Yesterday I took the day to try to write my work report (a Visa requirement for life in Thailand) but also to spend time with God. A struggle for a long time for me has been a fear of God not “showing up”. I fear that I will be abandoned in the silence.
I’ve been reading/listening to a book called “Heart Made Whole” by Chista Black Gifford, and it came to a chapter where she discussed that God is already here, but the heart just needs to be tuned in to experience.
This led the old hymn “Come though Fount” to pop into my head, and as I figured it out on the harmonium, I spent the next few hours, belting it out in my office - an converted outhouse bathroom!. (My work report, subsequently is still not done).
As I sang, I have always had a vague Idea of what the words mean, though its probably more of a ‘jist’ . It is written in old English and I wondered if anyone had ever written a modern day translation? I didn’t find one.
I had all but forgotten about it today as I travelled to Chiang Mai to have a nasty wisdom tooth plucked from my skull. Though as I did my nightly routine of ‘numbing out’ (Hello Enneagram Type 9) to get rid of the physical pain, and probably the emotional pain too; I stumbled up the Yoga Abbey’s post on Instagram (a sweet Christ Centered Yoga crew). Apparently this month they will be delving into this hymn. I felt a prompting in my heart to look at the lyrics and re-write them as to what they mean to me. It was a beautiful experience. And so here I am at 2am in the morning, with an achey jaw and Come Thou Fount. It has been like balm to my face, and to my soul.
Maybe you can do it too?
Come Thou Fount - Paraphrased, for this Girl!
Beautiful Jesus, you are the source of Divine love, a never ending fountain.
You are already as close to me as my very breath, help me to know how to just tune in to your spirit already living inside of me.
Out of that fountain of Divine love, there are endless and vast streams of mercy pouring out. Covering us all, even those deemed not ‘correct enough’ for the table by some within our churches.
It is this radical love, these wide spread arms of grace, it’s this radical inclusivity that calls from the depths of my heart to sing with all my whole self of how beautiful you are.
Teach me to sing the same song that the trees of the fields clap their hands to, Teach me the tune that the mountains and hills burst into song too. The vibration deep within that connects us all. That same vibration and that same song that will be sung when everything is made right.
I am putting my stake in the ground. I choose this path, remembering all the times that the Divine was with me, The times when God was so close; As I birthed my baby girl and felt like I was completely surrendered into the arms of God. The times when I have felt complete and utter shalom.
And even, yes, even in the dark night of the soul, the liminal spaces where it was as if you had walked me into the valley of the shadow of death… even there you were with me. It felt so dark and so quiet, but I never remained there, you always came back.
Some days, more than others, I want to go home so badly. I want to go home into your arms, where I am safe and completely held. I want to be with you and do away with the mess, the pain, the injustice, the poverty, the corruption, the abuse of women, the systematic racism, the destruction of the earth. The cowardly rich men in positions of power.
When the time is right, Jesus, Take me home, wipe away my tears, and make it right.
Before I was even looking, you found me. Totally naked, raw and vulnerable, my own part to play in the mess of this world. You saw me, you knew me, and you loved me anyway. You incarnated into a body and walked into every screwed up situation that you en-counted. You healed the untouchables, you loved and forgave the corrupt, the sex workers, those seen as too dirty, too messed up. To the rich men in power, you peacefully went about subverting their power, igniting the revolution, turning the other cheek, peace, righteous anger, of holy shit stirring. This put you in danger. This put you right in the center of danger, of conflict, of accusations and it ultimately got you killed.
And I should be in debt to you, but the debt that you handed me was Grace. It doesn’t constrain me, it offers freedom, spaciousness. The soft and safe arms of Grace that I fall into when I come to the end of me, and all I have left is you.
Beautiful Jesus extend your arms out long and wrap my heart, my broken body in bandages of your goodness and grace and bind them to you.
I was taught to study you through the book, and to keep my heart at an arms length from you. When I had a ‘feeling’ you were close I was told to stop, to analyze, to engage critical thinking. To never trust this heart. It is weak BUT the word of God is strong.
Somewhere in the journey though, I lost the LIVING word, the word made flesh. Whenever you came close, I shut it down, I kept you at an arms length, and even now, I don’t know how to tune into you, I don’t know how to give my heart fully to you.
But Jesus, I choose you. I love you, I love you, I love you. Teach me to not run.
Here is my heart Jesus, take it and as I close my eyes and open my heart to you, I can feel the safe, soft touch of your finger on my forehead placing a seal on me. I am yours. You are mine.