dwelling with the divine Madman

Fire of love, crazy over what You have made. Oh, divine Madman. (Prayer of Catherine Siena) - from Brennan Manning's Furious Longing of God

the first time i read zephaniah 3:17, something within me centered: Your God is present among you, a strong Warrior there to save you. Happy to have you back, he'll calm you with his love and delight you with his songs. 

some versions even say He dances wildly...wildly...when he thinks of me.

and this isn't just a lone verse in the middle of another story - zephaniah continues saying our exile will soon be over. you've carried these burdens long enough, God says.

it doesn't stop here. in joel He promises the years the locusts have eaten will be restored.

in exodus He tells us to be still - He will fight for us.

in isaiah we're reminded thistles will become giant sequoias and thornbushes will turn into stately pines.

in matthew, he says walk with Me and work with Me - watch how I do it. learn the unforced rhythms of grace. i won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.

throughout His word, we're told of the promise of His restoration. and yet, and yet...

we question His love.

in henri nouwen's in the name of Jesus, he encourages the mystics: those deeply rooted in the first love of God. those who will be most effective leaders will let go of the need for approval and relevance and cling to vulnerability - only in vulnerability will be understand the wounds of others {not to mention our own wounds}.

lauren posted yesterday that she doesn't know God at all. i'm learning this is true for me as well. the God i'm beginning to know is a Madman. the God i'm falling in love with continually reveals to me it's not what i do that captures His heart - it's who i am. there's nothing i need to strive for or achieve. it's not what i wear on sundays or how many devotions i accumulate over my life time. the fire of God is big enough and bright enough and furious enough for any hardened heart - even one scared of love.

Posted on April 10, 2012 and filed under abide.