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I came, soaked through with pouring rain
Still dripping in my tattered things
Hoping He’d let me in again
Though I was trembling

My heart beat fast within my chest
To think He might have gone
While I had run away and left
The only home I’d known

But as I thought I’d faint with fear
He opened wide the door
And pulled me close with words so dear
I wasn’t afraid anymore

He washed me ’til my soul was warm
And cleansed me so gently
My wounds felt healed as He touched them
Oh how He cared for me!

He wrapped me in a robe of His
Then to a room prepared, He led
And drew me to Himself to bless
And lift my heavy head

We settled in, and with my weight
I leaned back into Him
And released all my helpless state
Into His arms again

We breathed together, deep and slow
Until our hearts were one
He held me like He wouldn’t let go
Just like I was His own

“Am I?” The question beneath my fears
Was crying inside of me
Then came the sorrow, then came the tears
To think I was unworthy

But He began to kiss my face
Before I could say a word
He answered my cry in the sweetest of ways
Until I could rest assured

So safe and warm I trusted completely
With nothing but myself to give
That He would hold and love and keep me
Even in my weaknesses

How vulnerable, yet strong in His love
I laid with my head on His chest
Perfectly still, and taken care of
’til into a dream I drifted

And as I did I felt His fingers
Tracing the lines of my face
Oh the sweetness, how it lingers
As I remember His grace

As He looked over my fragile frame
With tears He was so in love
And whispered, until He was singing my name
That I was all He had ever dreamed of

Oh, the moments, they lasted forever
As perfectly one we became
Knit sweetly and completely together
While singing each other’s name

After wandering so alone in the cold
Through the woods, from where I’d come
I knew, while wrapped up in comforts untold
His arms had become my home

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The Beloved 

I stepped into the light and stood
Naked, and terrified
I must hide my bruises, I thought
I’ll die before His eyes

“Not My eyes” He said tenderly
“But yours, you cannot bear”
His perfect gaze arrested me
Before I could go anywhere

How could He look at me so long
As if He were in love?
He’ll soon realize I’m not the one
Who He is dreaming of..

Then as I turned away, I saw
He was welling up with tears
All I do is hurt the ones I love!
Cried my relentless fears

I’m sorry, I had meant to leave
Before I caused you pain
Forgive me, let me go and grieve

But the look in His eyes was the same

Beloved..” His only response, and He wept
“Beloved..” ’til He gathered Himself,
“I cry for all the pain you have kept
And for how you have hated yourself”

I would not need another word
And a thousand hadn’t said it
As He so graciously uttered
The truth I most feared, and needed

If it wasn’t for the way he spoke
Or the love I felt so true
Or the sound of His beautiful voice, as it broke
I would have been torn in two

What silence pulsed through my wounded soul
What painful, bitter tears
I had suffered my very own betrayal
Not His, after all these years

No sound, no movement, until I fell
Into arms I could feel this time
I trusted Him then, even more than myself
To give me love, until it was mine

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Until the Morning

Dark was the night, bitter and long
When I awoke and cried his name
But he was there, humming a song
Before I saw his frame

“Dance with me” I heard his voice
And felt him take my hand
I would! Oh, if I had a choice
But I’m too weak to stand

Then carefully he lifted me
Into his arms, and before long
He held and swayed me quietly
’til I joined him in song

Then I was strengthened just enough
While holding him, to stand
I felt the scars that proved his love
Underneath my hand

And with my feet on his, we danced
As our love lit the night
My heart, so tenderly romanced
Until the morning light

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Everlasting Splendors

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.  Michelangelo

I have always wondered, as a Christian, from the moment I realized that I wasn’t perfect, how God could see and love me as though I were..

I mean, there’s a difference between someone loving you because they’re kind, and someone loving you because they think you’re wonderful. The former is charity, which I can appreciate, but my question is, beyond God being charitable toward me, how does He really feel about me? Could He ever actually be in love with me?

After reflection and conversations and study I’d like to share my thoughts so far..

I think, while it is true to say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it is also true to say that God’s love is not blind and He actually does see real beauty in us.

The short answer is that God loves us in every way we could possibly be loved, and what starts as his total compassion as He bleeds to death on the cross becomes his total affection as He sees us finally standing before Him in glory, prepared to marry Him.

“In that day,” declares the LORD, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master.'” (Hosea 2:16)

I think what we need to remember is that God is outside of time, so just as well as He sees us today He sees us on that day, shining like the sun (Matt. 13:43), bright and pure (Rev. 19:8), in splendor and glory (Eph. 5:27).. or as C S Lewis put it, as “everlasting splendors.”

You’re making me like You
Clothing me in white
Bringing beauty from ashes
For You will have Your bride

Free of all her guilt
Rid of all her shame
Known by her true name
And it’s why I sing..*

Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun.. Matthew 13:43.

Imagine shining forth as the sun.. To develop this thought from a recent personal experience, as most of you know I’ve been on the road to Missouri from California. I spent Sunday night in Denver, and went to bed around midnight, so was confused when I woke up at 5am the next morning and couldn’t go back to sleep. I figured I might as well hit the road early.

I started driving East around 6:30am or so, and I have never, ever experienced a sunrise so glorious in my life. If beauty was ever unbearable, it was. I thought I might drive right into it and be burned up. I was exhilarated and terrified at the same time, to the point I was scared to drive. I laughed and I cried. I didn’t have words. Across the entire horizon were golden rays of sunlight pouring and piercing through the billowing clouds, shining above and below and all around, and in the periphery were wisps of rain clouds dipping down to the ground. Not to mention as I drove on, all the movement as my perspective changed the site a hundred times. It was 45 minutes of pure bliss. If up until then I hadn’t believed in heaven, I would have been utterly convinced because of how the sky was opened to me. I felt irresistibly invited into the glory. I could hardly look, yet I couldn’t turn away, it was so wonderful.

After I’d already seen what felt like too much, the clouds began unveiling the rising sun, allowing it to shine forth in all of its splendor – and then of course it was too blinding bright and I had to hide my eyes. But to my point in sharing this whole experience, it has been written that we ourselves shall shine forth as the sun.. and now I can’t help but be deeply awed by the thought.

Even the process of our transformation is glorious, as we go from glory to glory** from what we’ve been to what we will become.. like the wonderful rising of the sun..

Who is she that looks forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners? (SoS 6:4)

So now here is my thought on how we can be presently unfinished and perfectly lovable at the same time.. because like Michelangelo, God sees the angel in the marble.

Imagine witnessing the carving of Michelangelo’s masterpiece. The entire process would be beautiful, not because the marble itself is so special, but because of the unveiling of the angel.

Or think of a man proposing to a woman – he proposes because he sees his bride in her, even while they are unmarried. So with God, positionally, He sees and loves His perfect bride in us, and yet practically, He still must get down on one knee and make us into His bride.

Right now He is down on one knee, carving His angel from marble, not for a moment losing sight of the masterpiece He perfectly sees.

I think of the way I draw portraits – I see the face in the blank page, and unless that face is my focus I cannot bring it out of the page. In the same way, God sees our face while He draws, while we only see a page with dark marks.

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be.. (1 John 3:2)

One application is that, if we live with the fear of being truly seen or known, I dare say we have a less than biblical view of ourselves – at least of who we are becoming. Rather than cringing at the idea of being fully seen and known, the truth is we should look forward to being discovered!

I like to think of opening up like the unfolding of a flower – notice how blooming flowers always draw us in. Flowers that are opening toward the sun are naturally more attractive and inviting than closed ones, though of course it’s only a simple illustration. My point is that the truest thing about each of us is absolute beauty, because of who we are becoming.

I think today, God is in love with all that is authentically us, and everything else about us, He loves by way of change, or carving. So I should add that though the carving process is glorious, it is painful. Imagine what the marble endures before becoming the masterpiece. Sometimes it will feel as though your very bones are being broken, but in fact, the great Sculptor is breaking off what is not really you.

So when you feel the hammer, take heart in Paul’s words, I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (Rom. 8:18)

And always remember that you, dearly beloved, are in very good hands.

“To please God… to be a real ingredient in the divine happiness… to be loved by God, not merely pitied, but delighted in as an artist delights in his work or a father in a son- it seems impossible, a weight or burden of glory which our thoughts can hardly sustain. But so it is.”

C S Lewis

*Bethel’s “Ever Be”

**2 Cor. 3:18

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