"...Surrounded by your glory
What will my heart feel?
Will I dance for you Jesus,
Or in awe of you be still?
Will I stand in your presence,
Or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing Alelluja,
Will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine
I can only imagine..."
- Mercy Me
AS much as I love this song, "I Can Only Imagine" by Mercy Me, I don't have to imagine...I know. I have been surrounded by Christ's glory and my heart has felt it all...awe, the desire to dance, to fall to my knees, and to sing Alelluia...all at once. I feel it whenever I stop throughout the day and just listen.
It happened today. It happened only an hour ago. I had just put the girls to bed and came downstairs to return calls, respond to emails, and transfer the last load of laundry from the washer to the dryer. On my way from their bedroom, upstairs, to my desk I decided to stop on the landing and just listen in the silence of the house breathing.
I sat on the landing and gave Him my heart.
"What do you have to say to me in this moment dear Father?" I asked. "I want to remind you that I am the source of your desire to express order and beauty. My ideas are orderly and clear...and therefore lovely...as Love and Principle are synonymous, you can't express order and not experience beauty."
This may seem like a pretty simple and obvious message, but for me it was merciful. As I'd been heading down the stairs I was actually beating myself up about how much I love to make things beautiful. I was feeling a bit ridiculous about how happy it makes me to put beautiful flowers in vases, make neat stacks of clean laundry, shelve books in patterns of color and width of spine, carefully fold antique quilts collected through the years.
It reminded me of a moment four years ago when a friend brought her sister by for a visit. When we'd moved into our home I'd had a stunning wall of custom bookcases built in our great room. It housed over a hundred books I'd collected as a voracious reader. Each book was like a good friend. As I'd finish reading a particular volume, I would write a note to my daughters inside. The notes would tell them where I was in my life when I'd read the book, the feelings it had elicited, the insights gained, and any conclusions reached. The books were my way of cataloging my feelings and thoughts so that my daughters might someday know me as I was. The bookshelf was my way of putting my life in order. Turning it into something beautiful.
My friend's sister saw this the minute she walked in the door. She looked at the wall of books...some of them shelved with spines vertical, some stacked horizontally...and exclaimed, "Your bookshelf is a quilt to you isn't it? The colors and graphics, widths, depths, and heights of each spine has been placed carefully, hasn't it? This is your quilt of ideas."
I wanted to cry. I felt known.
So when I stopped on the stairs tonight and God spoke to me of Himself as the source of my love for beauty and order, it reminded me of that moment of being known, and a wave of peace and joy washed over me...refreshing and encouraging me...to be me...to love the me I am.
I don't have to imagine how it will feel to be standing in His presence, enveloped in His love, seen through His eyes and known...and I am singing Alleluiah...when I can speak at all.
I love the way that Mary Baker Eddy describes it:
"When will mankind awake to know their present ownership of all good, and praise and love the spot where God dwells most conspicuously in His reflection of love and leadership? When will the world waken to the privilege of knowing God, the liberty and glory of His presence..."
You don't have to imagine...just stop and let Him speak to you.
Kate Robertson, CS