I came across a lovely blog page last weekend. I had stayed home from church because I have not been feeling well, so I was spending some time reading. The first "page" I read was entitled "Feeling for His Face," and it really spoke to me, partly because Elsie Mae is a "face feeler." When she needs comfort, she needs to be able to touch my face - not see me, not necessarily be held, but for me to stoop low enough or move in close enough that she can grab ahold of my nose, put her fingers in my mouth, finger the contours of my neck, stroke my cheek, often twirling my hair close enough that she can use it to stroke her own cheek...
So when I read what Ms. Voskamp wrote:
I know my own nightmares, day terrors, desert hallucinations that pursue across the sands. Waking to the everyday gifts, the common miracles, daily graces, this is my way of feeling for His face, my way of knowing He is pressed close.I read Him in syrup melting down into stacks of pancakes, in the heavy breathing of slumbering children under old quilts, in the moss curling around old trunks down in the woods. A monarch lights on the clump of coneflowers by the picket fence, we linger after the noon picnic in the surprise of Indian summer, cold water runs from my tap. These are the graces, the magnanimous, munificent gifts, that I daily seek to run my fingers across, feeling for His face.In my common deserts, I have found the daily discipline of fingering for Him in small things, in giving thanks for all that is, reveals the contours of Who He is. This waterfall of little grand gifts unveils the features of His countenance, the gentleness of His heart.
...the topic of gentleness jumped out at me all over again. Spirit gentleness is choosing to see God, or "feeling for His face" when we cannot see because of the tears, as we trust that what He is doing is good whether we understand or not - because He promises He will be there.
As I continued to explore this particular blog page, I came across another entry, entitled "More that Dies..." As I read, I thought to myself, "This, too, is what gentleness is all about. It is about me dying so that God can make me alive. Will I allow it or will I fight it?" It is put much more eloquently on the linked blog page, however:
But his words echo through the rest of my day, revisiting me here tonight in a full country church, us womenfolk talking of hanging out lines of laundry, working up sleepy gardens, and the countryside wafting with the smell of sweet manure.“More that dies, more that lives.”Out into the falling dusk, these church folks slowly spill, frogs of the church pond filling the night with their croaky chorus. And we all mingle under the shy stars twinkling, the air pungent with death, and I look at these people, a body of believers, a people called to live new life.But the daily death comes first. The more that dies.....The more He lives.Scripture Drink:"Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ,a decisive end to that sin-miserable life...What we believe is this:If we get included in Christ's sin-conquering death,we also get included in his life-saving resurrection...."Lord, my dying today may not smell pretty. But it is necessary for the new life You want to grow in me. Where can I die today? The more I die.... the more You live.
Two more beautiful word pictures of gentleness... which I pray will continue to encourage and challenge me.