Friday, November 20, 2009

A Long Night's Journey Into Day

**These were the words that were born out of my healing experience in South Africa. If you are just coming in, the story started back here.**

A Long Night’s Journey Into Day

It’s been a long night’s journey into day and my feet are growing weary from the travel. Just on the horizon a fire grows brighter, but I’ve traveled so long in darkness that my body recoils from the light. As much as the flesh draws back, though, the heart pushes on closer to the rays of sunshine coming up over the land. This journey began long ago, long before my feet ever touched the ground, but this very day was known in all its splendor and detail to the One who pieced me together. The sun is now coming up.

The night was so long as I ran from sun’s outstretched rays. Around the world I went just to outrun that fire in the sky that consumes all darkness, revealing what is hidden and dragging out into the open that which is well concealed. Through turning my back on God, through the rape, through the drugs and alcohol, through the hatred and rage, through the violence and lawlessness that became normal life, watch me run. “This is the verdict: light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil1.”

But running without rest leaves the soul tired and dry, cracked on the heels, blistered on the toes, and parched at the lips. The heart resents the consistently fast pace and the body wearies of the pounding. It all begins to fall apart.

There is no depth too deep that God’s arms cannot reach you.

There is just no depth too deep.

“In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness but the darkness has not understood it2.” What I could not understand was the mercy that was being offered to me. What I could not understand was the forgiveness being given to me. What I could not understand was how a King could take my punishment upon himself. What I could not understand was a love so unconditional that even the darkness within me was covered by the blood He shed. What I could not understand was that no matter how far or how fast I ran, the Light was still waiting to shine on the horizon of my heart.

“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there. If I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me, and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to you, the night will shine like day, for darkness is as light to you3.”

So the running stops, and in the wee hours of the morning, the light of the Almighty begins to pierce the bitter obscurity that had become my existence. One by one, my sin, my hurt, my brokenness, my rage, my violence, my irreverence, and my hatred began to take shape, their forms revealed slowly by the long-awaited day. Just as sunshine pours through the tiny window of an unlit prison cell, revealing the cobwebs and dust of a stagnant, stale life, so the Light began to illuminate my life, causing my eyes to squint and turn away, and my heart to break for all the atrocities it harbored for so long.

Africa surrounds me now,

where the rays of the mighty fire dance on the mountains just over the waters of the deep blue.

I am the acacia tree that sways as the Spirit blows.

I am the lion who stretches out in the warm air.

I am the hospitality that was so generously given to God’s servants.

I am the colors woven into the old woman’s dress.

I am the church bell chiming to the people.

I am the drum beating to the sound of a new life.

I am the rock crying out in the silence.

I am the child lifting her hands up to her daddy to be held.

I am the broken man sitting in the cold prison cell.

I am the babe living with the fatal disease.

I am the prostitute weeping at the feet of the great Teacher.

I am the dirty kid begging in the streets for a piece of bread.

I am the guitar that belts out melodies of thanksgiving and

I am the voice that cannot sing loud enough.

I am the mountain that can be moved by His mere voice.

I am the imperfect broken vessel that is being used by the Perfect Creator,

and I am the immovable cold prison walls that do not give way.

I am a small reflection of the immeasurable grace

that was so easily poured out to me.

I am the tear that rolls down the cheek of the hardened criminal.

I am the hardened criminal.

I am the forgiveness offered to the rapist behind bars,

and I am the victim turned survivor of that very rape.

I am a picture of all that is wrong, and I am picture of all that is right.

Africa surrounds me and has enveloped my heart.

The incredible sun now hangs just above the mountains that dump into the oceans where my sin is buried. The Light now touches all that was once hidden, the cobwebs are torn down, the dust is brushed off, and what was once stagnant and stale is being moved out, stirred up, and stretched beyond all comfort for the glory of God. “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made His light to shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ4.” So it has been a long night’s journey into day, and it will now be a long day’s journey Home.

1 John 3:19; 2 John 1:4-5; 3 Psalm 139:7-12; 4 2 Corinthians 4:6

Bookmark and Share

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thoughts? Feel welcome to share...