Postcards from Approaching the Edge...

I wrote a few days ago about an inner yearning to recapture a place on the prophetic edge that Kelsey and I often talk about. It was in reference to a time of being called into something that we were clueless about, unequipped to do, and petrified to embrace...and we went for it. In the post, I wrote:
I want back on that edge...even as I sense it materializing on the horizon. I may not have my fingers locked into it yet, but I'm reaching, and it's getting nearer. People like us, we were not meant to live in the center. We were destined for the fringe. I'm sensing that we'll be there again very, very soon.
Something about that post resonated with people, because I received a fair amount of email about it. Everyone wants out there, even if they're not sure what out there is, because out there seems so much more exciting than right here. People will take there over here nearly every time.

Today, I felt a little bit out there. Not all the way, but just the beginnings of what I encountered that summer some years ago. I felt the hunger, both physical and spiritual. I felt the sense of unease, the gentle realization that so much of what I strive for us both unfulfilling and unsustaining. I think I'm crawling back out there, and you know what?

It's horrible out here.

It's uncomfortable, awkward and (in the short term) feels unfulfilling. Get near the edge and you hear a few answers...but your questions increase exponentially. It's like shining a bright flashlight against a pitch black wall....the light signifies what you know, and where it borders the dark represents what you don't know. The bigger your flashlight, the more contact with the dark...and the more aware you are that the black wall is freaking huge. Back when you had a laser pointer, you suspected you were lighting up half the wall. Now you know better. It's the great prophetic wall of China, for all you know.

I spent the day on edge. And nearing the edge. Sitting on the couch in my office, sipping coffee and staring at the text of Amos. Feeling the reality of the words in my bones, even as I pondered them in my head. How can you feel truth even when you don't think you fully understand it. It gives me new appreciation for the phrase 'shut up in my bones....'.

It feels to me more like June 2000 than Februrary 2007. Back then, entered into a long season of fasting, the front 3/4 which felt like death on a stick...but then the Lord spoke and all heaven broke loose. It's the promise of the edge...that He is out there, just beyond our natural grasp, waiting until we come to the end of ourselves so He can supernaturally arrest us.

Maybe the edge we're looking for is the edge of us.

opening photo reference: Kyle Wade, Tim Nichols, Adam Mosley and myself, circa 2000, peering over the edge on a multitude of levels. Origins of the beater Mercedes in the background is unknown.


steven hamilton said...

i'm living in the midst of that horrible tension now...it's almost crushing...yet I too gaze toward the horizon and am invited to cross over into that frontier...

here are two pieces of wordcraft that i wrote to at least describe some of my own overwhelmed perspective:

Not Yet

A longing aches within me,
like the yearning of young lovers

My desire is for your embrace…not yet held, but faintly savoured

My beloved is like the enticing fragrance of lily, not yet embraced, but softly lingering…inviting

I stagger towards something not yet seen, but blindingly obvious
How much further the journey…how much longer, my love

[come so far across the frontier, yet so far to go]

and still: like the distant echo of a consuming hope
something stirs my heart…

beholding an experience not yet witnessed
I go forward…into the not yet

why not

how does one occupied with the fullness of Light

wade into the deep darkness that surrounds them?

how does a pilgrim set out on such a journey
what can we do in the face of such overwhelming shadow?

is truth beheld

…in the condemnation of those
peddling souls to devourers of flesh?

crushing hearts and consuming their own blood
as the sons of disobedience do…

can they taste the horror?

[tis the very justice of the Founder
for shattered hearts to be re-made
crafted by an adoring One]

shall we give ourselves to those abandoned?

with wind at our back
spirit rushing through our exploit

propelled from within and without

what shall we do with a life lived?

bring hatred and terror to their knees?

pour forth with the relentless gaze of grace?

yes…justice must be wrought

with hands of mercy
and hearts of fire

burning with a consuming passion
flowing with the wild relief of a rushing river

we can enact His righteousness

stop not to ask why

ponder briefly why not…

may peace find you in the smile of God, randy



steven hamilton said...

speaking of supernaturally arresting us, or anyone else, have you seen this:

Film Evangelizes Muslims through Spiritual Phenomenon

A video program documenting Muslims who have come to know Christ through supernatural means is being used as an evangelism tool.

The More than Dreams programs, which records the stories of five Christian converts, shares what some say is a well-documented phenomenon spanning decades of Muslim men and women experiencing dreams and visions of Jesus Christ, reported to the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization in an article released on Monday.

Reports of Muslims who experience these spiritual revelations usually come from "closed countries" where preaching of the Gospel and converting to Christianity is condemned by death.

Many of the Muslims who have the experience are without prior knowledge of the Gospel or contact with Christians, according to LCWE. One common factor, however, appears to be that the revelation comes to those who are seeking to know and please God.

The project began in 2002 when a group of people interested in the phenomenon recorded on-site interviews with former Muslims who had converted to Christianity after experiencing dreams or visions of Jesus. The producers interviewed people from all over the Arabic-speaking world including Muslim areas in Africa and Asia.

Producers wanted to work with ministry partners around the world to distribute the videos both to evangelize unbelievers and encourage those who have already experienced the revelation that they are not alone.

Included among the stories is Khalil, a former radical Egyptian terrorist who persecuted Christians like "Saul" in the Bible, but came to accept Christ through a life-changing dream of the savior.

Another story is about Mohammed of Nigeria, who said Jesus Christ appeared seven times to him in dreams. Mohammed had studied the Quran in depth at several Muslim schools and was about to leave for advanced studies in Saudi Arabia when he experienced the dreams. His father and others tried to kill him after his conversion. Since then, however, he has led his father to faith in Christ.

The video stories have been dubbed into five languages: Arabic, Farsi, Bahasa Indonesia, Hausa and Turkish. Plans are underway for several other languages commonly spoken by Muslims: French, English, Urdu, Bengali, Kyble Berber and Russian.

The producers of More Than Dreams has set the goal to distribute 10 million copies of the film directly and through partners in the next three to five years. The first major distribution took place mid-2006 in Europe. Thousands of copies were handed out to Arabs attending the Germany 2006 World Cup match between Saudi Arabia and Tunisia.

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