Thursday, February 26, 2009

I Know You

" This is the one I meant when I said, 'a man who comes after me will surpass me because he was before me.' " John 1:30

Yesterday several things happened that made me a bit anxious. My spirit was restless despite participating in a simple and moving Ash Wednesday service first thing in the morning. My hope was that beginning Lent in this familiar and supportive community would be a grounding and affirming experience. All morning long I was restless and unfocused. Rather than calm my soul, the service and the community only added to my agitation. My mind and body could not sit still. I decided to take a drive to a familiar location that I enjoy. The sun was shining, and although the temperature outside was no more than forty degrees, there was a hint of spring in the air. New England winters can tease and taunt, so I was wary about even considering spring as I drove north. I packed my camera hoping to take some pictures. Looking through the lens, concentrating on the beauty of the world, often settles my heart and breathing. When I got to Cape Ann and the drove along the coastal road, I found several beaches and coves and got out of the car to contemplate and take photos. I happened upon one beach I had never been to before and there were people everywhere, walking dogs, quietly walking and opening themselves to the possibilities of spring. I saw the ocean, and knew that despite my own restlessness, I was known, known to the heart of God. God knowing me in my completely brokenness in my success and flailing, my lack of confidence and my strength on crisis. The wind and waves, doing their normal best in the brilliant sunlight reminded me that I am completely known.

John, Jesus' cousin comes to Jesus and proclaims his identity. He has known him before, as a relative, but now, he is proclaiming to others the insight he has about Jesus. He could not have known growing up that Jesus was the 'Lamb of God', but the water and the descending dove identified Jesus in a new way. John's experience of Jesus became more than familiar, it became complex and complete in his understanding of his cousin as the Savior of the world. What an astounding and challenging insight it must have been for him.

Today, I want to live into the gift it is to be known by God, to be loved and embedded in the heart of God. So often, I run to fix things and flail around when challenges arise. Today, I want to walk this journey remembering I am never alone and that God is with me in the midst of daily turmoil. I pray that my restlessness calms as I accept this incredible gift, this incredible insight.
May we all live today with the knowledge of God's presence in the center of our struggles. God says to us today, 'I know you and love you'. May we embrace the love we have been given this day.

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