“The wounds from a lover are worth it; kisses from an enemy do you in.” Proverbs 27:6
A famous Christian lady, contemplating the beauty of Christ, once asked the Lord to grant her the grace of three wounds:
When we are looking for a prayer we often say:
“Come Holy Spirit.”
Do we know what we are asking for? What are you expecting to happen when you pray that prayer? Are you looking for an instant anointing or a submissive relationship? Have you ever considered that one aspect of this prayer may be leading you towards a greater wounding?
Surely an encounter with God’s holiness will lead us to repentance. In the Catholic mass, in memory of the story concerning the Pharisee and the tax collector, they have an act of contrition when they will symbolically “beat their breast” in memory of the justified one who cried out:
“Have mercy on me a sinner!”
Amazingly, the holy apostle Paul carried this wound throughout his life saying to his disciple Timothy:
“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst.”
Far from paralysing him in unhealthy condemnation, this wound released him into a growing revelation of grace.
“But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.”
Christ bore the wounds of compassion well before they took physical form on the cross. The Holy dove who revealed the loving Father was the same that put deep within him an inner wrenching of his being as he stood before the lost and loveless of this world. He wept at Lazarus’ tomb, tenderly grasped the hand of Jairus’ dead daughter and felt his heart crushed by the crowds of the unreached.
“…When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd.”What a huge harvest!” he said to his disciples. “How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!” Matthew 9:36-38
Sometimes, because of the fear of this wound, we become “Christian Buddhists”, detaching ourselves from the reality of suffering to enter our own comfort zone of non commitment, dwelling in our own personal “nirvana” of Christian friends, materialism, text messages and e mails. This detachment, like the sugary kisses from an enemy, does us in!
The only way to find release from the wound of compassion is to get on your knees and then get your hands dirty by crossing over into real interaction with the “huge harvest.”
All brides should be lovesick! If we are not lovesick, we make Christ sick!
Can you imagine Christ saying to his boring, scared, safe, middle of the road, nice, passionless church….
“You make me spew!” (Revelation 3:16)
And you thought you were the only one who got nauseous on Sunday! Morning sickness can also be one of the first signs of a new beginning!
I was once involved in a meeting of missionary leaders. I felt something was wrong with the time and one night I woke up with a picture of an immense pair of long woolly knickers…No, it wasn’t one of those dreams! I then felt the Lord, in a humorous way, give me the following words.
“These are passion killers! They are like your meetings!”
“prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.”
God is looking for the beauty of holiness, the sacrificial seeking of him in the dawn of each day, the desire to obey and the pure faithfulness of love.
“Kiss me–full on the mouth! Yes! For your love is better than wine, headier than your aromatic oils. The syllables of your name murmur like a meadow brook. No wonder everyone loves to say your name! Take me away with you! Let’s run off together! An elopement with my King-Lover! We’ll celebrate, we’ll sing, we’ll make great music. Yes! For your love is better than vintage wine. Everyone loves you–of course! And why not?” Song of Solomon 1:2-4
And why not love the Lord with holy abandonment?
“Crown Him the Lord of love; see from his hands and side,
Those wounds, yet visible above, in beauty glorified.
No angel in the sky can fully bear that sight,
But downward bears his burning eye, at mysteries so bright.”
The Spirit and the bride say “Come!”
Come Holy Spirit!
taken from the devotional book, “A Fruit in Season”