But Now

I have adored You from afar

But now I adore in nearness

I have heard Your whisper

But now I hear Your voice

I have wondered about You

But now I dream with You


The rock where I sat felt cool against my back as I watched the sun continue to climb in the sky. The trails had been empty and I enjoyed the solitude. I contemplated staying where I was, but there was a need to go on. Getting up once more I moved further along. Cresting the hillside I could see the small lake below. Following the narrow trail I came to the large oaks watching over the valley floor.

A picnic bench missing its seat on one side invited me to rest. I climbed up on the table and lay back. The oak branches gave me shade and I viewed blue sky through the leaves. The gentle breeze blew upon me. I lay quietly listening, receiving their messages as I thought of the One I loved.

Over All The Land

The wild grass lay upon the hillside softly blowing in the breeze. To look at it was to watch a moving blanket of gold shimmer in the early sunrise. I wanted to jump into it and roll around like a child. The wonder of playing in such softness held my imagination. I let my eyes move about the valley. The foothills dotted with oaks, the valley floor divided into squares of land with each a different color. The body of water sparkling in the distance with ripples marking the wind’s touch on its surface, and looking up, the big blue yonder.

Lifting my arms outward from my sides I started to slowly circle whispering the name Jesus into the air. I spoke His precious name over the cities in the distance, over the passing traffic on the freeway far below, over all the land.

Open Invitation

“How do we seduce them? We can only live inside them if they invite us to come in. What would make them open up their homes to us; open up their very minds and hearts?”

The one speaking had a twisted form as though ridden with cancerous tumors. He’d been around since the millennium, biding his time in between physical hosts. He liked hiding within the beauty of a created body, reminding him of a time when he too was beautiful. Evil had twisted him. Anger and rage swirling inside of him as he looked upon these forms of creation.

The companion didn’t answer too fast. He too was looking at the created beings they wanted to own from within. His appearance was everything ugly and he emanated a dank smell of disease. His outer skin was reptile like with eyes so dark as to be bottomless. He had an idea.

“The parents protect their young ones from us, but I see an opening. After dinner each night they allow them to watch television for hours. Let’s manipulate one of the programs we already rule. We will tell these young ones how fun it would be to have a pet friend living inside them. We will even give them an incantation to speak openly. Once they offer the invitation, we will be free to enter.”

Looking at each other the companions nodded in agreement, hovering closer to the created ones of beauty. It was time to wait for night to come. Anticipation filled them for their new bodies. School would be starting soon and they would again have access to hundreds more.

Covered In The Stench

We sat in a coffee shop talking about our lives and what Jesus was doing in us. Upon our table were a few books we had brought to exchange. A woman passed by more than once trying to ascertain what we were about. She had been sitting alone in a corner. Finally she worked up her courage to gather up her things as though to leave. She came to us and asked about one of the books. “What is the kingdom?”

I and my friend shared as best we could to explain the kingdom of God. The woman didn’t really seem all that interested in our answers and began to tell us matter of factly what she knew it to mean. We listened to what she was speaking but I could sense a wariness come upon me.

I had asked her name and she declared how important names were that I would want to know hers. Suddenly she began to question us about God’s name. She seemed eager to make her point and asked for a bible which we gave her. She couldn’t find what she wanted in them. Once more she dismissed any answers we shared and talked of her own knowledge that was only accurate in her special bible.

I sat quietly while her and my friend discussed the trinity. I kept wondering at her lack of warmth and love when she shared the Word. There didn’t seem to be any life in it, just eagerness to dispute. Her need to be proven right was evident but we remained gracious, avoiding any contention. She eventually left us with a vague commentary about how she “knew” what was correct.

I thought about how much Jesus loved her. We made our way to my car and began to pray for her. Her knowledge would be a powerful tool for truth, but not so long as it was covered in the stench of religion.

Confident In Nearness

I had my head down watching my steps as I made my way up the trail of the small hill. Avoiding a fist sized hole, I stopped to check my footing. Looking up I could see the deer. She was eating and hadn’t yet taken note of my presence. I stood still enjoying the private moment. When it was time to push on I was able to approach near enough she finally side-stepped further away from the trail. To my amazement she never ran away, she simply watched me pass on by. I wondered what made her so confident in my presence.

This thought kept tumbling in my mind as I sought the solitude of being alone with my Father. I began to think about His promise “draw near to God and He will draw near to you”. I thought about the deer’s confidence to know I meant no harm and thought about my Father’s heart toward me. To understand my Father only sought the best for me I could appreciate how approaching His throne didn’t seem so frightening. I didn’t have to run at the first sign of His nearness.

Truth Of Surrender

You call me to come away. To follow wherever You lead. Step by step I move along taking large leaps into Your unknown. Opening my eyes, You show me the truth of surrender. How easily I acted in obedience to the large steps, but there were little foxes in my garden I had allowed to roam free. In Your mercy You taught me the need to watch carefully all of my garden. Lifting the vines I could better see the roots. You exposed where my allowances for foxes had been causing spoilage to the yield of my fruit.

New awareness enveloped my heart and I looked again at my surrender. Partiality would never due. You want all of me. Nothing of hindrance should draw away my eyes from watching You, from adoring You. You are jealous for me and I ravish Your heart. My garden can no longer be compromised by the little foxes. Your love is too great a treasure. A renewed diligence emerges by Your grace. The little foxes can no longer roam free in my garden meant for You.