Withstanding his wooing

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You are to me the God who destroys.  You destroy with a conviction and a thoroughness quite breathtaking.  I said I wanted you and you took me at my word.  I said I wanted to risk wild grace, that grace which might first kill before it made alive, and you heard my prayer.  And as I saw the Psalm 29 devastation, as I saw the wasteland which is my present experience in ministry, I wept at the barrenness of it all.

Yet in your jealousy for me, still you wanted more.  In your kindness toward me, you would not leave the job half-finished despite my cries.

You are to me the God who burns.  I have come to fear you.  No approach toward you can be casual for you are the Holy One, the Fear.  Even as I have approached the consuming fire, I have stumbled, fallen back, shaken in terror of the flesh before this holy flame.  I have also known the roar of a burning which is inside, fire of a desperation for you and for your ways which must be satisfied.

And in your jealousy for me, still you want more.  In your kindness toward me, you refuse to leave the job half-finished despite my cries.

You are to me the God who crushes.  Your brooding over my barrenness is so heavy that I am like an olive pressed for the purest of oils.  I can hardly draw breath under the kabod, which is the weight and also the glory.  I cannot stand up underneath the heaviness of your hand upon me.

And I struggle and rejoice because in your jealousy for me, still, still, still you are not satisfied.  In your kindness toward me, rachaph will be completed no matter my cries.

You are the God whose face is stranger than I had believed.  In you, the destruction and the burning and the crushing, all is love.  Oh, the wildness of your love, its terrifying abandon.  This love which consumes, which possesses hungrily, which tolerates no other.  This love.  And this the strengthening of my heart to bear my own belovedness, to withstand the wooing of such a Lover without being destroyed by it, to say again and again my Yes to you.

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