The Wooing, Part II

It is, as I feared, a longish time since my last post. God really does woo slowly. Other times he’s more forceful. I have to say, though, that the delay is largely my own doing simply because I am all too willing to ignore him and distract myself with other things.

But he does it anyway. He woos.

One thing that a suitor must understand when winning a woman is that she wants to be treated like a princess. If she had a good father, she knows that being treated like a princess is being treated respectfully, being allowed to do things which make her flourish, but not getting everything she wants and being spoiled. Therefore, when I feel wooed, it is because I am feeling a sense of wonder in the things I love, and a sense of stagnation in the things I think I love.

When the Lord woos, I think he gives his children a sense of wonder. But what has struck me the most in the past month is grace. It’s astonishing how once you take yourself far from grace, it becomes such a precious thing. How does the song go? “How precious did that grace appear the hour we first believed.” I think it has felt just like that several times in the past month.

Brennan Manning says, “Living by the gospel of grace leads us into what Teilhard de Chardin called the divine milieu–a God-filled, Christ-soaked universe. A world charged with the grandeur of God. How do we live in the presence of the living God? In wonder, amazed by the traces of God all around us.”

And so, in newlywed spats with my husband, in news of my family, in feelings of defeat and uncertainty by the changes wrought so recently in our lives, I am learning to give and receive grace in a way I once knew, and somehow forgot. It is to the point where my soul is so longing for a touch of the God it loves so dearly and has missed that any sign of grace or compassion in a movie, a book. in my husband, and I weep. He has made me so thirsty. But only in increments. I can go a whole day without considering the state of my spirit, because I am so focused on stuff. But every few days grace throws wide the gates and insists that my mind is indeed being transformed and my spirit molded. It is necessarily the case, I am coming to realized, for anyone who submits to the will and sanctifying chiseling of God. It happens even when they don’t actively seek it because they are abiding, somewhere, deep in their soul and God sees that and won’t let that child of his go unchanged by grace.

“For what we need to know, of course, is not just that God exists, not just that beyond the steely brightness of the stars there is a cosmic intelligence of some kind that keeps the whole show going, but that there is a God right here in the thick of our day-by-day lives who may not be writing messages about himself in the stars but in one way or another is trying to get messages through our blindness as we move around down here knee-deep in the fragrant muck and misery and marvel of the world. It is not God’s existence that we want but the experience of God’s presence. That is the miracle we are after, and that is also, I think, the miracle that we really get.” –Frederick Buechner.

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