… in the dense and stench …

He is close

He is close when I enter into the sweet evening sky, with a few light poles washing dimly across the parking lot.  Air was damp with light touch of breeze.  It was a dark night but you can feel the saffron of autumn filling up the molecules around you.

He is close when you feel an exuberant influx of joy burping inside your chest when all that in front of you are three most precious in your life with breathing lungs, running legs, and crimson hearts!

He is close when I sit on the tiled floor of the kitchen, squinting my eyes to the splashing evening sun, sprawling like a lazy fat cat purring and napping on the floor.  The evening light, slanting across the wall and the floor, and me sitting there soaking in.  Sun-washed with nothing but the sense of being drenched in His sovereignty.  That I am safe in His unmistakable way.  The house was amass in silence.  Dense.  Solid.  Air is muddy in contrast with the cool tiled floor.  Eyes are closed feeling the warmth on my skin.  Ears are swing wide listening to His voice amidst of such dense silence, His voice always come through, never disappoint.

He is close when I stand in the midst of a crowd of people whom I know only less than a handful of names.  As I listen to all the possibilities of us being in service in the midst of broken people.  Emotionally churning and turning, I prayed to the One and asked,

“Is that what You, after all these time, desire for me to leap into, to alter my stereotyped mind, to break away my comfort cocoon but to leap into a radical “Church” who gives itself away to build Your Kingdom.  I thought I have already given all to You, yet You peeled off the crust of my calloused heart and showed me its lukewarm condition – not hot nor cold.   You despise it with which You have no use.  You desire more from me, giving more of myself away.  You desire for my heart to plunge into one’s brokenness and allow my heart to be let go where Your rest could steer.

The One said,

“I want you to be challenged by them, you to relate to them, so that you know how to respond to them.  Not in a distance.  Not to use their stories to challenge your faith.  But to live lives with them.  Life living alongside life. Life influencing life.  Life transforming life.  Be in the dense.  Be in the stench.  You relate to the dense. Then You could respond to the stench.”

Your Word says Isaiah 26:1-9

In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:

We have a strong city;
God makes salvation
its walls and ramparts.
Open the gates
that the righteous nation may enter,
the nation that keeps faith.
You will keep in perfect peace
    those whose minds are steadfast,
    because they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
    for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.
He humbles those who dwell on high,
he lays the lofty city low;
he levels it to the ground
and casts it down to the dust.
Feet trample it down—
the feet of the oppressed,
the footsteps of the poor.

The path of the righteous is level;
you, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth.
Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws,
    we wait for you;
your name and renown
    are the desire of our hearts.
My soul yearns for you in the night;
    in the morning my spirit longs for you.

*    *    *    *

… In age and feebleness extreme,
Who shall a helpless worm redeem?
Jesus! my only hope thou art,
Strength of my failing flesh and heart;
O could I catch one smile from thee,
And drop into eternity! …

~~Charles Wesley

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