“Alleluia,” was sung from the voice of a young girl that was me. I took his hand and I walked away from this world. I did not know the way, but I would follow his plan and not my own.
There are so many others, the blur of the crowd passes me by. I lay. I lay down. I lay down in the mass and they pass me by. The rain falls, it pours upon my face. Cold soaks my body to the core, my bones shiver. I feel the mud and the water rise around me.
“Where are you?!” I cry. “Where did you lead me? Do you even know my terror? DO YOU EVEN CARE IF I DROWN?!”
He passes through the masses, they give him no notice. He kneels down and picks up my body. He helps me to my feet.
Turning to the nature he made, he rebukes the wind and he talks to the rain, “Quiet, be still!”
Then he says to me, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
And I am terrified. Who is this man? When I have seen all that he has done for me, why does the storm still scare me?
My mind engaged in Buddism, clearing all the chaos. I released myself of riches and the hamster wheel of comfort. When suffering plagued my days, I sought to release their power. There was no purpose in their pains. But they stalked me, humoring in their disturbance, and I wasted away my life seeking relief from my fleeting days. My days of calm were no peaceful offering for the meaning of my passing life.
I seek Allah, days full of ritual prayer. His commands tell me to be good, to follow his decrees. But when the hammer of judgement falls, I find that I fail so miserably. I can not live up to his scale. Fear is all I know.
I live for this world, pursuing pleasures. One after another, I drink in their delight. When this one fades, so very quickly, I seek the next craving, surely it will fill me. Unexpected and hurt, it leaves me even more empty.
Who is this God that pursues me? The Creator of hydrangea blossoms and painter of beach sunsets. “My child, that longing and ache in your heart, it is my whisper. It is me, come and see what I have prepared for you. Your weakness will be my strength, for I will make you whole.” My every hearts desire leads me to his purpose. The tears of my hopeless nights, undone in his presence. Mercy to erase my hate, my selfishness, and my quick to anger ways. Grace that abounds what my soul longed for always.
“Why?! I have searched the gods, I have traveled far and wide and longed for just happiness. All the gods demand that I meet their standards and they ask for all of me. But you tell me that I am offered the gift of you. Why would you far exceed what I ask? And why would you possibly approach me?!”
And when all the gods dismiss me, when I find myself failing, the only one that matters searched and he found me.
Kicking and screaming, I had my own idea of what I wanted to do. I had my own plans to seek out to accomplish. God’s will was getting in my way.
I was blind, sick, hungry, and poor. He did everything, it was not of me. I can not turn on a light when I do not even know that I am in darkness. My mind was awakened to my depravity. He is everything, everything to me.
I gave him my plans for his. This is not a relationship to fit into pop-culture. This is not a religion to make myself look good. I give him that, my acceptance and my image.
“A civil war. A rebellion, and that we are living in a part of the universe occupied by the rebel. Enemy occupied territory, that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed…and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage.” CS Lewis, Mere Christianity
Do I want to move in and make myself at home? Do I want to be a rogue soldier that has defected from my country? Heaven is my home and I am getting ready. My God has more than supplied my needs. I show up and he does the work. I am present and he is the power. This is a rescue mission. There is family to save.
Do not seek comfort in this world that can not give it. Do not be surprised when the enemy attacks. He lies in secret and waits for me. Do not try to fit in. Do not fear this evil that has already been defeated. The outcome is victory. I am a soldier in a battle. I am here on a mission. This world is not my home. It is enemy territory.