Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Kissed by Blackberries

My dear friend Anna reminded me of this experience I had this summer, with one of her blog posts. This came out of reading "Captivating" by John and Stasi Eldridge. I'm posting my comment to Anna here:

I read this chapter you were discussing. I was quite moved by it myself. The author challenges us to invite God to romance us, and then to watch what He does. When I finally had an afternoon without children, I grabbed my bible and journal and went for a walk through the woods. No sooner had I stepped from the edge of my everyday lawn, into the rare invitation of the woods, I saw a few beautiful ripe blackberries. I gasped, prayed and ate them. They tasted like love. Sunshine, sweetness, providence, satisfaction, tender love. God kissed me with blackberries and I walked with Him for awhile, praying, crying, writing, being romanced. So it was true. He was waiting. Why are we so uncomfortable with that? Why do we take Him up on His offer so rarely?


annamade said...

Very true. It seems to me so often that I feel I make up such experiences. I don't know if that's because I have such a hard time "feeling," or what. I end up looking at whatever should be beautiful and feeling dead. I think you're right, and I want whatever God has, but sometimes it seems like He needs to knock down a lot of concrete before I'm ever going to feel his pursuit.

Alder Stream said...

I know. It seems that more than just being sad and unshowered, depression puts up that wall that we can't seem to get through. Maybe we just ask Him to knock down the concrete and open our eyes so we can see Him do it?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting your experience. It has helped me to know that, "It is OK to be Romanced by God" which is this comment's title.

I'd like to comment on the ladies' feeling of uncomfortableness at being romanced by God because that made them think of sex.

39 years ago the deep need in my heart to be loved and my longing for someone was met when God gave Alan and me to each other. But after a few years of marriage, I still found a desperate
need in my heart that cried to be filled. A deep hunger for God - a desire to know Him - experience Him as a person. I wanted more of God, Himself.

I started to listen to people tell of their "experiences" with God and often as they groped for words to explain they would use references to sex. That put me off, (as it did the ladies group) puzzled me, and made me uncomfortable, but my hunger for the person of God drove me to keep searching.

The day came, 30 years ago, when God came and fed my hunger. It was actually Jesus who stood a bit above me to the right, and while I experienced nothing with my 5 senses, yet I knew it was He and for several hours He let His love for me surround and flow down over me (something like the Bible mentions anointing oil running over a person). Joy, happiness, warmth, peace, wonderful satisfaction all welled up in my heart as I was so enveloped in Jesus' love for me. That love was not parental, (although there is the obvious Biblical place of Father/child relationship for us), it was not a love of sister or of friends, either male or female, (although again the Bible gives us the picture of Jesus as our brother and our friend). So the closest human relationship that I could find to describe it and yet not adequately was the love between husband and wife. Only there, in my hungry world, had I ever felt so loved with that intimacy of closeness.

I kept my experience in my heart all these years and now amazingly enough this past week out of Anna's and your blogs and my reading in Ephesians 5:21-33, God has removed my puzzlement. Jesus loves His church as a husband (should) loves his wife. Jesus and I are in a Groom/Bride, Lover/Beloved (Song of Solomon comes to mind, too) relationship.

Ephesians 5:31,32 says, "A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife and the two are united into one (note:referring to sexual union). This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one."

As I read this, I suddenly understood with the delight that understanding given by God brings, why we try to explain certain types of God given experiences by drawing a parallel to human intimate love. Husband and wife do not become "one flesh" from a distance, without intensity of love, and without the delicacy of romance.

I am Christ's bride and He is the lover of my soul, and He is desirous of romancing me which will involve a relationship of experience, emotion, and expressed love.

Alder Stream said...

It's encouraging to hear you tell your story, thank you for sharing this Reita!

Heather said...

Reita, your sharing is so insightful and wonderful and full of truth. Thank you!

I hope we can all break down our walls and be vulnerable to God's love to feel God's love flow in, around, and through us with the intimacy you express.

Gracious Lord hear our prayers!