Saturday, February 19, 2005

LENT- week 2

In this second week of Lent I found myself awake late; it was cold, a particularly windy evening. I noticed the moon was just a small crevice in the dark night. Stars were absent.

I woke up in the night, I couldn't sleep. So I wandered over to the living room and looked out the window- the city was sleeping. Except that I heard whispers coming from next door. I strained to hear the voices- fearful that my neighbors would see me, yet drawn by interest and curiousity to hear what these low voices were speaking of in the midnight hours.

I recognized the visitor, standing in my neighbor's doorway- I'd seen him many times before- a well respected man in the community. The voices were louder now, the conversation was getting heated. I heard the visitor say, "What do you mean when you say I have to be born of water and Spirit? What does that mean?"

My neighbor said in a soft voice, "Nick, I know why you're here- even more than you know why you are here. When you left your house tonight you were unsure who you were going to see. Your friends say that I am a threat to your way of life. Somehow, you know better than that. You don't understand this now, but things will not be the same after tonight. My closest friends will alienate me when I need them the most, but you will provide a place for me to rest my head when no one else want to say they know me. When the time comes you will understand what I'm saying."

He continued, "Nick, you have been born of water- for nine months you lived in the womb of your mother- you share that with all humanity. But there is also another birth- the birth of a New Life- The Kingdom. In this Life we are not led by law, but by Spirit. The Spirit of God is breathed out from God's breath and breathed in by God's children- a symbiotic relationship. We move together by the guidance of God's breath, we exist through God's breath."

"I hear what you're saying," Nick said, "but it doesn't make sense to me."

My neighbor continued, "don't try to make sense of it. Just know that God the Creator breathes New Life into God's children and like oxygen, we thrive and exist from it. That breath gives us a New Life- a new way to see others, a new way to respond to others, a new way to live our lives, a new way to love the unlovable. It's all about breathing God's breath, loving with God's love, seeing others the way God sees them."

At this point, my mind was racing. I had heard this before, but it had never danced in my mind and heart the way it was right now!

"I want this New Life! I want to breath in that New Breath! What do I have to do", Nick asked?

"Follow my Way of Life", my neighbor said. "You are on your way, Nick. You really are."

And with that Nick went on his way. My neighbor shut his door and the lamp in his living room turned off. And once again all was quiet in my small city neighborhood. I heard a dog barking in the distance. For a few moments as I sat in awe and energy of the conversation I had overheard I became aware of the chilled night air and darkness that I was staring in to.

I breathed in a long breath... imagining that new breath- God's breath- flowing into me... and breathing out- sharing that Spirit with others who slept, unaware of the love that undergirded them in the night time.

-Jonathon

1 comment:

PastorJon said...

Thanks for the creative approach to this narrative. I attempted to do something similar as I told the story from Nicodemus' perspective. My struggle was with clarifying what we know about Nicodemus and what we think about Nicodemus from within the first person language. By placing yourself as an onlooker, you can still tell the narrative from third-person perspective, but within the cultural context and with personal ramification.

Grace and Peace,

PastorJon