This whole thing about “relationship” just got a whole lot bigger for me today.
I have had in my mind this “exclusive relationship” that He and I have. I have heard the intimacy referred to in so many different ways. All of them unique to that one person “in relationship” with their/our Lord.
I have always thought I am not alone – ever. No matter the darkest hour – the deepest trough – the most excruciating pain – the total loss of hope … always I am not alone – you are not alone.
Yet – if I am brutally honest – that is “never enough”. Because that takes faith. That takes hope. That takes some semblance of normality. The normal we prefer to think we are – most of the time.
But in that deepest darkest loneliest hour when we are “not normal” – the absence of physical contact is really important. Because we are physical AND spiritual beings. And in that pit of despair – we are still physical AND spiritual beings. And the spiritual answer is just half the need.
Then today Merryn Patterson wrote a post which sliced through something I never knew existed in me. The Lord took Merryn’s words and pierced something powerful. An extract (please read the whole):
“A team has been raised around you;
Some to fight
Some to lay the bricks
Some to encourage
Some to propel you forward
Lift up your head and see –
It’s not over!”
(When You Walk Through The Waters: http://humbleheartscribbles.wordpress.com/2015/02/11/ruins/)
“A team has been raised around you”
Because on every occasion when I have felt alone (yeah yeah I know … I never ever was – The Lord was always there yada yada yada) – I felt alone. Really alone.
Desperate enough to call His name. And He pulled me up again. He and me. Exclusive.
But for the first time today I realised how many “teams” He had “raised” on each occasion.
The phone calls, the emails, the texts, the cups of coffee … all those endless dumping sessions. The whinging and whining and dumping times. And (too often) they went on and on and on! They were the healing times.
And then the times when others around me were in their own pit. And the times I was providing the coffee, the ear, the shoulder, the time. Along with others doing the same. So often I knew others were there – but we rarely met or knew each other.
I have always thought of that as “cherry picking” misery. Grazing one “whinging partner” after another. Cherry picking those who would listen. And then moving to another. And another.
But this morning He – through Merryn – showed me that He builds up a “team” – that it is not cherry picking – nor is it dumping sessions.
It is teamwork. It is healing work.
“Walking with” is being part of the team. “Saying nothing” is being part of the team. “Listening” is being part of the team. “Being there” is being part of the team.
And why (I heard myself ask) has this any relevance to anything?
Because just as our own bodies have anti-bodies which rush in and surround whatever germ or bug invades our wellbeing … so the Body of Christ has a “team” all ready to rush in and “be there” in all shapes and sizes.
(Earth shattering revelation? Or me just being my usual “thick self”?)
The Body of Christ is not an exclusive club. Just as Love is not a “thing”. It is not just a “feeling”. It is not just dutiful “actions”. It is not just “grace freely given”. It is not even “the answer” – love is not “just the answer”.
Love is all of those things and more. Just as the Body of Christ is (should be) everybody and everyone. All of us are the Body of Christ. Some go to church – some don’t. Some have been “saved” – and some have not.
And that comes back to this “orchestra of sounds” – to the discipline of allowing each to be his Team – to accept we are all “us” – to embrace “us” in all walks of life, beliefs, faiths, creeds, colours, culture and every imaginable preference.
We are all His Team. And Love is the answer. To everything.
Because how can you be His Team without individual discipline, respect for each, and acceptance of each? The truth is that love is often hard work.
Making disciples? It’s just coaching the team. Forgiveness? It’s strengthening the team. Equality for all? It’s only enabling the team. Healing rather than attacking? That is simply “being the team”. And the best part? What is good for the team is great for me.
There is a common thread throughout. There is creativity, diversity, hope and despair. There is Love. Even in anger there is love. Even there.
And today He jammed Merryn’s words inside me and twisted hard: “A team has been raised around you”
We are never alone spiritually AND we are never alone physically. We Are Whole. Always.
All we have to do … is to allow.