People many times call with tragedy or pain right there. Right in the midst of their life … a pain that takes our breath away. A loss. A crippling doubt. Fear.
And what I know of Christianity is that it has to work there too. I know this …. Weddings are easy. Funerals are hard. And somehow through the very painful we are born again.
Amanda Haines shared a beautiful blog post, written in the midst of great pain. A moving testimony to “born again”, what New Church calls “regeneration”, re-creation.
When He breathed, my chest rose.
I was trained to argue, but His breath came when I lay with nothing to say, how broken I was.
I had nothing with which to entice anyone to come to my rescue. I made no argument and no fight; I wasn’t budging in my own power, because I had no power with which to budge.
The presence of God, Spirit, warmed my blood and assembled my bones. I crawled to the bed, like one who heard a voice in the desert, saw fire in the bush.
A path cleared in me. I whispered, “I am free”— lungs full of air. I was newborn.
The weight of legions lifted, taste of forbidden fruit gone from the mouth, sting of death removed.
The Bible from class was on the bed, and I drank it like hindmilk. I was broken but filled. The hush in my spirit, this was freedom, the presence of God.
Freedom is peace.
The first of many births I would witness was my own. I was born into the light.
I would have waited on that linoleum floor until I starved, waited there to be raised from the dead, or be made dead, whichever.
I can’t explain the difference in what was happening in my head and in my heart and in my body. It was all taking new form.
I didn’t lie down so that when I stood up I might believe. I lay down to die because I was done with moving about in a body that had no life.
The fact that the presence of God was so obvious, like Road-to-Damascus obvious, was absolutely shocking to me. I had never felt so pursued or so loved, and love is what got me up off the floor.
As my eyes came open to something so simple as love, that God loves me, I was overcome with new desire: more than for a warm body—for skin on skin; more than for the taste of home— biscuits and gravy on a family morning; and more than for any drug to numb my pain.
I didn’t know who I was, filling with such delight, the allure of God. His meeting me on the floor was my release from being bogged down in self-awareness and loathing. He released me from feeling required to entice love, to always make an offering.
I became aware of God who loved me first.