Friday, August 14, 2009

The Love Letter

This incredible little piece was written by a childhood friend of mine. Check out Jennifer's blog when you get a chance.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us." -- John 1:14

I dusted the spare bedroom the other day and came across it. I pulled it from the shelf and held it in my hands: my childhood Bible. It was a reminder of a time when The Word was a stranger relegated to the bookshelf.

So patient, He was. And still is.

He was waiting there for years, inside pages where He poured out His heart. He put some of the best parts in red. But I didn't read it.

A Love Letter, unopened.

Every few months, I swiped the Word with a lemon-scented dust cloth. But always, I left it in its place – a decoration on a shelf next to a book about Degas' paintings.

I wanted to believe the promise of love,
the mystery of grace,
the work on a Cross,
the hope in a tomb,
but I couldn't.

Some talk about faith like this: "You've got to move your faith south -- from your head to your heart.

"My faith worked in reverse: I needed God to move my faith north. I had a heart that was willing, but a brain that was not. I wanted to believe, but I could not.

So rather than disappoint myself with stories that seemed like fairy tales, this Love Letter stayed shelved for years.

But the willing heart wins every time. The Word Himself planted Truth in hearts, under a canopy of forever. And the Word would grow in willing soil.

"He has set eternity in the hearts of men." -Ecc. 3:11

Yes, He would make everything beautiful in its time.

One day, my oldest sister sent a gift by mail. It was a book like the one on my shelf -- same words, same red letters. I opened it. The words of Mark 9:24 leapt from the page: "Lord, I do believe. Help me with my unbelief."

I gasped, silently mouthed the words. Dare I ask this for myself?

God, if you're there, could you do that for me? I asked. I want to believe, Lord, would you help me with my unbelief?

Lord help me with my unbelief!

I don't know when it happened exactly, but my faith went north.

I began to feel the words, in the marrow. Leather-bound Soul Food in my hands -- alive and active -- had become more than stories. The Word put flesh on The Word. He wrote letters to me -- to me! -- and I wrote back to Him in the margins. I underlined my favorite parts in green.

Today, God is as close as gold-lined pages on my fingertips. When He says He loves me, I believe Him from my Word-drenched heart all the way up to my Word-drenched intellect.

Author and Giver of Life, Keep me pointed north. Kindle in me the desire to continually learn more about You through Your Word – a Love Letter to me that woos. Even when I fail -- and I will again -- remind me that it's never too late to pick it up again; Your words are faithful even when I am not. Amen.

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