Today has been by far the hardest.
The unfinishedness of my redeemed heart is staring me in the face like a cracked and flaking urn some ancient potter meant to serve as a gold plated home for spring flowers.
Six days in the Jordanian wilderness stand between me and a return trip to the place I’ve called home for the first 29 years of my life. I’m the same person who boarded a frosty December plane a few months back…only, my eyelids have been stretched wider. I’ve seen places I’ve never dreamed I would behold. I’ve seen facets of my heart that are still crying out for a savior and lie within prisons of self-imposed fear. I am broken in, like my high school baseball glove.
Can I muster a final statement, a barrel-chested proclamation of what I’ve learned in Israel? No doubt people will ask me upon my return, “So, how was it?” I’ll smile back and probably say something smug like, “How ’bout you take me out to coffee and I’ll tell you all about it!” or, “You should read my blog.” But I think it’s important to offer a sort of summation to those who simply don’t have the time sift through my stories or can’t afford coffee (though I promise I’ll only order drip coffee). Honestly, I’m ok with that.
Within the confines of a day where I feel like I’ve been sucker-punched and left staggering; unable to pray, read Scripture, or even journal, all I can offer is agonized assertion that Christ still wants everything.
Let me explain…
The university I attend literally sits atop Mount Zion, a place that functioned as a sort of second name for the Jewish place of worship Bible. Worship: the act of pouring out our hearts before our Creator.
Amid heartache, hopelessness, wonderment and gratitude; wherever the waves of our fickle hearts toss us, God’s love cuts our seas like the frayed edge of a garment, pulling us from the tumult and gazing deep into our eyes.
Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me. I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God (Psalm 69:1-3).
Whatever condition our hearts are in, however mangled they’ve become before we sigh and send them to the foot of the cross…God isn’t surprised. God wants all of us, every square inch of the flesh he first breathed into and brought to life.
Traveling back and forth across the Holy Land has unveiled the legacy of God’s bride in all her nuanced imperfection: pain, sin, aching, astonishment, awe…God has taken everything, the entire tapestry of human history and carefully woven it into something beautiful: billions of lives connected by the careful hands of Love’s embodiment.
So often when we approach God (or his people) we hold back and grow silent, believing the condition of our hearts to be too grave for grace. God isn’t intimidated. He made us.
Breathe. Trust. Smile under the weight of His love. He wants everything.