July 10th, 2004
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The Nearness of God
Sitting in the temple, Isaiah suddenly saw the Lord. He couldn’t move.
Not even when the temple walls began to shake. Not when smoky incense
watered his eyes. He heard voices raised in praise, but he could not join
It was all too much.
Down Isaiah sank. “These worthless eyes have trespassed on the almighty.
I shall surely die.”
God, who sent the vision,
had other ideas.
It was not time to die.
Isaiah was about to begin.
A messenger touched his lips with fire.
Your sins are forgiven.
Isaiah’s shame fell away.
He was ready. When the voice called, he jumped to his feet.
The apostles were afraid.
In this world of emperors and armies, who were they?
Just followers of Jesus.
How could they speak to strangers?
It was too much.
You touch us with fire.
Maybe the vision came in the garden.
The tangle of roots as the tomato slides into its hole.
Day lilies reach for the sun.
The chatter of squirrels racing down limbs;
Nails caked with mud we suddenly realize
A song of praise rises from leaves and creatures.
About to vanish in the vastness of it all.
I hear my name.
No creature claws the earth, its body growing cold,
Except in your presence.
God, plant your fire in our hearts.
We are tired of hiding.
It is time to begin.
to the writer of this reflection.
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