Updated: Sep 13, 2021
The uninhibited phrase I had uttered was "The Lord said to me..."
I noticed the person I was talking to shift uncomfortably.
Up until that point in my life, I was blissfully unaware of a faith where God didn't speak. To me, this truly was a living faith. I turned it over in my head.
Am I crazy? Isn't hearing God speak the crux of this living faith I believe in?
I was instantly saddened by this discovery. What does that look like;
faith without God speaking. "In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning." John 1:1
Essentially, it is a faith without Jesus who is the Logos: the Living Word.
I frankly don't want to live a life without a living Word permeating my soul....
flowing, changing, creating newness in me and my circumstances. Challenging my pride in new ways every day.
In the beginning, was the Logos. The beautiful living language evokes, imbues, and stimulates growth. You spoke and it was. You took on flesh and bones. "It is finished," you said, and it was.
There is this mystery, with many treasures to be found. However, most of the living and growing is right in front of me; being in His presence and moving as He whispers.
I have an interest in taking care of the Earth. Recently, I heard a talk on the difference between "Saving the Planet" and "Caring for Creation". One is a crusade to save, the other is a call to live. If I care about the beautiful world I live in, then my first call is to care for where I am right now. There is this draw to the grandiose while neglecting the soil I find my feet in.
I always thought it started with a seed. The relationship goes further back: it starts with the soil.
The Word that has been planted in the soil of my soul, broken open for life. This Word that speaks to me; whispering a love song. Ideas that bud and pop with color. These ideas are commands to obey: He asks me to love as He loves. Which is turning out to be the most impossible task every day. "Take in my water and sunlight," He says. "Let it nourish you and grow you into my likeness." When I listen, I learn to move at the sound of his voice. I grow.
I recognize I don't do that so well: receive. I want to give. I want to bless and to impart. But God knows that that cannot be the way. First, we receive. Next, we give thanks.
About six months ago I joined an adult women's volleyball club here in Barranquilla. That first night that I followed directions to get to the court my heart beating fast, I immediately became a little girl desperately wanting to play at the playground at a new school. It is probably the most vulnerable I have felt this year. I hadn't played for a few years, so that certainly didn't help with my anxiety as we started warming up in pairs. Suddenly my whole body felt awkward and out of my control. My head was hot more so from my embarrassment than from the heat that had waned with the sun. Little did I know this was only the beginning of a humbling coming over me.
Barranquilla is a large metropolis. The further south you go, the closer you are to the original downtown and the culture that has marinated for centuries. The northern end of the city has only expanded to exist in the past 20 years. The women that I began to get to know were not only friends that had played together for the past three years, but also all from the same sectors. I soon realized not only do I lack volleyball vocabulary in Spanish, but I also communicate with many people who have known foreigners or have lived outside the older sectors and are able to accept my accent. These precious ladies had never known a foreigner before let alone spoken to one for a longer length of time. I found myself wondering if I do indeed speak Spanish. I admitted to them that I can understand about 60% of what they are saying in practice. Talk about a good opportunity to listen, and just "be". I had a moment where I had to decide that as painful as it is to be an outsider in every way, it is good for me to be forced to just be there. It's risky, but it has been rewarding to learn by observing and listening to an entirely different demographic.
I had a unique opportunity to receive. Gratitude has spilled over for this fresh perspective and new friendships. It is still humbling. It is still difficult. It is awkward. Oh man, is it awkward. I don't know many people who enjoy just standing in a group and not having a clue what they are talking about. The Lord reminds me that I am not alone. He is with me. I have had some unique prayer time for the team that had I been able to join in their banter, would not be happening. "Give thanks," He whispers, and I do.
The idea that began to bud and eventually pops in color is: He has known these ladies. He sees them. He delights in them. It all starts in Him. It always has, and always will. I can know them. I can see them. I can delight in them. Wow! I get to know them. I can care for this creation right where I am. They are His created. This is the soil in which I find my feet.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:15-17
I let these words wash over me: He is before all things, and in him, all things hold together. My roots stretch down deep into this soil- truth. My leaves jiggle slightly in the wind. I take in a deep breath of life, and simply am because first He was.
Quick update: Angel was recently featured on the website "How I got my job!" It was a chance to showcase our story and share her passion for writing. Check it out here: https://howigotjob.com/job-description/stepping-into-the-rhythm/.