Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Her Own Hallelujah

She sits, glass in her hand, straw poised, ready to touch her lips.
Cause you can sing all you want to, yes you can, you can sing all you want to, and still get it wrong, oh worship is more than a song...
Jimmy Needham pleads, and she watches the sky go a shade deeper than cornflower blue, the kind that contrasts black-eyed susans perfectly, and has that certain golden light to it that October always brings.
The smoothie slides down her throat, and and pushing her hair back from her face, her eyes go up and stop seeing what's in front of her as her thoughts claim her attention.
Following Jesus.
Those words hold so much more weight to her now than they once did. Following Jesus used to mean that she would read her Bible, go to church,, attempt to evangelize every once and a while, pray when the mood struck, and that was enough.

But lately God's had a hold on her face, slowly turning it away from the things she's always focused and relied on, turning it towards Him. Following Jesus now means going against any and all wisdom of her own, and depending completely on his, no matter how counter intuitive or strange it seems. Following Jesus means giving up things she used to think she should do, and doing the things she never thought she would. Following Jesus means holding onto his hand in the dark, trusting only his voice as she gropes, trying to make out some sort of discernible path.
She lets out a long breath. Sometimes God is a light in the dark, a defined path, a logical pattern of life unfolding. And other times God is merely a whisper in the inky blackness, a stepping onto a hanging bridge that looks unstable, saying no when the rest of the world screams yes, following His and His voice only.

We look at the life of Jesus, and we make assumptions.
He was grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.
Everyone loved him. Everyone approved of Him. Jesus was a good boy, a respectable man.
We always forget the parts that made him hard to understand, made him noticeably different, offensive, abrasive, strange.
He turned over tables in the temple, He cursed the religious yay and naysayers of the day, He broke religious laws, left his family behind, blessed a Roman, touched a leper, left his hometown wiping the dust from his feet, turned the Jewish religion on it's head, washed feet, died as a disgraced criminal, abandoned by those He loved, cursed by those who had once proclaimed Him King, because he didn't follow the path they had imagined for Him.
A rebel. A lunatic. Demon-possessed. A drunkard. A friend of sexual prostitutes and tax collectors prostituting their Jewish heritage for money and a good name with the Romans. A blasphemer who makes Himself out to be God. Belligerent, uncontrollable by those in religious power. A loner.
All names He was called, all things He was accused of. Jesus himself said he didn't come to bring peace. He came to turn a nation on it's head, turn families against each other, challenge the very faith of his own people, and extend it to people the Jews considered on par with dogs. He answered to no one but His Father.
Why are we any different?

She sits and surveys her life, the things God has told her to do, things that from a conventional standpoint make no sense, yet the call is there. It may come against what her parents think. It may distance her from the ministry she was used to being involved in. But if God calls her, how can she refuse? How can she rely on any other voice but his?
As is human nature, every club, every faith, every school, every people group, they all have the norm, what is acceptable and what is accepted--or nay, expected. Christianity is no different.
Norm has never been her flavor of coffee.
A wrinkle fold its way between her eyebrows as she ponders. She tries not to doubt, but just to follow, but sometimes its hard, when she's with the disciples, on that boat at night on the sea of Galilee, the waves threatening to overturn the boat. She's stopped trying to control the boat on her own, and she's seen her Lord, just standing out on the water, calm as can be as the waves crash around Him, He is unmoved.
She's Peter, stepping off the bow of the boat, foregoing every human instinct and wisdom, and stepping onto the waves, a surface that shouldn't be solid, but somehow is. She walking towards her Lord, trying not to take her eyes off of Him, because if she does, the waves will become hungry once more, licking up her feet, her ankles, her whole body.
Peter gets a bad rap sometimes. Too outspoken, too impulsive, too changeable.
But in the end, he was the only disciple that got out of that boat, and ignored every natural law that said the water would not support his weight, every doubt that said Jesus wasn't powerful enough to hold him, every whispering voice that said he would surely drown. He ignored all that and focused on his King, and stepped out of the security of that boat and out onto the water. Impulsive? Yes. A loose cannon? Yes. Stumbling and trying to trust, trying to follow? Yes.
She sighs once more and looks fondly out the window, and slight smile curling at the edge of her lips.
She may be something of a Peter, but that's not a bad thing to be.

For He calls her out upon the water, the great unknown, where feet may fail,
And there she'll find him in the mystery, in oceans deep, her faith will stand.

You may not understand. You may not agree. But I follow the voice of my Savior, because in end, and in the beginning, and in the in-between, He's all I have and all I need.
And the immortal question, still lingering on Jesus' lips, inquires of everyone-Who do you say He is?

Love and many pondering thoughts,