I opened my heart to the piercing rays of the Beautiful One this morning. I didn’t mean to, it was just the way the choruses played during our Sunday morning reflection that lulled the guardians to sleep. He slayed me with one glance of his affection, and that tender way of showing me what is distancing us from intimacy. I could only look on as my heart listened to the passage from Joel 2: 12:
“Now, therefore, saith the Lord. Be converted to me with all your heart, in fasting, and in weeping, and mourning.”
I couldn’t move, my eyes were misty riveted to the page. The NASB says: ” Return to me”…I know return. It is a repentance that involves burning your old place of residence in the flesh down, down to the ground below the foundation. Sowing salt upon that place never to return…leaving nothing to go back to, it is a changing of the kingdom. From darkness into light. As the Immerser said that fateful day when THE lamb walked upon the shores of the Jordan…”Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”
I needed a turning. I was desperately in need of an exchange in addresses. I could feel the old key ring jingling the ways to the old house. The house that rejection built. A strong fortified place of the ” I will nevers, and the they will nevers, ” statements of the soul that had kept me safe for a long season. Safe? I didn’t feel safe. I felt cold. That was my statement to the Gardener as we journeyed down the mountain on icy roads to attend an ecclesia that felt like ice to my soul in need of turning. “I’m wrong inside, I know it, but I can’t fix it”. His quick glace from the wheel, and gentle answer began a thaw in my posture-
“Faith arises out of our helplessness, faith begins when the grace of God comes, unmerited, unasked for-faith rises to meet that”
I moved further on the page and wondered at the way the light shone around the word ‘fasting’ I could feel the shovel in my hands grow warm as I began to dig past what my mind told me I already understood, furiously turning over the soil of my understanding, frantic lest I remain frozen forever and lose the trace of light promising freedom and restored intimacy with the Keeper of my soul.
Fast-a verb. To abstain from food.
Hebrew: tsome, from H6684-a fast
As I dug deeper I found in the gallery of the Ancient Hebrew picture language the painting for the condition of my soul. It is the picture of a man laying upon the ground (on a hunt) and the picture for water…it literally means ” the hunt for water”. To be extremely dry and thirsty is the root word that abstaining from food comes from. I could hear the sound of the water brook as the doe who was being pursued racing to find the place to shelter her from the attackers, to hide her scent from the enemy and drink of living water. I could feel her heart beating in my chest-
“-As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God.” Psalm 42:1
I was feeling thirsty again. Hungry again. Longing again to have nothing between us. I would give up this old house, this place I had built. I would be called out of UR. I would journey onward longing for the City, not made with human hands. I would repent, I would receive forgiveness, I would give forgiveness. I would live transparent and vulnerable and I would pant for the water brooks of the river of my God.
This is how I turn. Empty handed, exposed, helpless. Faith rises to meet grace. I have only to ask a drink, and believe that living water is my portion.
” Jesus answered and said unto unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. John 4:10