Thursday, 30 August 2012

The things of the earth...

Evening, Lord.

I don't have much to say tonight, Father, but I read this verse from a hymn the other day and it's been in my head:

'Turn your eyes upon Jesus, 
look full in His wonderful face;
and the things of earth will grow strangely dim
in the light of His glory and grace.'

Words and music by Helen H Lemmel,  a while ago in 1922.  I love it when words resonate long, long after they were written. I mean, your words resonate for all eternity but so many of our own just fade and dribble away, but now and again something inspired (by you, I imagine) keeps living. It's light burns on through the ages.  This lady wrote wonderful words so long ago and the other day, across the years,  my soul reached for them.

'Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face'

Oh, Lord Jesus, will there come a day when I look full in your face? I can sort of imagine the day when I arrive there in front of you and fall to the ground. I can't imagine meeting your eyes. I can't imagine standing and staring. Is there a day when I can stop and look and look and just be in your presence? When I see you - I see your face and look into your eyes and feel the warmth and light of your glory?  I guess so because that's what it says in the Bible. I am a daughter of God. I am not a servant, but an heir. When I come to heaven I will be coming home. I will have a place there. I will be welcome. I will be there to praise you for eternity, yes, but I will gaze at your beauty with awe and wonder indeed.

One day.

But now? Can I see your face? How can I wrap myself in your wonder right now? When life closes in and I need to find a way out from under the stuff that crushes me how can I find that glory and grace then?

'and the things of the earth will grow strangely dim 
in the light of His glory and grace.'

I know what this means. I do. On occasion I've had a glimpse of what this means. There have been times when I've realised how an eternity spent at your feet will be an eternity of joy and wonder and I feel as if I can't wait. Much as I love my life I realise that there is so much more to come, so much better. That the place we are now is sad and imperfect and will never be without compromise and hurt and frustration.

Sometimes I'm in church and the music has somehow touched my heart and it feels as if the angels are singing with us. It feels as if our ordinary voices are transformed into something unnaturally beautiful and the place is filled with your presence. I feel different; I feel lifted up. I feel focused and full of joy and I am at home. I'm at home because I've had a glimpse of what it's like to be with you. And at those times, yes, the things of this world do grow strangely dim. My worries subside. Anxieties evaporate, if only temporarily. The things of day to day life seem trivial. It's a glimpse - a brief encounter, but it seems as if Helen Lemmel knew those moments too. One Helen saluting another ninety years apart. You know how I like symmetry; thank you, Father. 

And it's not just in church. Sometimes those moments are not in the company of my church family. I can be all on my own and it's something that I see or hear stops me in my tracks and there I am with you. The way light refracts through a window and throws a miniature rainbow on the table in front of me as I drink coffee with a friend.  A last bud on a plant that has finished flowering for the winter. A single bird high in a tree, singing its heart out. A sleepy 'I love you, Mummy' when I kiss my daughter goodnight. A bright moon illuminating a frosty garden. 

You are in all those things. The noise of troubles and rubbish that surrounds me just recedes for a moment. I see a glimpse of your Kingdom. 

'and the things of the earth will grow strangely dim 
in the light of His glory and grace.'

The earth has it's beauties and glories and I know that it's not just people who know you that can appreciate them. I know that an amazing sunset is an amazing sunset whether you see the Creator's hand in it or not, but the difference is that an amazing sunset, for me, shows me your face. And when I see the face of my Saviour, it makes me want to worship. It brings me joy. It takes my mind off the unimportant. 

And what is important except you? 

I just wish that I could live that way all the time instead of needing those gift moments, those lifts. I wish I could, by act of will, focus on your face all the time. I wish I could live each day in the light of your glory. I haven't found a way, yet. I keep forgetting, I keep turning away, I keep closing my eyes when I should be looking for you.

'Let us fix our eyes on Jesus.'
Hebrews 12:2

Amen. Because if my eyes are on you then I am bathed in your light and your compassion and your courage and strength and glory and grace. And then I would be unable to wallow in the difficulties and darkness of this place we live. 

Father, show me how to fix my eyes upon you. I love those moments where you give me a gift of a glimpse of you. I love the thunderstorms that teach me of your power, the butterfly that shows me your beauty, the times that you reach down from Heaven and touch my little life and show me how much you love me. 

Teach me to live my life with my eyes fixed on you. Not just when you've had to attract my attention. Teach me to be there, in reflection of your glory, and live life that way. How different life looks from that vantage point. How different would I be? How much more the person you want me to be? 

Lord, I want to see your face. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh, sweet friend, you always seem to say the things I want to say. Amen and amen.


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