondering where He was talking me and what this meant- and then the vision or whatever these things are, sort of grew hazy or lost intensity in a sort of natural, inevitable way and I let it go.

April 25, 2013 Journal

So last night at first the seeing was distant and diluted, but I held on to Jesus and knew I was with Him and let the emotions flow through me and each time I remembered, again, that I was with Him, it grew clearer.

We lay together on the couch, talking. I was tired. I leaned my head on His shoulder, my hand trailing off the couch, brushing my fingers across the stone floor. It’s peaceful and calming.

He said, you’ve had an exhausting day, You so much wanted (this person) for a friend, He said, tenderly.

Yes, I admitted. I really did. And they didn’t reply. How many people are there who see You spiritually and love You? I wanted a friend who can see You like I do and who loves You. I like (this person). Why don’t they like me?

There was no answer for this question, but I felt His true and loving sympathy, His tender and open heart. I am so frequently not finding friendship where I can talk openly about my relationship with Jesus.

And I was talking with Jesus last night, as I rested against Him, my head on His shoulder, talking about how I want to be able to pass on something of worth before it’s my time to go, and what would be the best way of doing that. Jesus pointed out that I've been doing that already, and that is true, but I want to be able to communicate His love and grace and longing for relationship better than I have done, more clearly and more directly.

As I was resting there, I was thinking about some of larger visions of heaven I had read about, and Jesus said, would you like to know more about My official duties- what I am doing in the larger, official rooms and what that looks like?

I gave this very serious consideration. I told Jesus that so long as it would not make me more judgmental than I was- if it would be a humbling and good experience to see these things- but I kept worrying that if I did see them, I would get puffed up in myself.

Then I thought, that’s silly, I’m sure it would be deeply humbling, to see Jesus in His official role, on the throne, in His glory and authority and power.

Which, of course it would be. But I was thinking, if I see how He does things, wouldn’t that make me smug, thinking that I knew the secrets of how things play out?

I went back and forth between these things, so I handed it over to Jesus. I said, if You think it’s a good idea, yes. If it’s Your will.

He did not answer then. At some point, I thought, let’s go to the inner room! This always occurs to me as such a wonderful idea, like wait a minute! We have the freedom to go there, and the freedom of the quiet space and the coolness of that inner room! Let us go there!

As we were walking there, Jesus seemed to be walking more slowly and I became more clearly aware that He seemed in Himself to be heavier and more sad than usual, so I turned to Him and put my arms around Him and I said, “Sweetheart, what is it? Are You sad? Has something happened? Can You tell me? Are You sad for me, or is it for something else going on?”

I thought it must be something else, though He didn’t speak of it, but I took His face in my hands and I kissed His face, and poured out words of comfort to Him.

I said, “Come here to me, Sweetheart, come with me and I will comfort You and love on You and hold You close and You can rest with me.”

So we hid in the room together and immediately that had a wonderful effect, so I said again, delighted, “Come here with me, we will hide together, where it is safe, come here, Sweetheart, into my arms.” The delight of this was the quintessential feminine delight of comforting the beloved, especially the beloved who is actually much, much stronger than one, and the childlike delight of making a fort in the living room out of blankets and pillows.

And Jesus did come, easily, quickly to me and we huddled down together and then I said, “We will be heart to heart,” holding Him so close. As I held Him in my arms, His grief made Him appear heartbreakingly vulnerable. “What is going on?” I asked Him, without words, because it was much more than anything I had known before.

Jesus did not tell me exactly, but He made it clear just wanted to rest closely. So I held Him and He rested with His head nestled into my shoulder and I kept rubbing His back and murmuring to Him and loving on Him. I think His heart was aching.

I wasn’t sure what exactly was hurting Him, but I think that the hanging between now, in these present hurts which we are caught up in, generation after generation, and the time when everything is healed and put to right, is sometimes hurting Jesus very much.

I do wonder if, like us, Jesus is looking for and then grateful for, or enjoying, the sort of relationship where He can be emotionally vulnerable, where He can be received in the state of being emotionally vulnerable, and receive comfort in that state.

We were like that for a long time. I kept coming back to it, to Jesus. I loved comforting Him and He loved receiving my comfort. It was a delicious, closed circle of loving and being loved.

And then Jesus sat up and we looked at each other for a long time. He did not appear vulnerable or sad anymore, He was His usual beautiful, perfect self.

Jesus drew very close to me so that we were face to face, and I was not afraid to be so close to Him; I rested in it. We sat in the stillness of deep trust, looking and looking right into each other's eyes. His eyes were deep and intent, full of a stillness, full of strong, perfectly contained and perfectly pure emotion.

When love of its own awoke from the stillness, I actually had to withdraw from the experience and back into the things of the physical world. I thought my head was going to explode, or my spirit break out of my poor, physical self or something. I can’t even say. Then I felt guilty, but I couldn’t continuously be in that level of intensity.

There was no image that could fully contain the worship that I poured out, or the love that I was given; I saw several images and they kept changing. Sometimes just to speak the name of Jesus required my entire self as an offering of love contained in a speaking. Sometimes we appeared as though we were both in the one flame, and sometimes falling down into a depth of water. I kept coming and going from the experience, because I could not remain in it. When I woke in the night, Jesus was still there, His presence close and loving.