Thursday, November 17, 2016

It Was A Tuesday; When Jesus Hugged Me.




Last Tuesday night,
with only a hug;
without even an exchange of words,
my soul came alive.

After coming home from DTS last August,
where God was made more real to me than ever,
naturally, I wondered what the "new normal" would be like.

In the meantime,
daily duty, and obligation
set its claws into my routine.
This "put your head down"
and keep pushing mentality
became my everyday.
And I've only recently realized that,
my soul has struggled to find rest.

Imagine breathing in short inhales of air,
until your lungs are completely full.
Then, only exhale enough air to breathe in a
very small amount of air, so that your lungs
remain at capacity after each inhale.

After a while, your body becomes tense;
your muscles unable to relax because you
haven't exhaled in a while.

And if you can translate that into
an emotional "breathing pattern,"
that is how my soul has been living
for the past few weeks.

It's like I was blindsided.
Taking on more and more obligations
at the expense of freedom.
I wasn't aware of my restlessness
until this moment,
on a Tuesday night
when I felt my soul finally exhale.

Jon and I walked into our sweet friends' home,
for our Tuesday night church group.
We hadn't been in a while because
of life.
--No, not because of life. Life is what you make it.
Because of routine.
And keeping my head down and unaware of how
my soul was really doing.

We walked in the door and I saw my friend
coming from the kitchen to greet us.
She immediately hugged me hello.
I quickly realized that this wasn't a traditional,
"Hi, i'm going to hug you because it's what
we do in American Culture" type hug,
my soul was being embraced.

She said, "how are you?"
I was surprised with how quickly my eyes filled with tears.
This wasn't the traditional, "I'm asking how are you
with the expectation of the answer being 'good,' so that
we can move on with the evening," type question either,

It was a question that said,
"I care for you, I see you,
it's good to see you, and I've missed you" all at once.

At first, I tried to fight the emotions naturally
happening inside of me;
but I knew better.

It was a hug that lasted all of 15 seconds,
and yet, Jesus met me in that moment.
He prompted my friend to care for me
in the simplest, yet deepest way because
He knew what I needed.
Even if I was completely oblivious.

The freedom that Christ extends is like no other.
Having not attended our Tuesday night church group for a few weeks,
I naturally experienced feelings of guilt,
and embarrassingly, almost to the point of not going at all,
in order to avoid feeling bad about our recent attendance.

But Jesus reminded me,
through my friend.
That tonight, "He's just glad I'm there."
In that moment, I was reminded that
He just wants my heart,
no matter how many times I forget,
and have to give it to Him all over again.

Afterwards, I sat in their living room,
listening to songs of worship,
letting the Love of Jesus gently wash over me.

May I never forget this.

And so I sit and ask myself.
What do I need to remain free?
What is it that keeps my soul out of the
confines of routine, obligation, and duty?
What is it that keeps my mind, heart, and soul
alive and aware of the freedom that Jesus Christ brings?

I think that in order to feel "at rest,"
I must create.

Writing.
Photography
Painting.
Music.

The desire is always there,
and I'm learning that it will become
cold and dormant if not continuously awakened.

What is it that helps you live in the freedom that Christ has given you?


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