Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Beast of Redemption

"For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight; I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?"
Exodus 33:16
Oh, Moses. You beautiful beast of redemption. You who ran at the first sign of trouble, you who would rather start life over than face up to acts done. You, who quivered and quaked at a bush engulfed in flames, you who swore that your tongue would not work and your words would not be embraced, you who begged for a replacement, you who stood in shadows while someone else spoke your commands; you started out so small, cowardly lion, chirping monkey.

And then you changed, He changed you. You saw that He kept His word, that He moved through you and used you. You took down an empire, one plague at a time, unseated a god and pulled a people out of slavery. You were a conduit, and so you grew bold, dangerous, reckless even. Blood dripped from door frames, angels passed over, and Egypt wailed. You beautiful beast of redemption. Oh how he changed you.

It started at the sea. You stood at the edge and watched waters roar past, thousands of people doubting behind you, death pounding the ground in pursuit. He told you to step in, toe to water, staff to ground, you will not be swept away. And you crazy beast, you did it.

Did you have time to ponder, for even a moment, wonder at the dry ground so nourished by the sea? Your sandal had no mud, and the children gazed in wonder at the fish swimming on either side. It was the world's first aquarium, and the Great Architect used you to build it. Please tell me that you paused for even a moment in awe and wonder. Your feet were dry.

Then your boldness grew, with sweet water, quail flying in and manna on the ground, heaven rained down on you. Staff struck boulder and sweet water flowed, mountains burst open and carried the law to a wandering people.

But on that mountain, after a lifetime of growing into obedience, after failures and doubts, after scrapes to face and ego, after all He had done, you communed with the Creator of it all. He covered you in cloud and fire breathed and the people you led swore you had perished. But you experienced him as no other living being had. What happened to you on that mountain? Did your soul take flight? Did you glimpse eternity as His presence hovered thick? Because you made a move, wild in admiration, overtaken by love, and raptured by the desire for more.

You made one more request. Mad beast of redemption. Bold soul, reckless heart. Just as your toes brushed the water's raging flow, you set toes to the edge of a cliff that surely should have swallowed you in. You stood at a pinnacle, stuttering tongue long forgotten, and boldly made your demand.

"Now show me Your glory."

Show me the source of Your fame. Show me the full weight of who You are. Let me experience Your magnificence, welcome me in to Your  renown. You, Almighty Creator, You, who commands the oceans, You, who directs the insects, You, who reigns over life and death, You, who can cause the earth to open and swallow men whole, You, who takes down nations and raises up a people.

You, who are our very breath, Show. Me. Your. Glory. Show me You.

And He said Yes, and protected you, and showed you as much as your humanness could handle.

And at the end of it all, there was no reminder of how bad you were, or what a coward you used to be, how you were such a terrible sinner but isn't it great that God loved you anyway. God spoke to you in the beginning as He spoke to you in the end. Your hearing of His voice had changed, which allowed your actions to change. He commanded you as the man He created you to be. That's what He knew of you, because He made you. You knew a different version of you, tainted by the ways of the world, stained by blood, fractured by unwise decisions, splintered by emotions, separation from the divine causing jagged edges.

You see, God isn't great because He loves us in spite of our sinful, broken ways. He is great because He loves us for the us that He created us to be. It's not that we are hopeless sinners who will never get it right and God loves us anyway. He knows us in the fullness of His image, He knows us in the greatest potential that He created in us, and the redemption that has already flowed. He knows what we are capable of by His own design, if only our ears and our hearts would stay in tune. He is great because He can see me, even as I am not able to see myself.

Whole.

He says, "You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you."

Whole.

And I have put toe to water while the rapids rush by, and I have wondered if I was going to be swept away. I should have been swept away by all accounts. But I am still on dry ground, and my sandals bear no mud, and the walls of water billowing on either side are, at times, deafening. But it's been a while since I paused in wonder at what the Architect has built, and even longer since I dared step to the edge of the cliff and beheld His glory.

Too long.

Oh, Moses, you beautiful beast of redemption, you bold lover of God. How you inspire, how such humble beginnings morphed into such audacious inclinations. I. Am. Inspired.

Toes to edge, heart to sleeve, chin to heaven. I will not be swept away.

Now show me Your Glory.




Grace and peace, yall. 
Beautiful Emily is hosting quite a shin-dig over at her place. I am humbly joining in. Stop by to be in awe of some gifted writers.

4 comments:

  1. so lovely I had to share. Love how you call Moses a beautiful beast of redemption. I added this as a favorite in my grace file.

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    1. Thank you Karmen! Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Shauna,
    This is amazingly beautiful. The way you've told the story of Moses is gorgeous and so very understandable and how can we not see ourselves in his foibles?
    And that part about why God loves us? Never before have I thought of God's love for me in that manner.
    This is a brilliant write, my friend. Brilliant.

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  3. You see, God isn't great because He loves us in spite of our sinful, broken ways. He is great because He loves us for the us that He created us to be.

    Wow. Shauna, this is inspired. this knocked me off my feet. thank you.

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