I’m intimidated by blogging. I love to write but sometimes I find myself hesitant to say anything. There’s a desire I have to be read, but not always because I have something worth reading. I stopped writing this past month. It’s been quiet, as I’m sure you’ve been aware of. I’ve been quiet – listening. My last post, Anything but Evangelism, received more attention than I typically garner and I really felt the pressure to write a follow up, take advantage of the added views, be recognized.
So gently but so deeply, God said no. I write in order for him to be recognized. And so I became quiet, with both written and spoken words, and I allowed him to speak to me. I love to curl up at the feet of Jesus and listen but this past month of being quiet has been different.
In the past, I have been content to kneel and stay at the feet of Jesus, listening to him without looking at him. But Christ desires more for me and more for you. For me, this struggle of wanting to be recognized goes deeper, it’s about safety and about independence. If I’m speaking or writing, I can easily control what is known about me. I can control my level of vulnerability.
I am terrified of being deeply known because I am afraid of rejection.
I would come before God and be content to worship without being known. I didn’t understand the beauty of the cross, only the burden – a burden I was not meant to carry. The cross isn’t about my needing to be good enough. The cross isn’t bondage. I am not tied to never feeling like I’m ‘Christian’ enough. God does not want shame. He does not want comparison. He does not want guilt or remorse. He so desperately wants freedom. He wants freedom for me and he wants it for you. He wants us to look up at him and see his face, see our reflection in his eyes – how he sees us.
This is why he wants relationship. Because in relationship, we know, we see, we draw near. We are given a chance to look up at him and see his face. I have spent the last few years coming before God in the stance of the prostitute who washes Jesus’ feet in Luke 7. I wanted freedom, acceptance, but my expectation of rejection was too strong. I decided it was safer to stay at the feet of Jesus and never risk looking into his face. I didn’t have the courage to ask “God, what do you think of me?” because I thought I knew the answer.
I have expected rejection, disappointment, and so I stayed downcast. It was too much of a risk. Bondage was safer. I didn’t pursue relationship, knowledge was enough.
But I want it. I want to know how he sees me. I want relationship. And so I was still. I let go of my words, my protection from vulnerability and I came before God over and over again, trembling and crying. I asked the question I haven’t had the courage to ask before. I looked up at the face of God. Where I was content on the floor, bent over the feet of Jesus, my tears washing his feet, he offers his hand and pulls me to him. He wants relationship. I didn’t need to say the words. Tears falling down my face, I looked at his face. He knew my desire, my question – “God, what do you think of me? Who am I to you?”
Where I expected disappointment, he said I am his beloved. He said, “My love, I have been waiting so long for you. I have been preparing a perfect pace for you. Come and sit with me.” Where I expected rejection, he said I am enough, just as I am. Where I expected to be cast aside, to be overlooked, he called me desirable, necessary. He gave me a purpose, a position. He says I am always desirable to him, always beautiful, never surprising.
Where I have experienced this at moments – at times where I feel like I’m doing ok as a christian, God says ‘no’. He says my daughter, my beloved, you are always desirable. When you are broken, when you are messy, when you hide from shame, when there is mascara running down your face, when you ignore me and are content to stay kneeled on the floor, you are desirable.
He says, “My beloved, you are everything to me. Do not be content washing my feet with your hurt, your shame, your fear. Take my hand and draw near to me. Look into my eyes. See yourself how I see you. Ask me what I think of you. I am waiting to tell you. I want freedom for you.”