Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Windows of the Soul

As I was reading through my recently finished paper-bound journal, I came across a passage that I had written down back in June. It comes from Windows of the Soul by Ken Gire, a book that I found on my friend Andrea’s bookshelf when we spent a week in Tianjin. He has become one of my favorite authors. I love his insights about the ways that God speaks to us, and I think you will too: 

He searches for us on the Damascus road or the Emmaus road or whatever road we happen to be traveling at the time, even the pathless road through the forest where we have wandered and ended up lost. He meets us at a rock in the clearing or at a well outside a city in Samaria. He reaches out to us when we’re out on a limb in some sycamore tree, the way he did with Zaccheaus, and receives us in the dark, the way he did with Nicodemus. He may meet us where we work, charting stars in the heavens or counting sheep in the fields or writing study guides in the office. He may meet us in a dream as we sleep or in the Scriptures as we have our morning devotions. 

There is no forest so deep that He cannot find us, no night so dark that He cannot see us in all our fears, all our tears, curled up in all our exhaustion.

Windows of the soul is where God finds us, or where we find Him…He comes to us where we are, speaks to us in our own language, calls us by our name…

What is God saying to us there? To you and to me?

Where is He calling us? To what vocation? To what wilderness or out of what wilderness?

What story is He wanting to tell with the reluctant heroes that are you and I?

What art is He wanting to create from the empty canvas of our lives?

What sculpture is He trying to craft from the rough-cut stone of who we are?

What poem is He wanting to write out of the painful images from our past?

What is He saying to you and to me though the images that flash across the screen of a theater or the images that flash across the screen of our souls as we sleep?

What dream is God dreaming when He dreams about you and me, and how can we help that dream come true?

What memories is He bringing down from the attic? And why them, why now?

What is He showing us about ourselves through the pages of our diaries or through the pages of Scripture?

What people is He using in our lives, and what is He trying to tell us through them?

What word is He wanting to incarnate in our lives?

Where is He taking us with our tears, and do we have the courage to follow?

What wound is He healing in us through nature or what far-off horizon is He showing us through music we hear?

What natural beauty is He wanting to bring out in you and in me?

What song is He wanting to sing with all the high and low notes of our lives?

In the past, God’s word has come through tablets of stone and handwriting on a wall and through the pages of Scripture. It has come through a flood and a rainbow, a burning bush and a whirling wind. Through the correction of the prophets and the curses of Shimei. His word has thundered from Sinai and whimpered from a manger. His word has come through a dream in the night and a vision in the day.

Through the mouths of kings and the mouths of babes, through the psalms of God’s anointed and the poems of pagans. Through a star in the night and through angels in the field. Through the birds of the air and the flowers of the field. Through a poor widow’s offering, the picture of a good Samaritan, and the story of a prodigal son. His word was spoken through the law of Moses and afterward, more eloquently, through the life of Christ.

We live by those words, and on those words, not by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Some of those words are spoken at the most unexpected of places that if we’re not expecting, we’ll miss. Some of those words are spoken by the unlikeliest of people whom we will most likely dismiss if we don’t receive them. And some of those words come in the most uncommon of ways that we will react against if we’re not accustomed to the unaccustomed ways that God speaks.

Those words are the daily bread of our soul.

We have the responsibility to handle them accurately. But we have a more important responsibility. To handle them reverently. For they are words from the King. However they come, through whatever messenger they come, they are His words, and we should receive them as such,,,

What we hear at the windows of the soul may daze us or delight us. It may cause us to fall to our knees in fear or jump to our feet in joy. Sometimes what we hear at those windows is merely something to help us understand people more deeply or experience life more fully. Other times, what we hear are simple words of great authority that God has spoken.

It seems only appropriate to kneel in the presence of such words.

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