6 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. 7 I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord Almighty. 8 ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the Lord Almighty. 9 ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”
Hebrews 12There is a shaking going on. A shaking we cannot see and sometimes do not feel, but nevertheless shakes us to the core.
26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”[ref: Haggai 2:6] 27 The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
Friday morning after the crazy wind and storm, I was driving to work and I had this crazy image of a small group of people praying in a tiny room while the storm raged around them. And it was as if it was saying that this storm - this physical storm that devastated our little island - is just a tiny outflow of the spiritual storm and shaking that is happening around us, right now, right here.
And then I had goosebumps.
Then came the thought, the always present, ever nagging thought, and what are you doing about it?Because that's the question isn't it? That's the really important question.
Josh once described me as an onion, with layers being peeled away to reveal new things beneath. I think those were the words he used, or at least I remember them that way anyway, and you know the thing about onions? As every skin is shed, it makes you cry. It makes you tear up. I don't know if God's tearing up, but I do know that I've been crying a lot. It's probably a mix of hormones and stress and a lot of other factors, but the underlying factor under it all, is the feeling of unworthiness, the feeling of being unwanted, forgotten.
Maybe I'm not sleeping well enough, or maybe this shaking that's going on is shaking me up, but I had this dream, I think last night or so (no, not about the books, which was bizarre enough in its own way). In this dream, everyone else, all the alumni of my previous youth group, were invited to some big celebratory do, like some kind of reunion. And I was not invited. Because in some way, I was never part of them. Not truly, never in the heart.
And at the risk of jumping off track, I'm thinking of Eustace when he was turned into a dragon. And it's the same; the peeling of an onion, and Eustace trying to dig off his dragon skin; sometimes I feel that way, as if I dig at scabs, emotional scabs, and the pain, oh, the satisfying pain, that you revel in, just to make sure you still feel something, that you're something more than a moving statue. And sometimes, more than once, I imagine if I were somewhere else, some person else, and not who I was brought up to be, would I be cutting, would I be drinking myself into a stupor, breaking things, anything to make me feel alive? And I remember Aslan, coming in, and with one deep cut, deeper than anything else, breaking through the dragon and making Eustace human again.
And so this shaking.
It's a sense of something moving, something happening, something poised to erupt.
It's as if, with our cultivated elegance, we've lost touch with the primal in us, the thing that makes you wail, undone, in the presence of something bigger than yourself. And so we fail in worship, because we are too careful. We're careful we're in the right key, we sing the right words, we play the right notes, we look the right way, we do the right things. And we ignore the deeper urge that is trying to pull us deeper and deeper and deeper in, instead allowing ourselves to be wound up in considerations of whether the band is too loud, or the drums are too noisy.
I am a tightly wound coil, almost springing, but not yet, not quite yet; waiting.
So God shakes us.