Sunday, January 06, 2013

In God's Presence there is Healing for the Troubled Heart

Del, Sallie, Adrienne, and Julie at our Home Group

Yesterday I did the funeral service for my father-in-law Del Lawson. Thank you to all of Del's family and to my Redeemer family for the great outpouring of love. It makes all the difference to Linda and I.

Del passed away at 2:06 am, on New Year's Eve day. We got two hours of sleep. As the day went on we both knew we wanted to spend the night with our church family, just being together and worshiping in the new year together. We needed to be in God's empowering presence. What a beautiful, healing night that was for us.

The reality of God's presence is not just some religious theory, it's a visceral, existential felt-reality. We desire it, and wonder where would we be without it. To live out of the presence of God is to exist outside the walls of God's protective fortress. Linda and I know God as our fortress and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. To live outside of God is to be troubled. We found, last New Year's Eve, healing for our troubledness.

I love how Henri Nouwen expresses this as he writes:

"Once I "know" God, that is,once I experience God's love as the love in which all my experiences are anchored, I can desire only one thing: to be in that love. "Being" anywhere else, then, is shown to be illusory and eventually lethal." (Nouwen, The Only Necessary Thing, 69)