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Even Now Faith

April 13, 2014

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

Earlier this year I had a rare chance at a women's retreat to wake early and walk out beside the ocean. The air was cold, and sand like grains of ice, but not knowing when the opportunity would come again, I went out anyway. When the cold at last became unbearable I almost turned around, but then, wanted to feel the water and was surprised to find the water was bathtub warm. As long as I stayed in the water I was fine. I walked over an hour in complete comfort. Warmed by the water. Watching all the other beach walkers shiver and stay far up on the sand. I saved a rock from that retreat with "Now Faith" written on it. "Now Faith is the evidence of things unseen." I vowed standing there on that cold shore to leave the regrets of the past and the fears of the future behind and live in Now Faith.  

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

The journey to that moment had not been easy. We had been through a spiritual implosion of epic proportions and trust was not running especially deep. But even as we left one church.... then another.... then another.... waiting to feel we were home there was a sense of urgency to the quest.  To find home within a local body would (surely) bring some measure of peace. Of spiritual rest. A sense of home. That was a basic unshakable truth.  Despite sex scandals, money laundering, drug dealing, mental health crisis (aka "sabbaticals") extortion and threats whatever else I thought about being a Christ follower being a committed member of a local body was foundational. So, we perservered in our quest - found a church home and finally felt we could let down our guard, begin to trust the church again. This time, perhaps, would be different. 

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now
 

Ironic, that something so mundane as a minor power grab would be the tipping point. But it is. And all I know is that I'm done. Done. Many may well be reached with a Proven 6 Point corporate inspired Plan. But we were lost. We are leaving this race where Christians run together, trip each other, jockey for position, and talk about wounds behind each other's backs. We are just done. I think I am finally ready to see what this whole wilderness thing may hold. It is after all where Jesus went to meet God. Where the prophets hung out. Where waters flow from rocks and ladders fall from heaven.  Where men build alters and are given new names. So thank you. It wasn't the best act I've seen. I've been privy to some true artists of chicanery. Truly amazing manufactured miracles. But thank you for one last show.

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

If you need me, I will be walking in the deep waters. They look bitter cold. But they are, in fact warm and alive with Grace. Finally, unconcerned about opinion and plans, consultant crafted core values. Perhaps if I am far enough from shore the voices will fade and I will hear the Voice that was speaking all this time. The Voice I heard as a girl beside the ocean. Calling me out where I was afraid to go. Because it meant going alone. Defying the myriad voices telling me where I was supposed to go instead. Well I've tried. 20 years of compromising conviction to be a cog in the church machine. Only to watch the castles I poured life, talent and time into wash out to sea. Again. And again. And again. Yet even as cynicism rolls in like a poison tide, there is no touching the Holy of Holies. Church buildings don't contain God. I don't need a benediction and won't seek permission to enter. The curtain was torn and we are a Holy Priesthood. Sons and Daughters. With visions and dreams we carry despite waves, fires, storms and desert winds. Right up to my Beloved, my Savior, my Redeemer, my King and say here I am. If you call me I will answer. If you send me I will go.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I'm done with trying to make an institutional vessel hold your wild fire. I'm done. But You. In you it's always only just beginning. YOU, Lord, I love. Its always just been You. You and YES, also your Body. All the broken scattered pieces of Your Body. Strewn and scattered like an unseen bomb went off in the outer court of nonconformists leaving a remnant people torn and bleeding and worth nothing to Church the institution. But somehow more like yours. the Body of Christ. Broken. Shattered. Bloody. Crushed. So you beckon us all to come, Welcome in your gaze. You get us. How little things change. Broken. Body and Blood poured out. But you rose and we rise with you. More than a remnant people. A resurrection people. 

I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

Despite it all. Because of it all. Still walking. Just on a different journey. No longer looking for gold in the crowded camps along the river shore where long-entrenched claim holders fight, steal, lie and betry over a single fleck of grace, strategy or revelation. Perhaps instead, this journey will eventually lead us to stake a claim in a place without obvious potential. Among a people who have long forgotten God's promises. Even Now. Faith. Across the wilderness and wilder waters. Somehow still, despite it all, we hear your Call.  And we will follow You.

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)
HILLSONG UNITED

Some beautiful writers to whom I owe many debts of gratitude:

Rachel Held Evans

Sarah Bessey

Micah J. Murray

 

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Hello

 I'm a designer, wife and mother of two.  I post my work and on the places where creativity and life’s clutter intersect. Looking for inspiration and finding balance.  Join me on the journey.

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TwitterRachel4My name is Rachel. Good to meet you. I like caramel coffee, the way patterns of light or color or ideas fit together, and mornings at the ocean. Dislikes include: political ads, conspicuous wealth and mornings in general. Together, my husband Buddy and I are daily challenged and blessed as we raise two children and run one business: By His Designs.

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