Thoughts and Reflections
The World As Best As I Remember It
Copyright 1992 by Rich Mullins
I am thinking now of old Moses: sitting on a mountain - sitting with God - looking across the Jordan into the Promised land. I am thinking of the lump in his throat, that weary ache in his heart, that nearly nitter longing sweetened by the company of God...
And then God - the great eternal God - takes Moses', thin - worn, thread-bare little body into His hands - hands into whose breath marked off the heavens - and with these enormous and enormously gentle hands, God folds Moses' pale lifeless arms across his chest for burial.
I don't know if God wept at Moses' funeral. I don't know if He cried when he killed the first of His creatures, to take it's skins to clothe this man's earliest ancestors. I don't know who will bury me.
...Of God, on whose breast old Moses' lays his head like John the beloved would lay his on the Christ's. And God sits there quietly with Moses - for Moses - and lets his little man cry out his last moments of life.
But I look back over the moments of my life and see the hands that carried Moses to his grave lifting me out of mine. In remembering, I go back to these places where God met me and I met Him again and I lay my head on His breast, and He shows me the land beyond the Jordan and I suck into my lungs the fragrance of His breath, the power of His presence.
Rich Mullins, 1-31-92.
Psycho-babble is that language spoken by sailors who have become so interested in navigating their way around their boat that they have forgotten to read the stars and sea. They may be able to get from the galley to the head but will be lost in their journey from point to port.
Jesus, being God, is the perfect picture of who God is. Jesus, being man, is the picture of perfect humanity.
To find him - to meditate on him - is to find God and our own true selves. It is to see the brilliant design of the boat and it's course and the beauty of the sea.
God did not give Joseph any special information about how to get from being the son of a nomad in Palestine to being Pharoah's right hand man in Egypt. What He did give Joseph was eleven jealous brothers, the attention of a very loose and vengeful woman, the ability to do the service of interpreting dreams and managing other people's affairs and the grace to do that faithfully wherever he was.
A faith that moves mountains is a faith that expands horizons, it does not bring us into a smaller world full of easy answers, but into a larger one where there is room for wonder.
(The world as best as I can remember it)
The Bible is not a book for the faint of heart - it is a book full of all the greed and glory and violence and tenderness and sex and betrayal that benefits mankind. It is not the collection of pretty little anecdotes mouthed by pious little church mice - it does not so much nibble at our shoe leathers as it cuts to the heart and splits the marrow from the bone. It does not give us answers fitted to our small-minded questions, but truth that goes beyond what we even know to ask.
I do not work myself into some ecstatic frenzy to meet God. God does not speak to me through opium dreams or out of hypnotic trances. He meets me in history and takes me beyond it to Himself. Any "mysticism" that is authentic does not abregate time and space - it infuses those elements with meaning.
Time and space - that is the world. And this is the world as best as I can remember it.
Look at us all - we are all of us lost and in all of our different ways of pretending, we all fool ourselves into the very same hell.
Look at the cross - we are all of us loved and one God meets us all at the point of our common need and brings to all of us - all who will let Him - salvation.
Is that "great cloud of witnesses" watching my walk so as to judge or is it informing my way so that I may walk it? Do they hide the lights so that I cannot see it or do they filter it so that it's blaze will not blind me? Can a man see God face to face and live? Can I not see an eclipse better through a pinhole in a paper than without it?
We can't so much see light as we can see things because of it. So, I do not meet God in a vacuum - I meet Him in the world He has provided for me to meet Him in - in a world of events and of places, of history (time and space), in a world of lives of people and their records of their encounters. I meet God in this world - in the world of these things...
...and this is the world as best as I can remember it.
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