My friend Bev (whose husband runs my church in Cape Town) is an extremely talented photographer. She’s having a sale of her photos to raise money for a trip to the UK for a conference. This is seriously amazing art that you would want on your walls. You can order prints or canvases to be delivered in the UK, South Africa or elsewhere… click here to take a look.. and see the slide show below.
I was just thinking and musing.
And then I realised that I was having a silent conversation with God and it was important.
When my earthly father can’t be everything I need a dad to be,
(and other ‘father figures’ move away or even pass away)
will you be my dad?
When leaders can’t be a perfect ‘covering’,
will you cover me?
When my house can’t always be safe,
will you be my place of safety?
When relationships with men evade me or don’t work out,
will you be my husband?
When my friends sometimes let me down and many are far away,
will you be my best friend?
When I’m no longer sure where home is,
will you be my home?
When I feel lonely and alone,
will you be my constant companion?
Tears run down my face as I silently articulate these questions
and as the answer comes immediately, clearly and so tenderly.
“I thought you’d never ask.”
– How extraordinary that He seemed to be lovingly waiting for me to ask.
“I will and that’s a promise.”
Can I take him at His word?
Can it be more than just song lyrics, can He really ‘be my everything’? Really?
Amazing that He doesn’t seem to mind me only really asking, really seeking when the first more visible and tangible options seem to fail. He knows I’m only human.
“They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” (Jeremiah 2:13)
God, please forgive me for all the endless times I’ve looked to other things and people to meet my needs before I look to you.
How come I’m so slow to understand it in my heart? – that you are the only spring of living water and everything and everyone else are just broken cisterns that can’t hold water.
So then I guess His challenge to me is:
Even when your relationship with your earthly father is good,
will you still look to me as Dad?
Even when leaders provide good and wise ‘covering’,
will you still place yourself under my ultimate covering?
Even when you feel secure in your home,
will you still rest in me as your safe place?
Even when you are married,
will you still turn to me as your first love?
Even when you feel well loved by your friends,
will you still know me as your best friend?
Even when you feel at home somewhere,
will you still find your home in me?
Even when you feel content and connected,
will you still connect with me, your constant companion?
So that’s the “I will” I need to answer,
the bride’s response He’s waiting for.
I’m not as good at keeping promises as He is but I can try.
Amazingly, mysteriously my answer seems to matter to Him.
How can a mere mortal’s love and commitment impact the heart of the eternal God of time and space?
I have no idea how. But it does seem to.
And that’s the beauty of mystery.
So I say “I will” and I feel His delight and sense His smile.
Copyright © Hilary Murdoch 2014. All Rights Reserved.
Photo by ‘chickpeafiend’ on Deviant Art
As dusk falls, the sky turns rose pink and dove grey
and the moon, a big round orange orb, rises from the sea,
through the milky clouds and shines bright,
dropping a path of shimmering silver towards us, across the sea.
A sliver of the scene lit up, as the rest recedes into darkness.
The air is filled with the rumble of waves and the damp of sea spray.
It reminds me of a painting that belonged to my granny that always fascinated me.
A moon-lit seascape with a lonely boat, barely lit.
It seemed mysterious and sad. Alien to my life experience at that time.
Such happy memories of spending time in her home,
when life seemed so simple and uncomplicated,
no big issues, fears or concerns.
Plenty of time to play, imagine, create.
The brokenness and evil of the world hadn’t invaded my little world.
Naive some would say. Blessed I guess. Protected for sure.
But now back in my current moonlit seascape
the world doesn’t seem so safe, certainly not as simple.
Sometimes I feel like that little boat in the painting.
In the dark, cast adrift, disconnected, desperate for the clarity of dawn.
And yet in my good moments I know what, or who,
is the anchor of my little boat.
The anchor which will hold me still until dawn breaks.
And I find I’m not alone in my boat after all.
Even when life feels unsafe,
when my little world is invaded
by the brokenness and evil in the big world out there,
even when I don’t understand.
God is with me in the boat
and that makes all the difference.
And so maybe I can dare
to take time to play, imagine and create again,
trusting His presence is better than an answer.
© Hilary Murdoch 2014. All rights reserved.