Sunday 11 November 2018

Romancing the Soul

A while ago I read a book called "Captivating" by Stasi and John Eldridge (I highly recommend it for any women who want to know themselves better and any men who want to know their wives better), it's a book the really resonated with me and helped me go deeper into my relationship with myself and with God.

In the book the authors talk about how Jesus romances us. Now that's a funny concept isn't it, we often don't see Jesus as someone who would be trying to allure us and bring us to him.  I don't know about you but I have sometimes felt like he is quite a distant figure, someone we should be trying to emulate, but far too perfect to get near to, but it's true; Jesus wants a personal relationship with us and just like a good potential husband, doesn't force us into that relationship but intimately and gently and gloriously woos us.

I had forgotten all about this part of the book until a friend enthusiastically reminded me of it recently, she explained how she had seen some beautiful Autumn leaves and she thought about Jesus alluring her to him with their exquisite colours and textures, drawing her eye to their beauty.

The idea is that Jesus gives us all sorts of gifts as a way to bring us to him, to romance us, just in the same way as when you are dating someone and they bring you flowers and jewellery or chocolates, little things to let you know you are special and that they care a lot about you and that you deserve beautiful, lovely things.  These dates might become marriages and (in my opinion) good husband will continue the romance throughout your lives together by surprising you with little things he knows you like, not always a physical a gift, sometimes an extra long hug, or doing something nice together or just doing the dishes. Jesus is just the same.  Just as a peacock shows off his beautiful feathers to attract the peahens, so Jesus shows us his beautiful creation to attract us to him. He wants us to know him and draws attention to himself all the time in the beauty of nature and in little every day surprise moments. Once you have found that relationship Jesus doesn't stop romancing us. He keeps reminding us daily how special we are to him, that he thinks about us and that he want's us to love him as much as he loves us.

It was on my morning jog that this idea was fully brought to life for me today.  The Autumn leaves covered the footpath ahead of me like a beautiful seasonal collage, and the light shining in the trees illuminating them from behind like a canopy of  stained glass, lit up the footpath.  I was enchanted and suddenly had the thought to thank Jesus for this beautiful sight that he had given me.  Seeing my enthusiasm for his gift, the presents continued!  The footpath opened out into a grassy area that sloped uphill away from me, and I had to pause to admire the glory of the scene for longer.  The dew on the grass glittered and hundreds of spider webs sparkled in the sunlight creating a blanket of delicately shining jewels and silvery lace.  It almost looked like frost.  Ahead of me, another gift, the sight of a Jay hopping about in the grass.  Jay's always make me think of my Nanny, as she once gave me a beautiful turquoise and black jay's feather that she had found in the garden and saved for me. A delightful memory to fill my heart with joy. I continued on round the lake, enjoying the warmth of the Autumn sun and the beauty of the light and trees.  As I began to head home someone walked past me who must have recently been smoking a cigarette.  You might be surprised to hear that I enjoyed the smell!  There seems to be one or two brands that remind me of the brand my Granddad smoked and I was instantly transported to my Granddad's breakfast room where he would sit puffing away and I, as a young girl, would curl the smoke around my fingers as it gently rose from the end of the cigarette.  Another fond memory, a gift that Jesus knew I would enjoy.

As I approached home I noticed a beautiful little snail with a yellowy shell and pink skin crossing my path ahead, it shell was almost translucent, I stopped and picked it up, moving it to the safety of the leafy verge.  An opportunity for me to show kindness to another earthly being.

Later my husband spotted an old wasps nest in the bushes near our house. We retrieved it to dry out and look at later.  How special I felt that WE were the ones who found the wasps nest waiting there in the bushes, we will have the privilege of admiring it's intricate structure and papery layers. God fills our world with beautiful things to romance us and bring us close to him.

So, how has Jesus been romancing you recently?  Have you noticed it?

Try to take note of the little gifts he brings in the week ahead and know he is trying to get your attention and bring you close to him. He is a generous a loving God who knows you intimately and loves surprising you with little gifts that will make you smile and remind you of his love for you.