This is one of my favorite reflections. It doesn't have to be for anyone else but I love how I was doing some crazyass stuff and God ambushed me. He embraced me through a tour guide and hugged me with rocks and trees.
...the stones will cry out.
Betrayal, Worship and Mt. Rushmore
Three weeks after I learned of the affair, I stormed into the house, cussed at my wife, threw my book bag against the kitchen wall, packed a bag and like any barely sane, wracked-with-pain cuckold would do, I set out on a drive to Mt. Rushmore. I had been reading a book on the letters of Thomas Jefferson, you see.
So, I drove. I traveled 500 miles the first day and found a room. I drove into Rapid City before noon the next morning.
I decided to take a horse ride, part of some tour of Black Hills lore. My guide's name was Jack. Jack and I didn't get very far before he asked what brought me there. I told him all about it. He hesitated a moment, and then began to talk. He was a former pastor from Rhode Island. His wife left him for another man, divorced Jack, and the church board asked Jack to resign. I don't know what the odds were of running into a man like Jack, but the Twilight Zone theme song played in my head throughout our ride.
God brought two hurting brothers together to help us find understanding and compassion in the midst of our stinging ache. We talked non-stop for an hour. It brings a smile to my face to remember Jack saying near the end of our ride, "I guess I ought to tell you about one thing that I am supposed to. That barn over there..."
After the horse ride I stood on a rock - a big rock that I found after driving over the pigtail bridges. As I stood on the rock with pain throbbing through my chest, all through me really, something prompted me to look up. I saw the glory of God's creation in the waves of rolling hills with green, brilliant green, pine trees. The beauty captured me.
I took a breath and said, "God, I hurt so much." I took another breath and said, "God, this is so beautiful." "I hurt so much. This is so beautiful." And on I went writhing alternately with joy and pain. I took all of who I was at that moment and went to God. Pure worship. I didn't think of what was right or acceptable. I just was, and was with God.
Throughout the affair recovery process I wondered if God was there. If He was there I wondered if He knew what He was doing. Along the way He helped me with glimpses of His heart like my time with Jack and my worship on the rock. These experiences helped me learn to detest the saying 'Check your world at the door' when I go to church. If you do that then it’s pretty easy to check your Lord at the door on your way out. God wants all of us. He wants our junk, our pettiness, our anger, our hurt, our laughs, our smiles and our radiance. He wants to bring it all into His presence and transform darkness into His Light.
So, I ached. I beamed. He transformed and is transforming and will continue to transform all my mess and all my glory so He and I may be closer and so His kingdom may shine even brighter.
Taking our deepest pain to God is a form of worship. How have you experienced this?