There’s this moment in the story of Jesus: it’s early in his ministry. He’s barely begun. But his cousin John, the infamous camel-hair wearing, honey-eating wilderness preacher, has pointed him out to his own disciples and said, “There. He is the one to watch.” And so it happens that Jesus looks behind him as he is walking that day and sees two men following him.
“What do you want?” he asks them.
And they, perhaps a little at a loss, reply, “Where are you staying, Rabbi?”
They want to see what kind of man this is, what kind of values he holds, what kind of life he lives. And so they ask where he lives, where and how he dwells.
Jesus’s reply: “Come and See.”
Thirty years earlier there had been a similar invitation held out, but this time the invitation was a star, and the ones who followed were the only ones who had eyes to see, the ones least expected to respond, or even to be invited.
The invitation hung there in the heavens: Come and See. Come and see this new thing that has started. Come and see how God will dwell with his people.
A Psalmist penned a song thousands of years ago.
“Give me your lantern and compass,
give me a map,
So I can find my way to the sacred mountain,
to the place of your presence,
the place where you dwell.”*
I’m asking for that same lantern and compass this year. I’m responding to the invitation: Come and See.
Come and See where I dwell, where I live around you and beyond you and within you.
Come and See how I dwell: in the surprising places that you least expect. In the places you’ve forgotten about and the ways you’ve abandoned. In the people you’ve dismissed and the things you thought were broken.
Come and See and make me your dwelling place – let me be your safety and security, let me be your hope and comfort, let me be your strength and your sword.
Come and See my glory and be changed.
When God called Abram and Sarai to go to a land of plenty, a land they would be given as their own to live in, overflowing with milk and honey – that going involved a leaving.
There was much they left behind to go and see this new thing that the Divine was doing.
There are things I need to leave behind too: practices that are unhelpful and thought patterns that are destructive; memories that too quickly shackle and burdens that are too great to carry.
And some of the things I need to leave are maybe things that have been good for a season, but God calls me ever forward, to keep coming and seeing, spending more time in the place where the Spirit lives, both within me and around me.
It came to me early this time.
I was journaling through some questions from my pregnancy devotional and it jumped out at me from a line on the page: DWELL.
My words have all come differently. BRAVE came a few days into the new year and it came suddenly but as a result of much thought and evaluating the coming year and the challenges that faced me, the fear that was constantly threaten to well up and overwhelm me.
The following year, JOY came softly – as it would the whole year – as I was sitting in our semi-dark living room on New Year’s Eve, enjoying a few moments of quiet before the final festivities began.
This time it was like my one word needed to give me time to prepare. It wanted me to be convinced that this was the right word for me. Time to ponder it and realise how great a fit it was.
In six months – all being well – I become a mama and life turns upside down in the best of ways. I want to learn how to dwell in the surprising glory throughout that change. And I want to learn how to become a beautiful dwelling place.
This year is going to be about dwelling.
Some Housekeeping: So you might notice things look a little different around here. I moved everything over onto the root of my website rather than in the /blog folder. There are still some kinks to be ironed out and small changes to be made but for now it’s good and I am happy to have everything in one place.
If you’ve been subscribing via bloglovin or another reader, you might need to update those subscriptions with the new address. You can also follow me on the same facebook and twitter. I still need to figure out email subscriptions. Thanks for being patient and do let me know if there are any glaring faults I’ve overlooked. This site is entirely home grown!
And thank you for being here. If I stop for too long to think about it, I get kinda overwhelmed that you’re all out their reading my (irregular) words. I’m so grateful for you. Here’s to dwelling together for a little while more…