Written on September 23, 2015. By Shari Norvell
Jubilee is here!! Our local Blue Flame family was gathered at Arubbah, last night ushering it in with Shofar and testimonies. Yonah and I got to ring it in with a sweet little girl named Nova who made her arrival a bit before sundown.
For the next 55 weeks, a new blog will be posted each Wednesday. Each blog will complete with a journal activity (for information on getting a journal, contact email@example.com). The journals are designed to take us deeper and wider in Jubilee and connect us in unique ways. Some journals will be provoking or piercing, others will be fun! And even if you aren’t doing the journals, we hope the blogs will be encouraging.
A sweet breeze gusted and galed among us, as we hiked across the land. The moments were almost too tender to touch. Wonder, Delight and Awe were not just portions of Arubbah, but occupants of our hearts. An army, strolling more than marching, moving across the land we did not plant and did not gain with sword or bow. A provision, a promise.
The last few steps of our quest found me invigorated rather than wearied, as I thanked Pappa for a people who would rather live in awe than be wowed. It was then that the tangible tremor came. Something I couldn’t quite hear, but could completely catch. “The Cupboard’s bare” went through me gentler than a wind, but stronger than a breeze.
As hours became days, it pursued me until I couldn’t let go of it anymore than it would let go of me. Shmita. A treasured time of unlocking gates, resting from planting, giving away harvest, and wiping out accounts. Our walk bid it farewell even as it greeted Jubilee hello. Yet it’s message is meant to linger, so we might savor it all the way through Jubilee.
The first reality, as the three words permeated, is that bare and empty are not the same. For we ended the year without a debt and with much to care for. Overflowing hearts reveal the truth that He provides. He always provides. And we have crossed this threshold better than we began. And with an invitation.
Bare cupboards, naked hearts. Isaiah was asked to walk bare for three years on behalf of a nation. In Hosea it says the Lord will strip one bare before He will ever give up on them. And Jesus. Oh, Jesus. Bare before his disciples, He washed their feet. To dry them, He removed a towel and revealed a truth. Bare. Live bare, love bare, walk bare. Hide no more.
I promise, this is not a call for a nudist colony. Just a different life. Thought I should clear that up right away. In Hebrew, the word “bare” has the following meanings.
Gala: “To disclose, discover, make known”
Arah: “Laid open, uncovered, defenseless”
Battuhot: “An uncovered secret in the dark, hidden revealed, closed place opened, security or safety”
Yalad: “To bear, bring forth, beget, become, give delivery, give birth”
Yalad is a root for “midwife”. I like that one. And I know why a word for birthing would be among the definition of bare. It’s from a favorite moment, right after the first breath and cry. Throughout labor, there is something the mother does, without even realizing it. She strips bare, preparing for a moment. An instance. Upon her, baby is laid, skin to skin. An act of declaration. We are no longer together, but we don’t have to be separate. What you treasured inside me is inside you too. Just what Pappa says at each of our creations. Our release is Heaven’s reveal.
But here’s the thing. Pappa loves us with such uncomprehendable, unrestrainable, unstoppable love, that He must undo us. Strip us bare. He will expose what covers the glory so we can no longer hide under the glitter.
It happened to me just this morning. I asked Pappa for a dream to complete Yom Kippur. He gave me one. I shared it with someone. My someone. And that someone took my glitter covered piece of paper and shook it till every speck fell to the ground and the paper was see through. Glitter for glory. Beauty for ashes. How long had the treasure been there? I know not. Why was I so afraid to have it discovered? Because it makes me vulnerable. It reveals the naked place inside me. It demands I take a risk. That I go public.
We all have those naked places. Garden naked. The places where we don’t want something to grow but HE just won’t stop watering. The ‘arummin" of the Garden, where naked meant “without agenda, translucent to and of God.” The ‘battuhot". The closed place that must be opened, the covered secret meant to be revealed. The place we seal tightly and He longs to open widely. Because its pure, its real, its true. It is Him. Him in us. And without its reveal, He can be glimpsed but not seen. Viewed but not known. God wants to be bare. Brought forth. Discovered. And thinking so much of us, Hid himself among us, within us, that our time here would be a great big treasure hunt.
** Journal about a time when Pappa laid you bare. When He exposed what you covered the reality of Him with, in order to help you see. If you have not experienced this, or not for a while, ask Him to strip you of what covers what is really in you. To shake the glitter off the glory and celebrate the revelation of the thing that beckons you out on the limb, allures you to the adventure you can’t help living and returns you to the great big middle of imagination that reveals Him.
**Write directions to your newly discovered place and invite someone to follow them!!