Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Tornado of God's Goodness

Moses said, "Please. Let me see your Glory." God said, "I will make my Goodness pass right in front of you; I'll call out the name, GOD, right before you..."But you may not see my face. No one can see me and live." God said, "Look, here is a place right beside me. Put yourself on this rock. When my Glory passes by, I'll put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with my hand until I've passed by. Then I'll take my hand away and you'll see my back. But you won't see my face." Exodus 33:19-21

It is well past sundown. The beginning of a new day. Shepherds fill the surrounding hills. It is lambing time. Ewes labor under the stars to bring their young to life on the grass in the soft hours of the first watch of the night.

Not far away a young woman, just a bit of a girl really, squats above the dirt and straw floor of a stable, teeth gritted, captured in labor's vice-like grasp. Wave upon wave comes to finally cast her up, exhausted, upon motherhood's shore.

A working man's rough hands clean the child and put him swiftly to his mother's breast. God's Lamb and the world have come face to face. The lethal glory from which the hand of God shielded Moses is out in the open and looking upon the world...and the world is looking back.

Soon shepherds will peer into the birth chamber of the One who rode upon the wings of the wind, who opened the doors of the morning and entered the storehouse of the snow...and they will live and not die. God and man will now love each other face to face. God has made His goodness a bed in a stable.

God's destination was always the hearts of men. My heart. Yours. When He comes, His goodness comes also. Christ was the perfect gift that came down from the Father of Lights. Heaven's goodness on display. Jesus still looks out upon this world's harsh landscape but He looks through our eyes and handles men with our hands and loves the lost through our manger-hearts.

I have a young friend who made a special card for me which I received today. There was an unusual v-shaped cut out on the border. When the card was opened it formed a larger diamond shape. It was labeled The Tornado of God's Goodness. A child's imagination caught God perfectly.

Moses huddled in the crack of a rock and hid his face as that fierce tornado passed by. You and I are pursued by it's more benevolent intent. Christmas changed everything. Heaven opened Mary's womb and goodness spilled out like a flood into the darkness.

Today I wish for you Asa's vision. The goodness of God in your hands, looking you in the face as your friend. Your own Tornado of God's Goodness flooding this Season with light. The card opened reveals the mystery:

Love's open faces.

Surely your goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 23:6

(Dedicated to Bob Collins on the occasion of his birthday which was a fortunate event for this world and for these two friends and also to Asa whose art work and friendship inspired this post. Blessings Kat and John)

1 comment:

  1. How softly His love engulfs us. How gently He cares for His sheep. . .How grateful I am for His gifts of love.