Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Until You and I Are One

It was last Saturday evening, and I found myself sitting on the floor against a wall in the library of a small Catholic retreat centre.  I'd gathered with other house church leaders for a retreat to plan, pray and dream for the coming year.

I'll be honest and say that I would have rather spent my weekend in other places, but I knew somehow that it was important that I attend, if only because I do provide leadership to one of the house churches and I felt it important for me to meet with the other leaders and get to know them a bit. So, we'd spent some time talking about hearing God speak, and now, now we were spread out across a few different rooms, listening.

I've spent years cultivating a nearly constant dialogue with Jesus, one that only seems to lag when it is suddenly forced to the center of my consciousness.  Saturday was that sort of occasion.  I sat there chafing and wrestling, fighting the distractions in the room - books, unfamiliar spaces, other people moving, breathing, kneeling, listening.  The only thing playing through my thoughts, through my listening, were some song lyrics.  Lines from Misty Edwards:

Come be the fire inside of me
Come be the flame upon my heart
Come be the fire inside of me
Until You and I are one

I was growing irritated with this incessant repetition when I felt the urging to kneel, face to the ground in a posture that has long significance in my conversations with Jesus.  I fought the urge for a bit, arguing with myself, assuming the urge was simply me trying to manufacture something (did I mention that my dialogue with Jesus flows easily until it is forced front and center, at which point it becomes stilted and I second guess it?).  Finally I knelt, and began to understand.

As I've lived in limbo for this last lengthy period of time, I've invited Jesus often into the quiet spaces as a bearer of peace.  I've spoken to him as one I trust to fix and resolve the many challenges of life I've faced.  But it's been quite some time since I've entered into the quiet spaces and felt the urge to simply beg for that love, that Jesus that I love to consume me, to set my heart afire.

Once I was on my knees, I understood.  This particular posture, one of surrender, is central to some deep promises Jesus has spoken over my life.  By entering again into that posture, by welcoming the repetitious song lyrics instead of fighting them, I was able to hear Jesus amidst the noise I'd created in obsessively worrying that this would be the time he wouldn't speak.

And so I invited him to again be the fire inside of me.  To consume my heart with love and passion for Him alone.  To consume the distractions.  And then finally, finally I was able to pray.  To admit again the struggles with life lived in limbo.  To surrender each of those things again to Him.  And to know a different peace than the one that He has constantly met me with.  It was needed, and I will remind myself of that consuming love as I continue to face the struggle with life in limbo over these coming weeks.