In "Searching For God Knows What" Donald Miller captures an essence of the faith journey that I hadn't wanted to ponder. He says "...it makes me wonder if secretly we don't wish God were a genie who could deliver a few wishes here and there. And that makes me wonder if what we really want from the formulas are the wishes, not God. It makes me wonder if what we really want is control, not a relationship".
That was a zinger. Some of my prayers are mere instructions that I utter carelessly with a wave of my hand, to my genie, rather than humble requests and worship brought to the throne of The Almighty. The question is begged. Do I really want God, or just Heaven, and the now blessings?
Yet, another revelation came through the writing of Brennan Manning in "The Importance of Being Foolish, How To Think Like Jesus". He quotes French psychologist Marc Oraison who says "To be loved is be looked at in such a manner that the reality of recognition is disclosed." And later Brennan states "For this is the very foundation of justice: the ability to recognize the other as a human being with the sign of the Lamb glowing on his brow."
And I realize that the people who have deeply impacted my life are "recognizers" As an insecure teen, I was pastored by Ed, who would stop and look at you and listen when you spoke. You felt safe and valued in that blue gaze. Then at work, my supervisor (and now mentor and friend) took the same pause; listened, valued and loved. Our school Principal says "I think I've figured you out". He takes the time to know people.
My neighbour looks straight into my soul, calls me "My Sister" in her glorious rolling Rwandan accent, and speaks of His love.
And I know that all of these people have drawn and captured me because the sign of the Lamb glows on their brows, and in their lives.
And if these interactions are just an inkling of what it's like to really know Jesus, then I know I want God, not just a genie!
"Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." 1 Corinthians 13:12 (NIV)