The Holy Spirit will speak to our hearts in a myriad of creative ways, if we are listening for His voice. On a night not long ago, He was communicating to my heart through the story of Willie Juan, told by Brennan Manning in his book, Patched Together. In it, Willie Juan has an encounter with Jesus, who appears to him personally. I want to share with you the excerpt that Holy Spirit was highlighting for me:
Willie Juan: “But why didn’t you come to the village with trumpets and angels? You came in a wagon.”
Jesus: “It’s not my desire to frighten, Willie Juan. If I came displaying all of Abba’s glory, you’d be afraid to come close to me and trust me, you couldn’t bear it. Besides, the amazing thing… is that Abba became small, like you, Willie Juan. Little Brother, it is my heart’s deepest desire to be known, loved, and wanted…” (pp. 60-61, Kindle version*).
As soon as I read that, Holy Spirit started deepening for me the idea expressed in the story. I could feel Him imparting to me how profoundly true the above quote is. Jesus longs to be known. As the Logos, the Word, He translates Himself into our heart language. He impresses Himself on our senses in such a way that we can take Him in. He comes to meet us at our level. He “becomes small.”
He first did this physically when He fit Himself into a microscopic embryo two thousand years ago. Yes, the Lover of our souls slipped on a human body so that we could see Him. So that we could “behold His glory.” He brought the glory of heaven down to a level where we could touch, feel, smell, hear, and hold Him. Where we could watch Him with our eyes – and yes, be amazed, but also be able to snuggle in His bosom, like John the Beloved did. Since we couldn’t make it up to His level, He came down to ours. He came into our world.
And today, Immanuel continues to “become small,” that we might know Him intimately… because His greatest yearning really is to be known. Right here, right now, He’s still making Himself present in our world. He’s drawing near to you. On your level. Not to overwhelm you, but just to hold your hand. Just to be with you.
What are your favorite things? He is intensely interested in every one of them. He wants to revel in the enjoyment of them with you. He wants to share lighthearted moments with you. Since He created your sense of humor, He knows exactly how to get you belly laughing – which He loves! Oh, how He loves to see you happy! Will you listen for His jokes?
He wants to be in those little everyday moments with you. He wants to do life with you. He wants to sit with you in the silence, too. He wants to enjoy the sunset with you, holding you close.
Is there something troubling you? Tell Him about it. He wants to hear, to listen with deep empathy and compassion. He wants to get to be the one who’s there for you. The one you run to. Is there something confounding you? Ask Him about it. He delights to explain things to you in a way you can understand. He delights to speak to you in metaphors that make sense to you. How He relishes it when, after communing with Him, new light fills your heart and everything comes together for you. His eyes twinkle when that happens!
Isaiah 57:15 helps us to understand how God is both dwelling gloriously in eternity, and dwelling on our level:
“For this is what the high and lofty One says — he who lives forever, whose name is holy: ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite” (NIV).
He is indeed high and lofty… and He dwells with the lowly. He is indeed holy and majestic… and He has come into our world. He is indeed enthroned above all… and He became flesh and dwelt among us. And now the Spirit of the incarnate Jesus, the Spirit of Immanuel, invites us into communion and fellowship with Him: to allow Him to dwell richly in us and bask in His closeness.
Here He is, right on your level, kneeling on one knee, beckoning tenderly to you. Will you take His outstretched hand?
How does God personally tailor His communication to you? Has He explained something to you in metaphors of your own heart language recently?
*Manning, Brennan. Patched Together: A Story of My Story. David C Cook, 2010. Digital.