Come

I returned from my eight-day retreat carefully cradling my tender heart. In the coming weeks, I will talk about what happened. It’s changed how I see and hear God, myself and scripture.

Yesterday I read Matthew 7:21-27 and heard it in a new way.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

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What if the kingdom of heaven Jesus has in mind is less about where we go when we die and more about the reality of God’s love for us here and now?

What if our thoughts about God and our prayers to God only lead us to the door of this reality but not in?

What if entering into that kingdom of love requires vulnerability? That means not just naming or talking about our emotions with God but feeling them?

Rembrandt_Harmensz._van_Rijn_-_The_Return_of_the_Prodigal_Son_-_Father_and_Son

What if seeing and doing the will of God is less about completing tasks or assignments and more about allowing Jesus to express the full extent of his love for us and allowing ourselves to experience the full extent of our need for him?

What if remaining firmly on the rock despite the storm is not a portrait of strength but a revelation that we are held in God’s heart?

What if the words Jesus wants us to put into practice that grant us entrance into his kingdom are not: stand firm, be perfect or leave your life of sin? (Jesus knows these are all impossible unless we are already in the kingdom of vulnerability.) No. I think Jesus has one word for us: come.

“Come,” God says, “let me wipe your tears, and let my mouth come close to your ear and say to you, ‘I love you. I love you. I love you.'”

∗ ∗ ∗

Love Mischief for the World

HenriNouwenHenri Nouwen should be canonised the patron saint of love-mischief makers. Through his life and writings, his vulnerability enabled us to welcome both our brokenness and God’s love. The last paragraph of today’s post is from this quote of Nouwen’s from Show Me the Way: Daily Lenten Readings. “God does not require a pure heart before embracing us. Even if we return only because following our desires has failed to bring happiness, God will take us back . . . ‘Come,’ God says, ‘let me wipe your tears, and let my mouth come close to your ear and say to you, “I love you. I love you. I love you.”'”

What love mischief are you and God doing to care for the earth?
 Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.

Credits and References:
“The Rolling Tempest Pescadero State Beach” by Justin Kern. Used with permission.
“The Return of the Prodigal Son” by Rembrandt from Wikimedia Creative Commons.
Portrait of Henri Nouwen Wikimedia Creative Commons.
The last paragraph of today’s post is from Show Me the Way: Daily Lenten Readings by Henri Nouwen.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2016.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.  http://www.estherhizsa.com

About Esther Hizsa

Esther is a spiritual director and writer. She lives in Burnaby with her husband, Fred, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.
This entry was posted in Mystical, Popular Posts, Poverty of Spirit, Prayer, Reflections, Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Come

  1. Mei says:

    So profoundly beautiful…thank you Esther! I can sense the arms of the Father reaching out to enfold me as I read…’allowing Jesus to express the full extent of his love for us and allowing ourselves to experience the full extent of our need for him’. Aaahhh, my soul is Home.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gail Koombes says:

    So nice to read, to feel. Our whole being is here to learn to love and forgive. With learning to love, we are loved. With our forgiveness, we our forgiven. How good is that?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Esther Hizsa says:

    Good indeed. Thanks, Gail.

    Like

  4. SUSANNAH PARANICH says:

    Wonderful Blog, shared on FB by Gail Koombes, a FB friend. I’d like to subscribe to email notification if you do that; now I see an option in this comment area. I’ll catch up reading the other Blog articles later. Wonderful writings and thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Esther Hizsa says:

    Thanks for the kind words, Susannah. Glad you are enjoying my blog.

    Like

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