I was at IHOP the other night and just started writing. It's rather scattered and long, but hope you endure to the end!
Isaiah 53:2 "...There is no beauty that we should desire him" Him being Jesus. To me, this means he was not the good-looking man that He is depicted as in so many pictures. He was a man whose looks did not warrant a second look. How many people do I walk by every day without giving them a second look? Had I walked the earth the same time as Jesus, if I ran into him on the dirt road, I would have walked right by him, never giving him a second glance based on looks. But there is something about Him, something that compels us to give Him a second glance. It is the shechinah glory that draws people to Him. The glory of God. .
I may not have given Him a second glance - my life proves it - but how many times a day did He look my way? I would venture to say that He has never taken His eyes off of me - even when I was denying Him. He was always looking at me, always beckoning me and always wooing me, while I silently screamed the words "If this is God, I want nothing to do with Him!" But Jesus never took His eyes off of me.
I asked Jesus into my heart when I was 14, and then did it again a couple of months later because I wasn't sure it took. Oh, I said the Sinner's Prayer (hopefully a subject for another blog!) both times - meaning it both times - and then promptly walked away. But I had positioned my heart to His and it would not be let go. "Do not fear therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows." Matthew 10:31. His mark was on me at the age of 14. More importantly, my name was now etched in the palm of His hand and His eyes never left me.
But I left Him as quickly as I had asked him into my heart and did what I wanted for the next 23 years of my life, with barely a thought of what He wanted. Of course, I had my limits. A friend once accused me of not doing something I didn't need to be doing because I was such a good Catholic girl. Oh, if she only knew!!! But Catechism must have taught me something. Or scared me! I know now that it was the Holy Spirit protecting me.
He could not take His eyes off of me, always looking at me, always beckoning me, always wooing me until that day in 1997 when I surrendered to Him and became free. And it has taken me many many years to realize that all He wants me to do is look at Him, beckon Him, woo Him. He wants to be my bridegroom, my lover. And He is! "You have ravished my heart, my sister, my bride. With one look of your eye." Song of Solomon 4:9. Me?! The girl people don't give a second glance?! I have ravished His heart?! How can this be? He has called me beautiful. With one look of my eye, I ravished (captured) His heart! Me! Wow! He finds me desirable. He calls me beloved. He calls me His. He etched my name in the palm of His hand and it can't be removed! And He wants me to "get" that I am His. He has called me His own. And I get it, most days, although sometimes it is easy to forget. But He is looking at me, beckoning me, wooing me and won't let me forget it for long. Because my Daddy is the King of kings. My bridegroom is the Lover of my soul.
Before I was born He knew me, sanctified me (Jeremiah 1:5) and wanted me. All that was needed for me to be His was to use that free will thing and choose Him. Because although He created me for Him, He was not going to make me be His. I had to choose Him, as He was not going to force me to do anything - ever. Free will - the gift that puts the choice in my hands. Would you want a god that makes you love him? That's control. I believe rebellion would erupt pretty quickly if someone forced me to love them. By the way, how can you make someone love you? My heart would not be in it, that's for sure! And a god like that would soon end up with a bunch of robots as followers. Not for me, thank you!
My God wants me to desire Him but lets me make that choice. And yes, I chose Him back in 1973 to get my "get out of hell free card" but like a true lover, He revealed Himself to me by looking at me, beckoning me, wooing me. Come, follow me. Let's go! How abandoned will you let us be?! My choice. I set the slow pace....trust issues, you know! But He had me on a fast track of learning about Him.
And one day it dawned on me - religion kills! I personally do not like religion. It is based on man-made laws and rituals and there is absolutely no way for me to keep them. No way for me to keep them, so I am set up to fail. At the same time, I discovered that He doesn't call me to a religion but to a relationship with Him. How close can I be? How close can I come? How much do I want to know Him? It's all my decision.
I don't believe that when I see Jesus face to face, He'll ask me what I did about religion. But He just may ask me what I did about Him. And the conversation will be just about me and Him. I won't be able to bring anyone else into it. I won't be able to say "But s/he said....." "Me, Greta, what did you do about Me?"
Contemplating....what have I done about Him? Well, I accepted Him as my Savior. Got my "get out of hell free card". Then, a while down the road, I made Him Lord and Friend. Trusted Him. Believed Him. Loved Him. And do you know how many times I have turned my back on Him?! I sure don't! But He always sees me through the eyes of mercy. He always affords me grace. I am dark. He says I am lovely. My shame is gone because I know I am beautiful in His eyes. Nothing can take me away from Him, because I belong to him....willingly. And He will fight and has fought for me. I have played the harlot, but He sees my beauty. (My beauty is the blood of Jesus Christ. That's what God sees when He looks at me.)
I have tried to run away, but then I remember what I was before Him and do I really want that? No, I have tasted live death and I never want to go back there. I want Him! I want to be His lover, bride & friend. You see, He desires me! And when you know you have been desired by the Lover of all lovers, what else is there? There is only Love.
Love is an action word. Love is the living, breathing, walking, talking Word of God. And the Word of God is Jesus (John 1). And He knows me. He knew me before I was born...knew what I was going to be named. (And my parents thought they named me!) He knew me on that day He was nailed to a cross, dying for me (Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!). He knows I was going to reject Him and He did it anyway. He also knew that I would fall in love with Him. (What does He know about you today?)
He is alive today! Looking at you. Beckoning you. Wooing you. Like a lover waiting for His beloved to return. Not with thoughts of anger or punishment but with open arms. And He will not quit waiting. Because we never come to the end of God!
Who am I that You should think on me? Like me, you are His creation, made for Love. Turn your eye towards Him and see what happens.