The Love Letter

July 29, 2009 | 21 comments

This is my contribution to Ann Voskamp’s Walk With Him Wednesday. Her writing prompt this week: The Word That Woos. In December, I posted here about God’s “Love Letter.” Today, I dusted that post off, polished it a bit, and now offer it as an act of worship for the Author of the Word.

***

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” — John 1:14

I dusted the spare bedroom the other day and came across it. I pulled it from the shelf and held it in my hands: my childhood Bible. It was a reminder of a time when The Word was a stranger relegated to the bookshelf.


So patient, He was. … And still is.

He was waiting there for years, inside pages where He poured out His heart. He put some of the best parts in red. But I didn’t read it.

A Love Letter, unopened.

Every few months, I swiped the Word with a lemon-scented dust cloth. But always, I left it in its place – a decoration on a shelf next to a book about Degas’ paintings. I wanted to believe the promise of love,

the mystery of grace,
the work on a Cross,
the hope in a tomb,
but I couldn’t.

Some talk about faith like this: “You’ve got to move your faith south — from your head to your heart.”

My faith worked in reverse: I needed God to move my faith north. I had a heart that was willing, but a brain that was not. I wanted to believe, but I could not.

So rather than disappoint myself with stories that seemed like fairy tales, this Love Letter stayed shelved for years.

But the willing heart wins every time. The Word Himself planted Truth in hearts, under a canopy of forever. And the Word would grow in willing soil.

“He has set eternity in the hearts of men.” — Ecc. 3:11

Yes, He would make everything beautiful in its time.

One day, my oldest sister sent a gift by mail. It was a book like the one on my shelf — same words, same red letters. I opened it. The words of Mark 9:24 leapt from the page: “Lord, I do believe. Help me with my unbelief.”

I gasped, silently mouthed the words. Dare I ask this for myself?

God, if you’re there, could you do that for me? I asked. I want to believe, Lord, would you help me with my unbelief?

Lord help me with my unbelief!

I don’t know when it happened exactly, but my faith went north.

I began to feel the words, in the marrow. Leather-bound Soul Food in my hands — alive and active — had become more than stories. The Word put flesh on The Word. He wrote letters to me — to me! — and I wrote back to Him in the margins. I underlined my favorite parts in green.

Today, God is as close as gold-lined pages on my fingertips. When He says He loves me, I believe Him from my Word-drenched heart all the way up to my Word-drenched intellect.

Author and Giver of Life, Keep my heart pointed north. Kindle in me the desire to continually learn more about You through Your Word – a Love Letter to me that woos. Even when I fail — and I will again — remind me that it’s never too late to pick it up again; Your words are faithful even when I am not. Amen.

holy experience

by | July 29, 2009 | 21 comments

21 Comments

  1. Deidra

    Goose bumps!
    "Under a canopy of forever." The Word has found Its way into your words. What a blessing!

    Reply
  2. Tabitha@ichoosebliss

    This was so beautiful and moving. I love His Word and cannot imagine how I went so long without it.

    Reply
  3. beautyinallthings

    That verse has helped me through many many dark days in my life. I love that verse. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  4. A Simple Country Girl

    His story is made up of many chapters, each one ultimately written specifically for each of us…

    Reply
  5. A Simple Country Girl

    (oops!)

    His story is made up of many chapters, each one ultimately written specifically for each of us… We are not just readers, but active participants in the story.

    Amazingly, He wrote us into the plot!
    Gracefully, we accept.

    Reply
  6. RCUBEs

    What a great testimony, of an unbelieving heart that was planted with a seed of faith. And since He has eternity, how patiently, He waited for that seed to grow…

    His faithfulness is truly as enduring as the heavens…God bless.

    Reply
  7. Maria

    "He has set eternity in the hearts of men." — Ecc. 3:11

    I just read this scripture this morning in MY DAILY BREAD…and thought it was so beautiful, I would put it in my blog title!

    This is a wonderful experience, sharing this time on Wednesdays.
    all the best, Maria

    Reply
  8. Lyla Lindquist

    Oh, Jennifer, I do love the words of the Mark 9 dad, you know. I find myself grateful for his unbelief, for it, together with his burning to believe, gives me a hope that it doesn't stop with my own doubt.

    I love to hear to pieces of this story of yours.

    Reply
  9. Nichole

    Jennifer, what a fabulous post!!!
    most definitely a love letter from our very patient King.

    loved your reference to your childhood, with the photo included, so touched my heart and about the Bible lingering on the shelf…just unbelievably honest and how forgiving He is with us as His children.

    Thanks for sharing…really enjoy your writings!

    Reply
  10. Craig Finnestad

    That is simply beautiful. I'm going to use it as my column on Sunday morning. I can't wait for the people in the in the church I serve to read your writing.

    Reply
  11. Denise

    Such a lovely post.

    Reply
  12. Chris Godfredsen

    Wonderful. Leather-bound Soul Food – I love it!!!

    He remains faithful, even when we don't – His Word is lamp unto our feet and light unto our paths! Thanks be to God!

    Reply
  13. Chris Godfredsen

    Wonderful. Leather-bound Soul Food – I love it!!!

    He remains faithful, even when we don't – His Word is lamp unto our feet and light unto our paths! Thanks be to God!

    Reply
  14. Beth E.

    Beautiful. Praise God for answered prayer!

    Reply
  15. Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience

    Do you know how many lives you touch? Yes, my friend…

    You tap the rock, split open the diamond: "God is as close as gold-lined pages on my fingertips."
    Yes!

    That close.
    Staggering.

    I prayed for you today…

    Thanked Him for you today…

    You minister… elucidate.
    My thanks…

    All's grace,
    Ann

    Reply
  16. Anne L.B.

    I so appreciated this. Something tells me you're gonna love my post today, on the name of God "My Beloved." *smile*

    Reply
  17. christy rose

    Jennifer, This post is just amazing.
    What you wrote here is so true. It is not about getting our heart to believe. Our heart believes. It is our acknowledgment of truth in our mental understanding that takes the longest and keeps us from receiving the love and care of our loving God.
    Thanks for sharing this. Your writing still takes my breath away!
    Christy

    Reply
  18. mom2six

    I, like Ann, was captured by your statement "God is as close as gold-lined pages on my fingertips". What a comfort to know how close He always is. How He longs to speak to us in every line on every page. Thank you!

    Reply
  19. LisaShaw

    This says it all: "Today, God is as close as gold-lined pages on my fingertips. When He says He loves me, I believe Him from my Word-drenched heart all the way up to my Word-drenched intellect."

    Thanks for sharing with us.

    Love and hugs.

    Reply
  20. Deb

    The Word.

    His.

    Nothing can compare.

    Reply
  21. Emaan

    hi jennifer !
    long timeeee.. how hav u been ?

    ive tagged you.. hee hee.. check 'Sach ka Samna' (face the truth) for the questions on my blog .. hope u do it.. just for fun !
    🙂

    happy f'ship day

    Reply

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