“If you could read my mind,” most mornings when I wake up you would find confusion, disorientation, and a hundred half sentences leading nowhere in particular. None of the Charismatic remedies seem to cure this, such as shouting “Hallelujah” with my first breath! That will have to wait for a few more hundred breaths. The evangelical remedies don’t work either: I read Scripture and instantly forget what I have read. It just won’t stick…. till later in the day.
In my experience of illness and medication and medication for medication, infused with the daily presence of the God who loves me and who heals, I have only recently learned to let this mishmash of conflicting tides spend its force and not worry. (With limited energy of every type I need to pick which battles to fight and which to leave to burn out.) In the settling period as the hundred half thoughts begin to lose volume, I usually become aware of one thought quietly dominating, a thought that peace rests and grows upon.
Today the peace of God seemed to rest upon the word “receive.” Memories were awakened of different experiences of being on the “receiving” end of being “Received.” One memory was of visiting a fellow minister who had asked me to come and see him. His wife met me at the door and said in ominous tones, “He’s in the study, just go through.” I did. The scene that greeted me was my fellow minister sitting behind a desk in front of which was a seat for me. Being “Received” was a very formal affair, stoked heavily with an awareness of being “restrained.” The conversation felt like being straightjacketed to that solitary seat by accusation and humiliation. It was not a nice experience. The relationship sadly never prospered in any meaningful sense. If I had more sensitivity to the Spirit in these days, I might have refused the invitation to meet in the first place. It was a harmful experience. Being “received” was a euphemism (a word, by the way, which I have only heard in the last 10 years in conversation in cafe church in Wester Hailes!) for being “controlled.”
After this memory, my mind was flooded with instances of times where my experience of being “received” was very different, a world apart. Space was made for me, rooms and wardrobes cleared for me, my personal likes and dislikes to do with food etc. humbly regarded without question, the run of the house given to me; in fact more was offered than I felt fully comfortable to receive!
In what manner have we received God, Father, Son and Spirit? That was the life-giving thought this morning. I saw myself like the headmaster behind the desk. On the solitary chair in front of me, one person was sitting on another person’s knee, while a third person was moving around the room, like a warrior from some ancient time, disturbing book shelves, picking up precious ornaments with a sense of authority and delight, despite my discomfort.
Remember when you receive the God who is love, you are receiving a Lion to prowl around wherever He chooses. I might not always appreciate the way a room in my house looks after He has walked about it, or as He is walking about in all the rooms currently. Of this I am very sure: The mightiest of Lions is in the House; the other one, the wounded and defeated one, is outside the house; though not to be mocked as he is still dangerous and intent on devouring
Where in the rooms that make up you, would God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit seek access this day? Can you trust Him to look with compassion and mercy into a room you hoped would stay shut to every gaze forever? Can you trust Him with being allowed to pick up the most treasured items that make up you? I hope you can. After all, the thought of a headmaster behind a desk, lecturing and trying to negotiate terms while a fully armed invading Viking warrior is freely walking where he pleases is a bit ridiculous.
Well, there’s the morning thought that stilled the storms of a hundred half sentences with the thought of a mightier storm, mightier seas and winds and adventures to come. There’s all the difference in the world between a half sentence leading nowhere and a sentence that continues to be written and is not ended yet. Glory!