An Excerpt from Terraforming Bridges: The Art of Looking Up
I was once asked, “You can’t possibly see God in everything?” This was spoken as more of an incredulous statement than a question.
My reply was, “I can’t not see Him in everything.”
We can’t not see Him in everything. This is how we seek Him first. We must find who He is within all that is created and in every circumstance first. It is through that seek and find that we will be softened for the world, a spinning sphere of soil, stone and sea and the flesh and bone, the mere majesty that occupy it, each one making their way home, to a place we have prepared for Him to dwell.
Exiting exile, the first wish of God, His divine desire was for them to look up. The first command to a new nation was to sanctify a new moon, to pause when liquid light seeps through inky sky and set apart the assembly of days that spilled shining heralds.
Hovering on high are milestones of the Kingdom. Bookmarks in firmament’s pages, like baby teeth and first steps. The navigation tales, of a people not so far from us, when we draw near.
There are many sheet-filled books of remembrance, yet maybe we need to open journals and begin to plenty the pages, to chronicle the story forward to this clear and present darkness, that we might say, “Let there be light.”
We are here because we won’t forget altars anchored with offerings, tables tethered with feasts and pillars poised with testimonies. Maybe if we mark, story the season, we will make way for a new radical reality.
We tend to be quick glances instead of deep gazes. It must be time to let Him sink in. He tells our story in sunsets and sunrises, dangling delights and suspended sparkles. Are we bored here with nothing to do but look up? At Him?
We don’t live by the rise and fall of headstrong hearts, entangled, not engaged, but the up and down of breaking light, burning stars and radiant wax and wane. These signs and wonders exchange our story for a story that is ours. He hung these holy so we would not be tempted to forget. So we might lift our eyes, our hearts, our hands and praise.
Familiarity is the enemy of the greatest love story. For we know what we know, unless we are willing to learn. We are meant to inch deeper into each other’s pages, as we move miles deep into Him.
We are masked, that He would be unveiled. We are becoming wielders of wild run-ins, that the world might brush up against Him in a way that brings recognition and return.
Here we are, before the Tremendous They (in THEIR image) unwinding what we cover ourselves with, becoming a bit unkempt, revealing everything hidden, at their feet. Companion, Savior and Guide.
If we let Him cup His hands around our story and pour it out, might it be ink for another’s pages? He doesn’t run out if we don’t run dry.
We aren’t guest houses. We are hot houses where brooding begins. This is the ground from which the Gospel grows.
We are art, wonder and flame. Worth shed blood. We are His to hide and keep, beheld by the One who created praise. We the brooded over and chaos calmed. We are His best kept secret, for no one yet knows how far love will go upon the hearts of His home.
As we go, we can become a deeper shade of surrendered. We still won’t be the same hue, but will be tinted by each other’s light and become transparent enough to see Their Image. All that was imagined.
Maybe as we go, He won’t be so tucked into the disguise of us, but bubbling from our torn open, unveiled places.
Religion says we can’t. Relationship says we must. Who is our neighbor? Jesus’ neighbors tried to cast Him from cliff. Maybe we can help ours off the ledge. The path to the one is lit by Lender of Light. To find one hidden, we must bear mystery and majesty. Communion is a currency. A consummation.
Jesus was God imagined, forged from Him and come, wearing His fullest expression. The One from above looked up.
Do any look up and say, “Why this waste?” Maybe. We may upend those who can’t handle who we will uncap our oil for.
Quarantine has been for me, a time to look longer at Him. I don’t dare to declare when all this might end. I don’t think we are really waiting for an end, but breathing a beginning. Making sure there is breath for it. That’s okay. We are making memorials to radically wild love. If we stop running away from ourselves, we can run to them.
Our oil can be sold. There are other places to spend. But would we really want to miss what is given from broken vessels with overflowing hearts?
Planets and stars brood over humans. The kind and the unkind. With swinging, swaying light, we too can say how far darkness can go and peg it in place, with prayer and praise. That all the “un” will be undone by the radiance of who He is.