Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Conversation with Hans Turner

on the occasion of a remarkable visit with Christy Voelkel

"... interestingly, she described her journey [El Camino de Santiago] in three distinct phases. first, she experienced a sense of God's ubiquitous Love. as she encountered people and beauty and grace, she felt an overwhelming sense of His Love for her, and for all. for every single one. what a powerful recognition this is (i think this is the heart of what scripture speaks to, and what i have learned listening to Peter Hiett, and am amazed at the profundity of its implications on our faith and theology and our practical lives). 

next she ensured a period of Pain. an intentional Pain that she felt was both God's design and her own Choice all at once. and pushed to the limit of her tolerance she found herself desperate for Him, unable to deny her need for His strength and mercy. and in this pain, willing to accept his hands wrapping around her to carry her through it... Love, followed by Pain... and then her journey brought her into what can only be described as Joy. she found herself experience an Awe of God, a state of physical worship, physical healing, of praise without control.

this is transformation.
this is entering, if only now and then, into his reward
this is experiencing Jesus and not ever being able to go back.

and this process seems to me to be a universal truth: that all of us, including Jesus, must go through this journey in order to experience God in that undeniable way… experience God’s amazing Love and recognize it; then experience the very threshold of pain required for us to recognize that we are not ourselves sufficient to endure and succeed.

i am encouraged by this as it gives me so much hope for my own transformation. i crave the closeness and joy and experience that i know others have had. and i’m terrified that despite the pain i have already endured, perhaps i have not yet even entered into that phase. perhaps i lack the faith for God to even allow me to experience what is necessary. am i ready to be desperate for You? can i accept my own inequity and stop trying to be in control?