Thursday, October 30, 2008

Between Earth and Sky

I wasn't looking for a life lesson. I was only looking for the school bus.

A bit of motion caught my eye, just across the invisible line that divides my yard from my next-door neighbor's. There, in mid-air, a single leaf danced.

It didn't fall. It just danced.

Now, I've been on this earth long enough to know how that leaf managed to stay between earth and sky, but I thought for a moment of how magical that would appear to eyes too young to understand.

As if it's held up by nothing at all...

I wasn't listening for the Spirit. I was just listening for the school bus. But the Spirit grabbed my heart anyway.


You know the unseen web is there because of how it holds the leaf up.


(Photo from Stock.xchng by vespir)

Can people see the unseen God because of how He holds you up?

Instead of sinking to the ground, do you dance?


I wish I could have given a different answer.


Oh Lord, I have tried to glorify You with my words, but I haven't glorified You with my life. I haven't let people see You holding me up, because I've refused to let go of the branch, refused to take that particular plunge of faith.

I want to learn what it means to be suspended between earth and sky...but with an important difference from that dancing leaf.

The leaf's natural direction, it's destiny, is downward. Ours reaches for the Heavens.

We're pilgrims who refuse to call this earth our home (Heb. 13:14). We live here because we must, to the extent that we must. But our call is upward (Php. 3:14), toward a place we can't yet see. We're stuck in between.

Can the world see Him holding us up?

I'm thinking of someone else who was suspended between Heaven and Earth. Someone who was held in place by nails and wood...or was He?

What held Him up during the torment of Calvary? He never ceased being Lord of the universe. He could have spoken himself off of that cross at any moment.

Some would say it was love for us that held Him there, and of course that was part of it. But in and of itself that wouldn't have been enough.

The deepest darkness that day was not the quenching of the sun. It was the reality which screamed in the words, "My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?"

Jesus couldn't feel His Father any more. All seemed lost. He felt abandoned, unloved, rejected.

Is an abandoned, unloved, rejected Messiah going to be able to save anyone? And if not, why would He stay there on that horrid hill of execution? Why not cut His losses and get out of there?

Because He still believed, even when He couldn't feel.

Love for God held Him there. Love that refused to believe the Father could betray Him like Judas did.

And faith held Him there. Without faith, love would have ceased to believe it had something to give us, or that there was anyone to whom we could be reconciled (2 Co. 5:19).

It was a holy moment. I don't think I dare touch it any more than I already have.

I only know that I want others to see the unseen God holding me up. I want my witness to speak not only from my words, but also from my life as I trust Him to sustain me. And for that to happen, I must have an ever deepening love for God, and faith in who He is - - not a theoretical faith that can write down words, but a practical faith that stops writing and does housework with love.

Praise God, He has given us His Holy Spirit, who pours out His love in our hearts (Rom. 5:5) and increases our faith!

But there is one more aspect to this witness of the spider's web. The fact is, sometimes I could see the web. When the breeze caught it and moved it just at the right angle in the sunlight, there it shone in its silver glory.

An old friend told me many years ago, "I used to think that Php. 4:13 was a call to 'Lone Ranger' Christianity. Just me and God, going it alone. No need for anyone else. Then when I went through my divorce, I felt as though life was a bucking bronco, and my hand was caught in the saddle. I was flung every which way, out of control, suffering more bruises with every passing moment. I needed my brothers and sisters in Christ. And that's when I realized what Php. 4:13 really is. Christ has a body on this earth, and my brothers and sisters are the hands that He uses to touch me. That, too, is Christ strengthening me."

I also tried for too long to be a "Lone Ranger Christian," but now I am learning the joy of true Christian friendship. You, my brothers and sisters, are the shining silver threads that I can see. Yes, it's really He who holds me up, but He does it sometimes through you.

Thanks for being here with me, between Earth and sky.

1 comment:

Tami Boesiger said...

What a great image, Betsy! I'll be pondering that all day.

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