I (Mark) was meeting with Karin last week and she shared a poem that I thought beautifully described our relationship with God. I don’t have the poem (just ordered the book) but I wanted to share the imagery of this poem. I don’t remember too accurately (surprising!) but the picture that stuck with me is of a creature hiding in a hole, in darkness. The poem describes someone gently and lovingly trying to coax this creature out of its hole. He would leave little treats at the top of the hole and wait for the creature to gain courage. He wanted so much that the creature would know that he was safe because what he wanted more than anything was just to enjoy this creature and let it experience the space and beauty of all that was outside of its hole.
I just thought that this so describes the process of our hearts learning to trust. We have been hiding for a long time in fear and shame and we’ve become so suspicious of love. He is coaxing our hearts out of hiding and He is doing this by showing us his kindness. Little by little. The creature takes one little taste of His goodness and then goes back into hiding. It continues to do this until it learns that it is truly safe to come out of hiding. This is a slow process and He knows that we will many times go back into our hole. He forgives us every time and then goes on leaving more treats for us to taste. He goes on singing a song of His love that beckons our hearts once again.
All of this reminds me of Romans 2:4 “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?” So often it is us who get impatient with the process and judge our repeated failures. This is why we think we should stay in the hole, because we’ve failed yet again. It can be scary when all we can hear is the voice of shame because we so desperately want to step out of our prisons. We’ve tasted of the light, of freedom and we no longer want to hide in our holes. But all of this depends upon Him and not us. He is in charge of rescuing us from darkness. It truly is too much for us: our fear, our shame, the voice of the enemy. But God has always been in charge of delivering his people and I am convinced that He has begun a good work in our community that He will faithfully continue.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.