Monday, April 23, 2007

A Prayer

I like to prayer-write. It's rather like prayer-walking, except I get distracted by nature when I walk, and stay focused when I write. I thought I'd post one of these recent prayers, since I'm so poor at keeping my blog updated and it gives a bit of insight into the things I'm thinking about. Keep in mind, this is not edited and plenty of poetic license is taken--mainly in the areas of creating words. It's just a little talk between myself and God.

A Prayer...

I like you so much. Dwight just asked… “Stop and think about our resurrected Lord. Is He depressed? Is He anxious? Is He intimidated by Pilate or Herod or Hitler or your boss or any bully you can think of? Is He cowering in the presence of the evil one? Is He a somber sourpuss? Does He sneak away to deaden His pain with a bottle of liquor? Is He struggling with impure thoughts? Does He eat too much? Does He look in the mirror and cringe?”

No, you’re none of that, and I like you so much. There is no man on earth who could even try to be as perfect as you; in fact, there is no man on earth who can even know what perfection is. You are things we haven’t even imagined. You have noble, beautiful thoughts and motivations we haven’t ever conceived of. Chivalry? It is the barest, slimmest, faintest glimmer of what your humility expresses in your heart toward us, the bride. And all we know of your true, first-source-thoughts on love and honor are hardly full reflections of the real you.

I like you so much. When I’m married, my husband won’t be perfectly caring for my heart; perfectly urging it along; perfectly applying pressures at just the right points, angles and times; perfectly guarding my thoughts; perfectly going ahead and making arrangements, orchestrating circumstances, planning provision…while integrating it all with the goal of making my soul more and more beautiful every moment until it shines like the sun in righteousness and in the very glory of the Lord. Who are you, that you waste your time on me like this? Who am I that you spend your thoughts and energy on my continuing creation? All I can do is raise up my arms like a little girl and agree, ask you to continue, ask you to never stop…and then fall in, like a student falls backward off a platform into the waiting arms of ten classmates who are all participating in the trust-building, team-forming exercise we’ve all done. Yet you’re the only one catching me, and your arms are unbreakable, your eyes unswerveable, your attention undistractible, your purpose unwaverable, and the ultimate perfect end of all your plans—unstoppable.

Sam wrote a song that ends in the mighty image of you coming back on your “victory ride.” So it will be! And when you do, my heart will rise in an unusual purity of pride and joy, and exclaim within me and to any nearby, “that is my husband, that is my king! Do you see him? Do you see how perfect he is, how strong, how glorious, how in love he is?” No one will envy me, I know, for either they’ll be believers also, whose hearts are leaping with the very same joy as mine, having the very same love as mine; or they’ll be the wicked, whose response of fear and trembling and hatred will be all mixed with their self-recrimination and overwhelming, rejecting pride, so that they would still reject you then, even if they could have you. “ A husband?” they’ll say. “How could you take such a terrible, awesome God for a husband?” Oh! how they miss the truth about you, for you are not only the mighty warrior whose ride of victory will be crushing and glorious, but you are the gentle lover, whose thoughts have been 2000-years-long of preparing places for each of us who love you. And these places, these places themselves are unimaginable. Mansions on hills? Perhaps. Spiritual ecstasies? Perhaps. Fullnesses of all that you originally designed us to be and enjoy? Yes! Yes! to your plan to set me in a place where I get to do—for your glory, your work, and our joy—all that I love. A place where I can continually worship, a place of psaltery, a place of creation. This is too much to even comprehend, the fulfillment of the good works you’ve prepared for me to walk in during the millennium and beyond.

Actually, it is you yourself who are too much for me to comprehend. How fun to have such a long, long prospect of discovery ahead of me. This is not a trip across the country, where my anticipation of the plains, the Rocky Mountains, the desert, and the ocean will all be met and then end, there on the rocky shore of Mendocino. This is not a trip around the earth, where my carefully charted course will take the sailboat around the Cape of Good Hope, through the Indian Ocean, across the South Pacific, until I arrive again where I started and all the world has been seen. This is a journey into a Person—a Person whose beauty never ends, whose new and undiscovered depths are continually unfolding before me, whose imagination in creation is inexhaustible, and whose heart and spirit and soul will tantalize and satisfy me every moment of a real and very long eternity, in an unendingly exhilarating cycle.

How are you so, so, … well, there are no words for what you are, love. Except perhaps just that—Love.