Where Did Jesus Show up?
I’ve been reading a book that describes the beauty of going back to look at some of our more painful life experiences with an eye for where Jesus showed up in the story. For me, this is a return to my childhood bedroom, my back against the door, sobbing. Yet again, the isolation, loneliness, and rejection tumbling onto me in a suffocating demolition of the life I wished I could create. Where was Jesus in that? I wade against the tide of emotions that tempt me to turn away, and continue looking for Jesus in this and many other moments like this. And then suddenly, there he is – He is kneeling beside me, his one arm encompassing my knees which are curled tightly against my chest, his hand strokes my hair, and rubs my back as I weep, head down. His face displays all the sorrow of the pain I am experiencing. His face also holds an aching for the pain of those so hurt by their own experiences that they would inflict this upon me. “Dear child, I am hurt by their actions too.” It is very healing to return to past experiences with an eye for the pain God experienced with us.
Hiking with Jesus
I am privileged to live in an area that affords easy travel to the majesty of the mountains. On a recent hike, I spent some quiet time reflecting on my life’s story, looking for Jesus in ways I’d previously though he was absent. It was a beautiful, quiet, healing reflection. As my feet traveled the rocky ground of the mountains, my mind travelled from past to potential future plans he could be working out. “Lord, I don’t want to miss seeing your presence right now! Where are you now?” Stride after stride, my Lord walked with me, enjoying this moment, wordlessly looking back and excitedly anticipating the future together.
Jesus bringing our stories together.
Each of our stories hold their own trauma and confusion. And each were unable to see ways in which our God walked and cried with us through the pain. When we strip away the “should’s,” and really take a deep look into the love and pain Jesus offered in our worse circumstances. A healing so delicious and beautiful washes over us and onto those around us. It’s as if we are flowers, sprouting out of volcanic, ashen earth, pushing toward the sun, and spreading to create a beautiful new landscape. He is enacting a kind of astounding love, redemptive oneness and clear purpose of which we’ve only now dreamt. Dear friend, he is walking with us now. He is walking our dusty, rocky path, gathering bits of beauty from places it shouldn’t appear. He is gathering our respective bits and creating a beautiful landscape of our redeemed stories. Continue along the path, my friend. I so look forward to meeting you, and exploring how God brought us to redemption and oneness.
You were there! You were there, tenderly plucking tiny specs of beauty from the places in my story that only held hurt. You are here now, walking the beauty of my dusty, rocky, majestic, mountain path. You are drawing bits of beauty from dark places it shouldn’t exist. You are gathering each of our respective bits into a grand and purposeful scene, gathering stories that aught never intersect, gathering them into an amazing masterpiece. Thank you for using our seeds of beauty! Thank you for piecing us together into a masterpiece of unimaginable splendor. Thank you for this incomprehensible oneness.