We sit at our usual table, with our books and our discussion questions and our coffee in our hands. Cookies wait on a happy plate of sweet friendship to share as we discuss our week's reading. I read a passage from Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts, then ask a question of my own:
“Faith is in the gaze of the soul. Faith is the seeing soul’s eyes upon a saving God, the saving God of twisted bodies, the saving God of harvest moons.”
How do you open the eyes of your soul to see?
Because maybe I'm a woman groping in soul darkness. I grasp about for a solid hold, but my hands never land upon what I really need.
I yearn for Christ, but I'm not even sure what that looks like right here, exactly.
Faith is the assurance of what you can't see, I know that much. Even so, what I can't see taunts me with its haunting, transparent nature. My soul squints and I follow God's voice, but I'd like to find peace in the middle of this harried hunt for God's will.
I tell the women at that table the truth, because that is what we do here:
I need God to do what only He can do, because He's asked me to live a life that only He can live.
"Be holy, love me sacrificially, leave the old, crooked woman at the door and take up a life in Me," He says.
And so I have, but this new way of living takes practice and I can never see well-enough here in His way of doing things. I stumble, I freeze, I fall, and I wonder if I will ever really know what I'm doing, where the path is heading.
After we have finished our discussion I drive home with headlights whizzing past and the night-sky sprawled out overhead. I ponder the prayers I hold up in His presence like white flags. I will do Your will, and I need to see You move the mountain of my lacking ability, Lord.
This is the will of God, that we follow faithfully even in the darkness.
I step in line behind the many men and women who have gone before me. I take my place and I place a blind hand on the shoulders of the One who obeyed without fear, who lived without sin.
"This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." -1 John 4:17-18 (bolded words mine)
My soul sets its gaze on His love that drives out all fear. Nothing makes me more brave than knowing His will, and His will is for me to be made like Him.
He passed through darkness, and rose in glory. Now it's my turn. I take the next step in the darkness, and I trust that He leads me closer to Himself.
Once I get home I eat another cookie and my eyes gaze out the kitchen window into the darkness. I still can't see everything clearly, but I don't mind as much now. I know I have nothing to fear....