Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Pins and Needles

The blood rushed desperately back into my leg as I unfolded it from underneath me. It was as if I was aware every single cell as it pushed its way through the veins and revived what was once asleep and, if cut off long enough, dead.

They were pins and needles, pulsating their way into position.

Part of me wanted to fold my leg back under me, to retreat to what was numb and comfortable. It is much less complicated to feel nothing. To stay in a place of perpetual sleep, unaware of the world and its complicated circulation of pride, pain, doubt and fear. But this same circulation somehow intermingles with beauty, hope, peace and rest. It is wrapped up in Christ, the only One who can truly offer life.

What is it about being revived that frightens us so much? We all have dead or dying parts of our lives. We all have our vices. We cover them up with a myriad of defense mechanisms and try hard to keep our best foot forward with the people around us…even with perfect strangers. I am guilty as charged. We were broken from the start, shattered by the fall of man. But then we were redeemed, revived, renewed, invited to become a family. To live, breathe, eat, work, play, study, serve, create, pray and abide together.

We are charged with a purpose, a calling, to spread the Kingdom of God far and wide. To bring Christ to all people. To be Christ to all people. It may sound simple or, God forbid, redundant. But if we realized what exactly it was that we were being offered, our lives would go up in smoke in an instant. Recklessly abandoned to this purpose. This calling. This reason we exist and draw in breath day after day.

Pins and needless…bringing lifeblood and revival.

The cost of coming alive in such a way is painful and seemingly insurmountable to most. Each day, I very keenly feel the weight of my own humanity in my chest. It is fighting furiously to smother the fire burning inside me for God and His people. Distractions overtake me. My gifts become my stumbling block. My very passion becomes elusive. Distraction breeds mediocrity, and mediocrity is not in God’s plan.

But my wake up call came not long ago, marked with shouting, shaking, tears and fervent prayers. Those who know me well realize that it takes quite a bit to get me to a place of such extreme emotion and expression. A terrifying dream I can’t remember (for a reason, He told me) woke me from my sleep, quite rudely and suddenly. It took some time and effort before I could get back to sleep in those wee hours. Ever since, I have fought to keep the revelation I had that night at the forefront of my life.

There is a battle raging. Darkness to be driven out. And we must be willing to wake up, to come alive, and to walk with it, run with it, live with it, bear with it, break with it. We must allow the numbness to subside, no matter how great the cost or the pain it takes to come alive again. Fortunately enough, pain has a way of stripping us down to gritty reality.

Pins and needles...catalyzing truth.

I can’t go on being like the rich young ruler, who knew discipline and humility, but lacked one thing…a heart that would willingly obey. Abandon all and follow. It is easy to pen words that sound good and that even come from a place of genuine passion. But it is another thing to work it out and walk it through, especially in community. To sell it all and give it to the poor. To actively seek God's grace and love together, right along with His discipline and rebuke.

Even if we try and fail miserably over and over…He is still crazy about us. Still calling us. Still beckoning us to take on this life He has fashioned. He is a jealous God, not consumed by sinful desire but burning up with pure, holy passion for His people. And He will not…can not…relent until our hearts are fully His.

Brothers and sisters, let us lock step with the rhythm of the Kingdom together.

Pins and needles. Pulsating. Lifeblood. Revival. Reality. Truth.


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