The rain sprayed diagonally outside the thick windows, and flashes of yellows swirled in the wind, leaves falling. And I was sheltered by the thick arches of boards I didn't lay, held together by nails I didn't pound in. I stood under this and grace, among many different people with many different stories, and we sang. This:
"Your love is deeper than any ocean
Higher than the Heavens,
Reaches . . .
Beyond the stars in the sky.
Jesus, Your love has no bounds."
And I pictured Him. I pictured Him as a Jewish man in that typical Jesus garb . . . you know. The white robe. Blue sash. Dark, long hair. You know.
And I had to stop myself.
And then I pictured Him again. In jeans, a nice shirt, cut hair. And His smile . . . oh His sweet smile. And once again, I fell in love. His love breaks my heart and makes me want to dance and fly and cry. I don't understand this type of love.
And I imagined Him holding my hand. His love astounds me. It's realness astounds me.
You see, Father God has become so much more real to me lately. Being in Bible college, learning about Genesis, dissecting events and stories, God's Word and His truth and Himself are becoming wildly vivid to me. You see, I've grown up in a Christian home, in a Christian church where Bible characters lived in flannel graphs, and history was a stack of stories that happened miles and miles back in time. Yes, it happened, but they were stories recorded in old fashion children's books with drab colored pictures.
As I'm learning about Genesis, I'm finding out something interesting. I'm finding that my default vision views the Bible as a set of stories. Being at Multnomah has been so good because it's readjusting how I view the Bible, how I view God. It's beginning to really sink in that these stories are REAL, that these people were REAL (and many of them I can really relate to). That this Yahweh is my Daddy, that I'm His. And this excites me.
But as I said, sometimes the old way of viewing things comes back. Like when I want to picture Jesus as this old, storybook figure, walking into my life in a mystic sense of irrelevance. No. If Jesus would've come a second time and would decide to come to Portland, Oregon, God-in-flesh, I think He might just wear jeans. I think He'd look like us, you know?
I know this isn't new. In fact, some would thing this is a pretty pathetic, childish realization. But I'm glad I'm realizing it. I'm glad I'm realizing the effect of being raised through the Christian framework (something I'm very grateful for, but it has definitely impacted how I view things, and sometimes I need to step back and question why I see things the way I do?). And I'm so glad that Jesus can be real to us. That He IS SO REAL. This excites me.
And in case you've been questioning lately, I want to remind you of something Jesus reminded me of today . . . You are never alone, friend. Never ever unloved because He is Real. And He is here. Alleluia.