Sacred Moments

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I was in church the other day listening to the band sing a soft Christian song, and I noticed the sun rays streaming in golden warmth from the windows up above us. It brought me to a memory with my mom, a few memories actually.

One was when I was small enough to be held on her lap, maybe two or three years old. She had soft music on as she rocked me in the rocking chair. She was brushing my hair back from my forehead, and I recall the smell of pine-sol from her recent mopping in the kitchen. She said “This will be a memory,” and it was. Another memory I have comes in two parts. In the first, I was young still and she would lay me down for a nap in her bed, and she’d nap too. I remember lying there and the sunlight coming in filtered softly through white curtains, and the world seeming so quiet around us except for her gentle breathing. In the second part, I was grown, and she had asked me for the last time to nap with her. I didn’t sleep. I just lie there beside her, listening to her breathing and watching the sun stretch across the room to touch us in the silence.

And I realized that there are so many sacred moments we experience in our lives. They all feel so… holy. They are a moment when God looks down at us and smiles. When the world is some peaceful sort of heaven, like it always should’ve been. I think we feel God’s face turning toward us in those moments, that’s that feeling you feel.

I’ve felt it when waking in the middle of the night to feed and rock my child when she was a small baby, just us and the stars. I’ve felt it when I run trails all alone with just the birds, the smell of fresh pine and soil, and the sound of my feet to keep me company. I’ve felt it in the stillness of a Sabbath morning when I’m sipping coffee and hearing the house wake up around me.

God is near. He’s in the stillness, the silence, the calm, the soft breezes and gentle sunshine.

The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

1 Kings 19:11-13

Do you recall any sacred moments you’ve experienced?

God bless!

Marriage Part II: Let’s Talk About…

In my first blog about marriage and how it reflects the Trinity, it didn’t really capture the multi-layered relationship that exists between couples. Ideally, marriage isn’t just a symbol, and it isn’t a two-dimensional, stale institution devoid of emotion. If it is for you, your relationship doesn’t exactly live up to its potential as created by God. Let’s return to the idea that God created an equal companion to man. He’d been busy creating and then declaring his creations good repeatedly until this moment. Suddenly, after creating man he broke this pattern and stated it “wasn’t good that man should be alone.” It wasn’t until He created a female counterpart that He said his creation of humanity was good.

Of course, us women are amazing.

However, it wasn’t just because of our general awesomeness that He declared humanity good and complete. It was because, now, man had a friend, a helper, a lover, and a person whose strengths matched his weaknesses. If you focus on the “help-meet” part, you miss the point. Animals can be excellent helpers in many ways for riding long distances, carrying heavy things, and even delivering messages (carrier pigeons are pretty cool). Yet, despite their ability to snuggle, they would never carry the same mental and emotional support another person would. Enter: women. We’re all about that mental and emotional support… generally speaking.

Passion: It isn’t always sexual. It’s part of the drive for connection between a couple. It can come out in many ways through various emotions. Marriage can be like a rollercoaster; love, passion, and trust are what forms the safety bars and belts to keep us inside the ride.

We can’t speak on passion without mentioning the Song of Solomon, the book of the Bible most likely to make you blush. We won’t go into all the breasts like towers or gazelle necks (I’m sure it sounds more poetic in the original language). Song of Solomon has been interpreted to signify everything from romance to politics to the relationship between God and Israel. If you read it as a layperson, however, you’ll agree it seems like a simple love song, meant to be sung as a duet. When you were a teen, did you ever write about a crush in your diary or journal? Bet it sounded like this.

“Strengthen me with raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am faint with love.” Song of Solomon 2:5

Gotta love the spirit of young love in this book, but it illustrates perfectly the passion and joy a married couple is meant to experience.

“Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my beloved among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste.” Song of Solomon 2:3

After all, God created both pious love and romance, friendship and lovers. There’s nothing scandalous in it.

“Let him kiss me with kisses of his mouth – for your love is more delightful than wine.” Song of Solomon 1:2

That’s probably because, in my opinion, wine tastes disgusting, but the point is that the two are drunk off their love for each other. The point is: marriage is about all of this. Of course, there’s a point in life when we are all just a little older and a little less likely to scamper for each other’s embrace.

“Listen! My beloved! Here he comes, leaping across the mountains, bounding over the hills.” Song of Solomon 2:8

We shouldn’t lose that joy for each other even in mature love. Our marriage may be less showy leaves and overhanging branches and more deep-reaching roots, like two trees that tangle one to the another until they are in essence one.

Yes, romance and lust are holy. I know this concept may push against all things you’ve been taught, at least by the world. In fact, in the past, religion, especially Christianity, became crossed with worldly confusion to the point passion and sex were considered a taboo topic, even within matrimony. It still is an uncomfortable subject for many. This is why I’m writing this today. They are but a reflection of the passion and joy that lies within the unity of the Trinity.

Here’s a good place to discuss actual sexual immorality. I’m not going to describe what that encompasses for the sake of propriety (You can look that up easily in the Bible). However, I will state that immorality and sin are actions that cause harm, even if you can’t see it immediately. Sexual immorality is mainly harmful to the soul.

There is confusion concerning a separation between body and soul. That, actually, is a Greek philosophy, not a God idea, despite the fact that some churches have adopted the concept. Either the body was typically seen as the evil that the soul was fighting against or the body’s actions was seen as separate and, therefore, not affecting the soul. Both of those ideas are wrong.

As described by the Bible, there exists no duality in our being. We are a being of clay infused with God’s breath and spirit. When Jesus was resurrected, they didn’t find His body and then come across His soul in the street. His body was gone from the grave. Then, Jesus showed back up WITH His body when the disciples ran into Him later. This makes the idea of coming back to life even wilder. You see what you get, guys.

When you commit sexual immorality, you are committing it with your soul, your entire being. Likewise, when it says to treat your body as a temple for the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), that’s because treating your body well is also treating your soul well. Consider this: If you and your spouse “become one” (Mark 10:8) and you sin, aren’t you also sinning against your spouse? Interesting.

Aside from immorality, passion and romance is holy and an act of unity between two souls in love. It is what God intended for us to experience in marriage.

I wrote a poem while back that I’ll share with you today because it wraps this subject up well. Whether you take it to mean romantic passion or holy fervor is up to you. (Disclaimer: I write poetry for fun not perfection.)

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I, your flame

I burn
I burn, a kindled fire
Out of control
Flames lick my arms
Travel up my legs
Escape from the top of my head
Like a torch, lighting up the dark night
This dark night
Our grim life
Yet I burn
and You, a wind, fuel my inner flame
You, a hurricane, sweep my inferno into the skies
The stars dim in the passion
I am utterly without shame now
You are my storm
I am your blaze
Caught up in the fury of your joy

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