Our swords crashed together, echoing in the stillness of the chapel. Again and again we struck--focused on the fight, surprising those looking on in our intensity. She drew back, and we paused.
I waited, excitedly, impatiently. Then--
A sword. In my face.
Drop your sword.
It clattered to the ground.
Take off your helmet.
Half smiling, uncertain, confused, I complied.
He gestured downwards.
I released it, and it joined the sword on the cold floor.
The sword was still in my face. I was defenseless, confused. Had I done something wrong?
the semi-darkness, I could see his face--intense, but still kind. He
said words, many of which I have forgotten. But some, some I can’t
This doesn’t feel like love, does it. A
sword pointed in your face. But this is how love is, sometimes.
Sometimes God must do this to get your attention. Sometimes He has to
take all your defenses away and leave you exposed so you will open up to
He went on, and I listened--still not sure
about what was happening. I mean, have you ever had someone point a
sword in your face and then speak words that burn straight to your
soul--after having only known you a little over a week? Yeah, me either.
Afterwards, I went in the hallway of the chapel, away
from the others--trembling inside. Trying to fathom what God had just
shown me. As I prayed, kneeling there on the floor in the darkness, I
got the sense that He was trying show me two things in particular. I was
to drop my shield, my fleshly defenses, and let Him be my shield. And
secondly, I had dropped my sword earlier in the year out of sheer
weariness, and He was asking me to take it up again--but this time, to
fight out of His strength, not mine.
I’ve been thinking about these lessons a lot lately, and God has been showing me more and more of this.
See, the thing is, life is scary. It hurts. So what do we do? We build walls. We hide.
it helps. For a while. We feel safe, huddled there behind our
wall--plastered with sweet-sounding phrases and less-than-genuine-smiles
and pretty dresses.
Until we discover, much to our
horror, that the walls we have built to keep the bad stuff out have kept
all that out--and the good, too. And not only that, but now we are
trapped inside. Our hearts have hardened, and not only do we not care
when people hurt us, but we don’t care when we hurt people, either.
that hiding business--people actually believed it! They actually
thought you were alright, that you were a good girl, that you didn’t
need help. And now you want to be found, so desperately. But you’re
scared. What if you do come out from behind, what if you do show them
your hurt and your humanness--and then they all leave? Not that they
actually got inside your walls anyway, but... but they won’t even been
near the walls, anymore.
And it’s a sad, sad lonely place. I know; I’ve been there. Sometimes I still jump back behind those pretty walls.
I am learning, slowly. I’m learning that He is my shield, my refuge, my
strong tower. I don’t have to build walls that harden my heart and keep
everyone away--I have to draw close to God, revel in His love, soak up
His word--and let my faith in Him be that shield.
Okay, so now we have a shield. What about the hiding and wanting to be found and not wanting to be found and still hiding?
is our hiding place! I don’t know how many times I’ve read that, sung
that, told people that. But it’s finally starting to sink down in. And
not only is He our hiding place, He is our Seeker. He came to seek and
to save that which was lost. He KNOWS us. I don’t know about you
(especially girls here, but guys too), but I long to be known. Really,
deeply known--and loved anyway.
And God has been speaking this to my heart, over and over.
I know you. I made you. I love you. I know you. I made you. I love you.
So here we are, coming out from behind our walls and slipping in behind His shield, the shield of faith.
we are, being found by Him, known by Him--and in that security, we are
safely tucked away, hidden under the shadow of His wings.
to love and be loved, free to feel other’s pain and our own, but not
crushingly, for He bears the burden for us. Free to be safe. Not as the
world views safety, but really, actually, always safe, whether we feel
it or not.
Because when you are in Christ, nothing can snatch you out.
so the swords didn’t actually crash together--they were foam swords.
"Crashing" just sounded so much more epic than "thumping". But all the
rest is true.)