Feels like the first time.

The first time we probably did not even realize what it was, actually the first hundred times we more than likely miss diagnosed it. Perhaps it was excitement, or adrenaline, or fear, or hunger, or…a hundred or a thousand other things. It is even difficult to describe in words what the physical sensation was like. It feels almost feverishly prickly, sweaty palms, rapid breathing, followed by a rush of goose bumps and maybe even chills up your back. The hairs on your arm and the back of your neck stand at attention, your cheeks alternate between flush and pale, flush and pale, flush and pale like the blinking of an old fashioned neon sign. Do you remember what it was like for you the first time your heart lept in your chest, and you did not think that you would ever be able to swallow it again, that forever after that time you would have this lump there as you tried to live your life…

What was it for you? What was it that first shocked your system into life, into a love so intense that it seemed to shake your world? What was it that spoke to something so deep inside of you that you were so panicked, so confused, so overwhelmed that you KNEW you would never be the same again? What was it that stole your breath, but gave you meaning? Do you remember?
In the book Sacred Romance, the author writes;

...we have many expressions to help us express the flame of the human soul. We describe a person without compassion as “heartless,” and we urge him to “have a heart.” Our deepest hurts we call “heartaches.” Jilted lovers are “brokenhearted.” Courageous soldiers are “bravehearted.” The truly evil are “black-hearted” and saints have a “hearts of gold.” If we need to speak at the most intimate level, we ask for a “heart-to-heart” talk. “Lighthearted” is how we feel on vacation. And when we love someone as truly as we may, we love “with all our heart.”

Something that I see that is concerning me in the world today as well as within the church , is the loss of communication with our hearts. At times our practical application of faith is prudent and necessary; however, for that to be the end and the means of trying to understand God and the Bible is incomplete and dangerous.

You see, it is in our heart that we first come to meet Jesus and to hear His call, His knocking on the door of our hearts. I think of James, John, Andrew and Peter as Jesus walked up to them on the shores of the Galilean sea and said “follow me.” The call was so simple yet reached so deep…I can only imagine the looks on their faces and the discussion that must have been going on internally, perhaps they had some of the feelings I attempted to describe in the first paragraph. What it must have been like for Matthew as he sat at the table doing his job for the government and Jesus calling him to “follow me.” I think of Paul, Timothy, Luke, John Mark, and of Old Testament men and women and wonder, what was that like? What were they feeling?

I know for me, when I sat at lunch with the preacher and the involvement minister at the congregation I grew up in. As we sat and had lunch and began to speak about my future, about the possibility of going to Sunset and about preaching school, and about ministry…I remember my heart just going crazy. It seemed like it had jumped out of my body and was dancing on the table. Was that what those who Jesus had called, who God had sent forth felt?
I cannot answer that. I can only imagine the situations and the feelings that the men and women of the scriptures had when their moment came for them to step up and serve.
I wonder this morning when was the last time you felt like God was calling you, not because you were messing up, pr weren’t at church…but instead calling out to you like a lover, longing to be with you, and intertwine His heart with yours, do you remember when?

If church has become a drudgery to you, if telling others about Jesus is just another thing on your to-do-list, if your heart is tired, or dry, or empty or spent, then just stop, listen and pray. Cry out to the God who made you, and longs to hold you near. Cry out to the Christ who gave up so much just to walk along with you. Cry out to the Holy Spirit who is a deposit, marking you as the bride of Christ.
Write a poem, or a letter, or a song, or a psalm, or something…just write about the times that God has touched your heart and made you feel more than alive.

Today I stand, hand in hand
with the hand of God who made me.
Today I rise, to walk again,
to the Word of the one who called me.
Today I fight, for those who can't
with the Spirit of the one who heals me.
Today I win, the souls of men,
for the one who has Claimed me.


Simply His,
jb

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