Monday, June 15, 2009

Priceless Differences

I’ve spent days telling you about three of my closest friends. When I originally wrote the pieces and sent them out to be approved, I didn’t expect the responses I received. However, I knew they were valuable pieces of the story that revealed not only aspects of friends, but also the heart of God.

Let me show you what I mean.

In MaryB’s response, she wrote:

“I have to laugh - you and Eleanor both - how much our friendship means to you. Don't get me wrong - I think it's wonderful! But what I have in return is just as priceless! I was in much the same place as you. The edge is such a cool place to live and it's hard to find other edgers. …But it was the way you spoke of your relationship with the Lord that drew me to correspond with you further. I had never heard anyone talk of Him the way you did, and it was what I wanted. And whatever your own struggles were, it didn't matter - we're all on a journey and the closer we get to the end of our journeys, the more of our burdens are laid down. He simply loves us to pieces all along the way. Laughs with delight over us.”

But what I have in return is just as priceless! Priceless? Me? Are you kidding?

But she isn’t. I know MaryB. She is sincere. She sees me as priceless. She sees my contribution to her life as priceless. Doesn’t God feel the same way? A God who is willing to send His Son to die a horrid death so His enemy can become a friend…isn’t He saying, “You’re priceless”?

Do you know God thinks you are priceless?

But it was the way you spoke of your relationship with the Lord that drew me to correspond with you further. I had never heard anyone talk of Him the way you did, and it was what I wanted.

I have to laugh at this. She is referring to my passionate intimacy with the Lord. I don’t want to be one of those who simply waves from the back of the throne room. If I’m the Bride, I want to be the best lover He could ever desire.

She mentioned to me once that the statement that caught her attention was my comment on being spoons—lovers curled up back to front like spoons in a drawer—with the Lord. This piqued her interest. It also got me in some really hot theological water with ladies at the church we attended. The idea of seeing God in such a humanistic and base way was about as heretical as a person could get. God did not function in fleshly sexual fashions such as that, and I needed to repent for projecting my flesh onto Him.

This is the same God that put Song of Solomon in the Bible and in all the racy talk about sex never mentioned procreation. I could be wrong, but I’m thinking God is into intimacy for the sake of relationship.

BUT, not everyone thinks that way, and believe me, by the time the religious 410s went back in their gun racks, I was pretty shell-shocked. It took a lot of pushing from God before I had the courage to write that on a message board for the world to see. Then I steeled myself for the next round of bullets, but none came. Instead, what came was:

“You mean God loves me like that?” Oh, yeah.

“He wants me that way?” Oh, yeah.

“You mean there’s more than the Christian to-do list?” Oh…yeah…

“And it can be mine?” He’s wanting it to be yours.

Two things I want to point out.

First, intimacy is God’s idea, and people are craving it. MaryB wanted intimacy with God. She also wanted someone who understood that. There is no intimacy until someone is courageous enough to be different and risk rejection. In all honesty, it isn’t “normal” that draws someone for any kind of relationship. It is the different part that catches the eye, that offers a home for a wandering heart. It is the different part that says, “I’ll accept your different part, too.”

And, it is the different part that the enemy will try to tell you is bad, pointless, or ugly. It is the different part that often receives the most curses that God intends to use as the greatest blessing. Satan will try to make you hide your ‘different part’ because he knows that is the special aspect of you that God is going to use to show something special about Himself. What makes you different is what makes you amazing. In Song of Solomon (your know, the trashy book about the absolute pleasure of intimacy?) God says this, “There is no one like you. Never has been. Never will be. You are beyond compare (Message, Song of Solomon 4).” No matter how much someone tries to imitate you they’ll never get it right…because you are amazing. You are perfectly different, and God loves that about you.

And I have found the amazing friends He has given me do too.

Copyright 2009 Jerri Phillips

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