I often play a game when I am in a reflective mood. I pose an image of someone in my mind. As the image forms with the associated emotions, memories, and hopes, I ask myself what my reaction is to seeing them again for the first time. The answers are never simply factual points. As the question plays out in my mind, images form and dance in reply. I find myself watching the scene in a curious mirror. What are the externals signals I am sending to others and to my heart? What is actually going on in my soul of souls? Inevitably, the questions that follow unfold and boil down to a simple, why am I reacting the way I am?
I find that this is a good question to ask myself in far more situations than while reflecting. Why do you and I react the way we do? What is going on that brings out the particular set of emotions, feelings, and behavior? Is there something that I am telling myself that I am not listening to?
When I talk to people about God, I often find their facial story telling me that they are reacting to the image of meeting the God/god they know. It is not always a pleasant response. Sometimes their faces are full of pain. On other occasions, visible fear rests on their features. The range of emotions is endless.
When a man of old described a scene of people coming back to a God reunion the scene was filled with an incredible response. “When you see them coming you'll smile-big smiles! Your heart will swell and, yes, burst! All those people returning by sea for the reunion, a rich harvest of exiles gathered in from the nations!” (Isaiah 60.5)
I do not know how you feel this morning, especially when it comes to meeting God. Given the God I know that is always compassionate, forever loving, and endlessly filled with mercy, I find myself filled with peace, longing for the Spirit's embrace. This God is available to all.
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