Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hover Near

Our enemy, our captor is no pharaoh on the Nile
Our toil is neither mud nor brick nor sand
Our ankles bear no calluses from chains, yet Lord, we're bound
Imprisoned here, we dwell in our own land

Deliver us, deliver us
Oh Yahweh, hear our cry
And gather us beneath your wings tonight

Our sins they are more numerous than all the lambs we slay
These shackles they were made with our own hands
Our toil is our atonement and our freedom yours to give
So Yahweh, break your silence if you can

-Andrew Peterson

I’ve felt disconnected lately. I haven’t been able to go to church regularly in over 9 months. It’s taking its toll. I knew it was affecting me, but it’s become more glaring over the Christmas season. I can’t connect with the story. It’s all porcelain dolls and silent nights. I don’t like terms like Christmas Spirit and Holiday Cheer. I prefer words like redemption, rescue, and grace. There has always been since of awe for me in the reality of the story we tell this time of year. Not so much this year. I haven’t seen one advent candle lit. Not even a glimpse of the wonder surrounding the story of God with us.

A few days ago I took a friend flying. She wanted to touch a cloud. I know, sounded a little silly to me at first to. It was a great day for it. Scattered clouds at 2900, broken at 5000. We went up through the first layer and flew between it and the second. The world became white. Clouds above and below - blue sky out in front. For a while the wheels were skimming the clouds below us. It’s the second most breathtaking flight I’ve ever been on. It was fun, until she opened the window. When she stuck her hand out into that cloud the look on her face changed the experience for me. It was a look I’ve only ever seen on my daughters face, a look I thought only existed on the face of a child. So much joy – such wonder. I didn’t experience it then, but I knew I wanted to.

Tonight I read words about the Christmas story – beautiful words. Words with the power to connect to a story with the power to rescue. As I read about the birth of Christ I found myself, for the first time this year, wide eyed and slack jawed. It became real. A story about real people changed in moment by the overwhelming love of a father. It became clear to me that the only way for me to really connect with the story was to try to connect to its characters – characters that really lived and breathed. Not porcelain dolls under wooden frames, real human people with dirt on their sandals – the same dirt I dump out of my New Balances at night.

I did what I always do when I’m trying to get somewhere – put the IPod on. I listened to Andrew Peterson’s Christmas album. The story starts with Israel – my story starts there to. They were enslaved, rescued, delivered, and then spent 400 years waiting. I feel a lot like that now. Silently waiting. I’m afraid I almost missed it. Tonight as I wait I’m going to pray what I think could have been the first prayer Israel ever prayed in total unison. It’s a prayer I believe addresses the needs in my life. I need mercy. I need love. I need a Savior.

"Lord, let your judgment Passover us
Lord, let your love hover near
Don't let your sweet mercy Passover us
Let this blood cover over us here"
Andrew Peterson

1 comment:

Lindsay Mizell said...

Thanks for not letting me miss it either. The cloud story reminded me that Jesus rescued me because he desires life to the full...and that it is always offered when we take notice. May this Christmas be a reminder that even though 2009 really sucked....we are offered a life full of laughter and tears and suffering and deep breaths and late nights and reasonable happiness and dancing and adventure and depth...a life full of him because there is nothing in our way. A little baby took care of that.