Friday, July 17, 2009
A Moth To The Light
Have you ever seen the aeronautical ballet that a moth does when it is being drawn, attracted to a light outside? Often it is a dance of death, not realizing that the bulb is extremely hot having been burning for several hours, the moth brushes up against this beckoning illuminating attraction only to often to sadly meet its demise.
There is a passage in the scriptures that in essence says, “No man shall see God and live.”
This speaks volumes to me, and I see distinct parallels to my moth illustration. Our God is as scripture points out, ‘a consuming fire’, and this fire is intended to accomplish much in the heart of man, this man in particular.
I have to believe that every glimpse of seeing Him produces a work of death and life within a believer, not just another religious fuzzy buzz experience, but an inner knowing of this One who is exalted in Compassion, a compassion that is ravenous in its insatiable longing to ignite within a heart a shared, “For God so loved the world, heart-beat.”
The following are thoughts from Brennan Manning, A Glimpse Of Jesus.
Manning sharing a story of his visit to Covenant House in New York as he sauntered down Eighth Avenue passed through an emotional spectrum so intense in human bondage and degradation that wave upon wave of revolt and disgust to anger and frustration, then to sadness, emptiness and pain washed over his soul. He then pointed out the following…
“The compassionate love of Jesus Christ is another matter entirely. His compassion surges from the bowels of his being, revealing a depth that defies human understanding and operating on a level that escapes human imitation. The numerous physical healings performed by Jesus to alleviate human misery only hint at the anguish in the heart of God’s Son for suffering humanity. Here the disciple and the seeker after truth kneel in the presence of Mystery.”
“The English word for “compassion” is far too weak to express the emotion that moved Jesus. The Greek verb splagcbnizomai used in all these texts is derived from the noun splagcbnon, which means intestines, bowels, entrails or heart, that is to say, the inward parts from which strong emotions seem to rise. The Greek verb therefore means a movement or impulse that wells up from one’s very entrails, a gut reaction. This is why the English translation have to resort to expressions like “he was moved with compassion or pity” (NIV, NRSV, JB) or he felt sorry (JB) or “his heart went out to them” (NEB). But even these do not capture the deep physical and emotional flavour of the Greek word for compassion. That Jesus was moved by some such emotion is beyond all reasonable doubt.”
I cannot read such things without experiencing what I have alluded to depicted in the moth to the light (flame) illustration, a death but out of it a resurrection.
“The Christ who weeps over godforsaken neighbourhoods such as Times Square is a man of sorrows moved in the pit of his stomach for the lostness of the sheep who do not know him. The heart of the crucified Lord of Glory does not turn away in revulsion or disgust at the wretchedness and perversity of the human condition. There is no crime so horrible or no sin so despicable that it was left at the foot of the cross. “He took our sickness away and carried our diseases (dis-ease) for us (Isa.53:4). How is that possible?
Because Jesus is God.