Years ago, on an October evening in a hot springs on the top of a mountain in Otaru Japan, I sat with God and a friend. It was gently snowing. The water was steaming hot, filled with minerals. As the sun dipped low on the horizon, we watched surfers in Ishikari Bay and talked. I remember the sight of snowflakes touching the water. I can recall the tingling feeling as I ran my fingers through my frozen hair as well as the relief that followed when I dipped my head under the hot spring waters. I have come to see this as a moment of connecting with More.
This week’s movement, from Shanghai to Hong Kong and onto California, was endless. I woke today with a sense of the need to reconnect. The morning wind and rain painted a dismal scene. The wet concrete reflected a dull sky as rain bounced on its surface. I am not sure what the trigger as I felt the invitation to return to Otaru.
Invitations are fleeting, often momentary. There is a pattern of acting without thought. It may work, as it did in the situation where a Roman commander heard of a riot. “He acted swiftly. His soldiers and centurions ran to the scene at once. As soon as the mob saw the captain and his soldiers, they quit beating Paul.” (Acts 21.32) On the other hand, it may be simply a whim.
This morning I responded to an invitation that puzzled everyone in the house. In the midst of a firm wind and driving rain, I stepped out into the spa. The hot water was almost overwhelming! Part of me was freezing while the other half was crying to get out of the heat. I hesitated, unsure how I should respond – the immediate reaction versus a clear invitation to More. As I let myself go into the water, I turned to see small bit of iced water bounce on the spa’s deck. I knew Peace was not far away.
God talked then and now as Divinity always does.