Day 2 – December 2
Ornament – Globe
There are so many facets of God’s heart. So many ways He touches us and invites us to touch others. The expressions of Who He is number as great as the stars. Yet there is one that threads through them all and weaves them together. Creating. To create is quite a mighty thing, and still, one that He has given us the pleasure to be part of.
As this ruminates inside me, I ponder one of the most basic ways I create, making bread. For me, it is a simple thing, that is full-on sensory, as every one of the senses is impacted in some way.
I love the feel of the grain as it slips through my fingers on the way into the mill, bumping and bouncing as it goes. And then there is the sound that consumes the kitchen as each kernel is put to death and resurrected into what it was intended to be.
Oh, and the moment when the canister where the contents have collected, is opened and I take in the fragrance of freshly ground flour and sneak my hands into the soft, warm powder, allowing it to cover my hands with the promise of what is to come.
Yet, as lovely as all of that is, my favorite part is what comes next. Well, it came first. Okay, actually it’s both. Let me explain. For many years as part of making bread I have used a starter. A mixture of water, flour and yeast tucked away in a covered bowl. It seems to have a life of its own as it often grows, dislodging bowl’s lid and bursting its contents over the side until they spill onto the counter. I couldn’t even tell you how long its been since the starter was formed, just it has never lost its potency. It changes everything! The taste, texture and even the smell of the bread is gloriously different when it is used. With each loaf of bread, a small portion makes its way out and into a whole. A completion of sorts. And then more grows.
Our starter, our beginning is much like this. Genesis 1:1-2 says:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.
If “in the beginning” means simply “at the start”, we had quite an origin. But it means so very much more. The context of the word in here is “within” or “connected”. The Hebrew word for ‘the’ means “to”, so it is always leading us TO something. Two little letters and a giant word. What is our “to”? The beginning. But what is the beginning? The Hebrew word means “first, best, first fruit, choice, choicest part”.
My translation is that we were taken from the best, from the first offering, from the most valuable part, from the choice itself. The choice that created love and entrusted it to others. The choice to make “loaf after loaf” from one source, the best source possible. A source that never runs out or loses power. A source that always was and always will be.
As I type, a thought pierces me. He saved us for last, mankind, I mean. I know there are many reasons for that, but today it is just one that stirs my heart. He wanted us to know, to never forget. You see, every part of creation came from the starter in Pappa’s heart. Every tree, flower, bird, rippling current and gusty breeze was “started” by HIM. They are each a part of HIM.
In a most intimate act, Pappa kissed Adam. A brush of breath that stirred soil to receive seed and carry harvests. A watering of tears from a Father who knew He had to let go of the part of Himself, just given, entrusted to flesh, secured by spirit. What a moment. A moment we were kissed by as well. A moment we are kissed by everyday. For everyday, He draws us near and then releases us, entrusting us with an expression of Himself for that day. Wow!
All around us, was made from the fertility of God. We, humankind, humans who need Heaven’s help to be kind, were made from the fondness of God. Dust and hope mixed with breath and letting. His “let there be” dwells deep within us. He doesn’t forbid us from looking into the dark, into places where the enemy fell, unable to find the true intent inside. No, He lends these places to us, lets them out for us to occupy and discover the “let there be”. That which resonates and recognizes Him, awaiting the deep of us to call to the depth of foe’s hollow, calling forth the hallowed and holy. The fragment in the fracture waits in anticipation for its multiplied state. Abundance always comes when we let there be what He mixed and melded, from the beginning.
This is likely not a naming you would consider. Nothing. He had nothing.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him. Isaiah 53:2
Since I was a little girl, I’ve only ever seen Jesus as beautiful. The most beautiful. That is why this name pierces me so. It is the name that causes me to fall to my knees. The one that lets my face find the floor. And weep–every time I read it.
I will never, ever get over that He laid aside His glory. For me. Had He kept it, been sent earth-side with it, none could have denied Him. Not one. So He came, flesh and frame, so we could choose. So we would have choice.
I know many would read this part of Isaiah and think the lack of beauty or majesty was due to our sin and shame that would cover Him on the cross. But this prophecy was before that moment. It was for when He walked upon dusty, lonely paths and crossed thresholds where there was no basin to wash His feet. For when He wasn’t welcome.
I can’t. But I have always known I must face this fire – call this name too.
He laid aside His glory, so I could choose Him freely and love Him fully. And when I consider what He laid aside for me, I want to lay it all down for Him. Fear, shame, pride, agenda, frustration, etc. (devastates me that I have lots of etceteras). What He is without, I want to be without. He has none of those things, because He has all kinds of room for when I recognize Him, truly. Glorious, wondrous, beautiful. My desire is indeed for Him.
There is something more this name reminds me of. I am here, I exist, to reveal Him as He is to me. In His Image after all. Because we are, after all.
Years ago, my person was praying in places dark, so others could find light. At the end of those days, he would come into our room and ask me to just sit and be beauty. He needed to take a few breaths, some deep gulps of it. I have not often been one to believe I could provide something like that, beauty. But that is how my person saw me. And it just eventually became so.
That’s the view Jesus needs me to give the world. He sees me that way, because I’ve never been able to not see Him as such. I’m here to exude who I exalt. To be vulnerable enough to display who He is to me and lay my choice bare, so another might make theirs.
Truly, I never call Him nothing. I call Him Everything, which reminds me He was willing to be nothing.