“Man goes far away or near but God never goes far-off; he is always standing close at hand, and even if he cannot stay within he goes no further than the door.”
(Photograph: Burges, Belgium/ Julie Cook/ 2011)
I suddenly stop walking, being pulled back by something that I’m not sure of. Was it something I saw? Maybe it was something out of the corner of my eye…. Was it the lone bicycle propped against the wall? The red door? What about the red door? Where does it lead? Was it the emptiness of the small courtyard, the solitude beckoning me to enter through the arched wall, brushing past the cascading vines…?
The ancient cobblestones..is that what stopped me? What stories do they tell? Who walked here before me? Not today, not yesterday, but 500 years ago… who was here? Will I hear the voices of those who were here? Flemish, Dutch, French, German…how many languages? Who was it that lived here? Who is here now? Something asks, beckons, urges me to pass through the arched wall. Is it mere curiosity? I think it’s more than that. But what exactly? Why stop, why now……..
That same feeling, that same urging is how I often feel deep in my soul. Life is going along as it usually does when suddenly there is a feeling, an urging, a longing. What is it? Why am I feeling like this? I feel suddenly empty and yet I know there is more, so much more…but what exactly, what is it that I long for, yearn for?
I’ve been reading the book A Noble Treason, the story of Sophie Scholl and the White Rose Revolt. I’ve written about Sophie Scholl before…the young German girl who, along with her brother Hans and a close friend, worked to form an underground youth movement in order to fight against, in a most passive way, the Nazi regime. Eventually being caught, tried in a monkey court and being quickly executed by guillotine. Did the Nazis think that cutting the heads off of 3 young people would silence them better than, say, some other form of execution?
The book takes the reader into the development of Sophie and her brother….into the things that helped form them into “dissidents and enemies of the State”…I was struck by one section that reflected on Hans and his studying the works of the French mathematician, writer, physicist and Christian philosopher Blaise Pascal. Pascal had waged a theory about the existence of God “Let us weigh the gain and loss in choosing ‘heads’ that God is. Let us weigh the two cases: If you gain, you gain all. If you lose, you lose nothing. Wager then unhesitatingly that He is.”
I found that thought most profound.
I wagered a long time ago that He truly is. Now, JEHOVAH – JIREH, JEHOVAH – RAPHA, JEHOVAH Â€“NISSI speaks deeply to my soul beckoning, yearning for me to come, to enter, to go further. My soul yearns to be satiated….He has beckoned and I must go.
Are you willing to go further than the just the door…..