We’re exploring the images of God in images. We’ll reflect on the metaphors God’s given us to understand who he is.
Have you ever walked into a room and felt like you’d stumbled into some kind of interpersonal storm? It’s almost like you can feel it in your bones. A sense of anxiety churns in your stomach. You look around trying to figure out what it is, but there doesn’t seem to be anything happening in the natural. Still, you know, something’s not right.
Whether you’re aware or not, you react; a slight tension in your shoulders, a shallowness in your breath, a hesitancy in your speech. You check the time and the door, wondering when you can leave.
I love setting up the house for a party as much as I love the party. Don’t get me wrong, I love music, food, conversation and, more than anything else, the joy of seeing and celebrating old friends and family members.
Still, I love the setting up. I love all the planning; the deciding what will bless people, the going out and buying, the cooking and the decorating. I love the quiet of the house when everything is ready.
“Good job.” “I love the way you did that.” “You’re so smart!” We love words of affirmation. It’s natural, isn’t it?
We call these words encouragement, and so they are. Encouragement means literally; “the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope.” It implies making someone strong. I think of the picture of Moses’ friends holding his arms up as the battle raged. Pure and powerful encouragement!
Right now, I’m guessing that you think this post is all about the importance of encouraging people. In a way, it is. Then again, it’s not.
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Lift up your eyes all around, and see; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be carried on the hip. Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and exult.” ~ Isaiah 60:1-5a
Ours is an indestructible life. I would like to say that’s because we’re so good, so smart, so committed to the one who is truth. But if I that, I’d be lying. The reality is, we’re a messy group. Sometimes we love astonishingly well. Sometimes, we miss God’s invitation completely.
I’ll not enumerate the many ways the church fails to reflect the one who has not only saved us, but who dwells in our midst. And that’s the thing, anyway – ours is an indestructible life because God dwells in our midst, and only because God dwells in our midst.