… Still recovering from my 15-month ordeal (see the last post, below). Who knew I could sleep so much?
Now, on to a more spiritual topic.
I wrote a while ago about the sense that Jesus is calling me to greater intimacy, a call, I realize, that at some level I am afraid to follow.
I think one aspect of sin’s root is that God offers his love and we reject it, convinced (perhaps by our own experience?) that He will not love us well and that we must take matters into our own hands. Therefore, we seek love in all the wrong places.
It’s not that I must find Him, but that I must respond to His knocking at my heart in a way I never have.
I am always moved when I recall the passage in Blue Like Jazz about a friend of author Donald Miller who interviewed Bill Bright [Founder of Campus Crusade for Christ]:
… as a final question he asked Dr. Bright what Jesus meant to him. Alan said Dr. Bright could not answer the question. He said Dr. Bright just started to cry. He sat there in his big chair behind his big desk and wept.
When Alan told me that story I wondered what it was like to love Jesus that way. I wondered, quite honestly, if that Bill Bright guy was just nuts or if he really knew Jesus in a personal way, so well that he would cry at the very mention of His name. I knew then that I would like to know Jesus like that, with my heart, not just my head. I felt like that would be the key to something.
I do, too.
I always thought Bill Bright had some amazing relationship with Jesus that simply drove him to forget himself and share the gospel.
I would like to have that, though it scares me a bit.
It reminds me of what the Apostle Paul said:
… Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
Frankly, when I look back on why I’ve done ministry in the past, sure, obviously I am compelled by the love of Christ, but I am painfully aware of all the other motives stirring within and along side of that one, dross such as:
- longing for the sense of excitement and power that come from seeing God work (through me!),
- feeling like I am somebody special because God chose to use me
- finding identity in being part of a community that’s working alongside of me
Who, me? I’ll stop there. No need to bore you with any more facts…
Today, I told my husband (a pastor between callings) that if both of us really knew Christ the way Bill Bright did, we wouldn’t care what job we had. Because Jesus would be enough.
And we’d do ministry no matter what the pay or recognition or result. We’d want so much to honor Jesus. We’d be compelled by our love for Him.
My husband told me I could stop talking.
Just a wee bit too convicting, apparently.
Dear Lord: I want to know and love you like Bill Bright did (and now does, for eternity), but I think I am afraid of it, too. I don’t even know how to proceed. But you know. Please do your thing in my heart. Amen.