Sunday, 26 February 2012

The sacred dance

When Bonnie from Faith Barista asked us to think about how we visualise Jesus, my response was that I didn't. No artistic imagination.

I was wrong.

As I was reflecting this morning, I thought about a recent conversation with friends. Coming from this tiny island - 62,000 people at present on an area of 78 square kilometres (30 square miles) - their friends and relatives were, mostly, all within walking distance from their home. Mine are scattered throughout the world. My paternal grandfather's family had emigrated to Canada in the nineteenth century, my grandmother's had been European nomads. Even my mother's family were spread throughout the British Isles. I have lived on three continents and my closest friends are scattered over five.

As I thought about my grandmother, the thought popped into my head: "You would have been like her, chasing worldly ambition, had Jesus not rescued you."  She was a very determined lady. Highly intelligent, she had taken charge of her career at an early age, taking herself off to the Sorbonne for a while and then moving to England to work as a governess in order to perfect her English. She then had a career as an interpreter and then teacher, retaining links with her students which lasted until her death in her 100th year.

In her family, she inspired awe and admiration, but not a lot of liking - she wasn't an easy person to be around.

I know that, while not nearly as intelligent or academic, I am quite a lot like her. I am thankful that Jesus rescued me and has been gently changing my character for the last thirty years. And I remembered that, when I think, with tremendous gratitude, about this, I do indeed visualise him.
Just like the end of the Disney cartoon Beauty and the Beast, he is holding me close, sweeping me around in a sacred dance. I am secure, loved. John and Stasi Eldredge capture this beautifully in their book Captivating.

My imagination gives me a picture something like these: picture perfect, a fairytale romance.

Yet this last picture below reflects my feelings better: I am thankful that I am a child of God, part of the Bride of Christ.
Don't look at the Beast: Jesus is nothing like him in appearance. In any case, we know that the Beast's character is kind, gentle, loving, caring, self-sacrificing - ready to give up his own life to secure Belle's happiness. Just look at Belle: the sheer contentment on her face as she nestles securely into the Beast's arms.

That is how I feel.

Bonnie posed the question of what Jesus is like, what attracts me to Him.  I missed that bit to start with. I think I've answered it, very very briefly, now..


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