Written on March 20, 2017. By Shari Norvell
A few sunsets ago, I was sitting in a little chair, within a big tent, upon a giant land. Words and wonder, frequencies and fellowships winding around and weaving through, every fiber and fragile of me. Music and melody, every strand and strain making me new. Remaking and reminding.
A change came quickly, not in the song’s cadence or crescendo, but with the arrival in the chair next to me. When one who was once settled inside me, sat next to me, hand slidden into mine, head resting upon my shoulder. She’s growing by the minute and doesn’t fit into my nooks like she used to, but she nudges until she does. I wrapped an arm around her to accommodate her frame, to let her nestle into the nest I am for her. Puzzle pieces of different sizes that fit no matter what, no matter where. Pieced and pierced together we sat and I remembered.
A little chair, within a big cathedral, upon a giant mountain. A life ago. Forty two life filled years ago. Nothing elaborate filled that place, but it was full of fancy. Campfires, cowboys, guitars and glory. And Jesus.
For several weeks, as I am prepared for Passover, I have been recounting and recalling the joy of my salvation. The still and shake of being saved. In a similar seat, in a completely different place, I remembered more. Imagination ignited and took me past time and into infinite. To the place where you can see something exactly as it was, for the first time ever.
He came. To save me. Not a grown man with a royal robe sat next to me that day, but a little boy, just my age. Perched on the chair next to me, He sat like a child with a big surprise that He was dying to have discovered. So instead of sitting quietly, He sighed with the wind, breathed with the breeze. Until I knew He was there.
Once found, He bounced in His seat, near bursting with the untamed desire to reveal to me who He was. My first glance caught hold of His big, toothless grin. Muck like mine. So I would know He was flesh and bone, breath and marrow. Like me. Because if He could be sitting there like me, I could believe I would be like Him.
His jeans had holes in the knees, peeking from them, scabby scrapes. My invitation to take risks with Him. To slide into valleys and climb mountains. His feet were bare, droplets still clinging to them, from a run in the grass. When creation called Him, His answer was to become one with it by exploring its treasuries, opening the doors and windows of it, so all could enter. That covenant call became mine too.
His fingernails were caked with dirt, disclosing His desire to display every hidden thing. In me. A summons to me to faithfully find in the dirt of a dark world, the riches only light can unearth. His hair was tousled and tossed, imploring me to exist wildly, off of my chair, out on a branch. Swinging and swaying, messy and marveled from wonderous worship of only One.
A little boy named Wonder sat by me that day. He saved me. Set me apart. Put me in a place where only He could touch me. Ever. Unless. I went back to that seat and let it become a straight jacket. A memorial to the place I met Him instead of the catalyst that sent me with Him. That sends me still. For that is the joy of my salvation. That He invited me to be with Him in every place and for all time. And I can be, unless I won’t be. That day, I found Him to be the most irresistible, beautiful thing I had ever seen. My vision and view may not be so holy, but it has held me, all these minutes of all these days of all these years.
As I grow, He does. He continues to sit next to me and reveal who He is as He stretches and shapes me to be that too. A few sundowns ago, He sat next to me and touched places that needed healing. Last night, He sat with my head in His lap as He stroked my hair because I was tired. This morning, He sat with scars bared and invited me to touch the tight and taut of them and minister to Him as I never had before.
A few days ago, He sat beside me in a not so little girl. The one He sends when there is something He desperately wants me to believe. Months and years ago, He sent her into my room with a water bottle in the middle of the night. She said, “Momma, you need a drink.” My heart was in drought then from all the faucets and filters of choices not mine. And He said, “Water comes by faith.”
So a few nights ago, there was something bold and bursting He wanted me to believe. Something daring and dangerous. And I do. Because…
Journal about when you met Him. What form did He take? How did He meet you right where you were? Let imagination return you and remind you.
At your table, be scribes for each other. Tell the story of when you were saved, sharing the joy of it as you speak and another writes.