Sitting in church last night -listening and receiving as Ms. Alicia sang “How He Loves”, I recall so many times having heard that song and it takes me back to the first time. July 7th, 2007, standing in the stadium of L.P. Field in Nashville Tennessee, at theCall, I listening as the simplicity of that song defeated all my self-efforts.
I remember John Mark McMillan standing on the stage, at 5:30 in the afternoon, the sun shifting behind him and he sang “.. you met me between my breaking..” and tears filled my eyes because that’s exactly where I was.
I spent years of my life trying hard to bring God to me because I didn’t understand that He already brought me out and up to where He is. And I was tired of “believing” or my lack there of. Still I continued in my insanity.
However, recently, I gave it up. And then it was quiet in me. Chaos ceased. Silence filled the chambers of my heart and I stood at a standstill.
I walked around my empty heart; my bare feet touching the hardwood floor, and my fingers tracing the character of the exposed brick walls. It was dark, because the only light was streaming in through the window, from a street lamp outside. The air was cold and lifeless. No furniture to make it home, no food in the icebox.
Everything was gone, emptied, all but 2 cardboard boxes in the corner of the room. One labeled “Memories” and the other “What I believe”. I opened the second box and stared at what’s real and what’s not all mixed in together, and I was blank.
So, I sat down in the floor, and in the dark, empty, silence of my heart, I began to look for every truth I knew of Him… which turned out to be very little because most of what I thought was lie. And after searching for the truth all I found was…..
He Loves Me.
And I rehearsed that, a thousand times, until the light came on… one lightbulb hanging from exposed wire lit the whole room.
So I took that second box, and emptied it out of the window. I watched all of my theology fall to the street.
Sitting it back on the floor, I placed inside one thought. One simple, free, feral belief:
He Loves Me.
And maybe that’s just it, the “plain and simple” of the Gospel. He romanced us all the way through death and released us into Freedom at the resurrection of our hearts through the redemption of His body.
He Loves Us. And that’s what I believe.
My mind keeps repeating to itself the prophetic picture of Christ in Isaiah 53.
He had no “glow” of splendor that required my attention.
Yet still while my eyes were wondering, He absorbed- [swallowed up] my identity, my DNA, my nature as a child of Adam, my condition, my sin and shame into His flesh. When Divinity stepped into humanity, He took everything in His body – including me.
And that Body went through the brutality of the cross, the echo of the grave, and the horror of hell………. And so did I.
He broke open the way (Micah 2:13 -The opener of the way will go up before them: forcing their way out they will go on to the doorway and out through it: their king will go on before them, and the Lord at their head. -BBE Version) and enchanted, I followed. Because He is continually leading me in the Triumphal procession (2 Corinthians 2:14-But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. – NLT), the after party of the Cross!
Toward the end of the picture Isaiah painted, he said: “But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.”
And I could never understand how the Father could call that pleasure and be pleased by it…
But now I see that it’s a beautiful picture of a Happy Dad, who receives back, not one but many sons from the dead.
Before, I was dead in my own conscious. My sense of right and wrong were the death of me.
But aware that I was present for the defeat of sin, the conquering of the grave and the revival of my own heart, I now live in an active relationship with that Happy Dad.
Because He Loves Me. And that’s what I believe.