” we cannot attain the presence of God.  We’re already totally in the presence of God.  What’s absent is awareness.”                           – Richard Rhor  Everything Belongs

do you ever forget to notice God’s presence in your life ?

or just think He has forgotten about you ??

we are all prone to lose sight of what’s going on behind the scenes of our everyday story.  because it’s easy to get lost in the immediate and demanding pulls that life circumstances can have,  and our eyes can be blinded by resentment, pain, hurt or suffering as it befalls us.

but what we can’t often see clearly is God’s hand-and that He is writing a beautiful story. and that His story always contains some shaking and unraveling so that we can more fully see Him.   He doesn’t want us to miss it.026

in Hebrews 12:26-28, God even promises He will shake us to sift out and separate us from the things that block our vision or from the false selves we cling to .  because what the Father is after- is our deepest, realest, raw , True self.  the tender heart that reflects His glory.

He knows that the shaking and peeling and cutting are necessary and intended to get beneath the layers that insulate us.  only then can we let the veneer fall away and hold fast to what remains.

His hands are like a sculptor’s, carving His masterpiece from the hard and formless rock…chipping away all that doesn’t belong.  because the Sculptor knows without hesitation that what lies deep within us reveals His glory.

” I once saw a stone cutter remove great pieces from a huge rock on which he was working.  In my imagination I thought…why does this man wound the rock so much ?  But as I looked longer, I saw the figure of a graceful dancer emerge gradually from the stone”   -Henri Nouwen

i’m repeatedly undone by the reality that we are the masterpiece.  we are the dancers emerging from the stone and the Father will go to any length to uncover the beauty He has deposited in us.

192so the question always comes to this…        will i let the stones be cut away and be grateful ?  will i let my eyes and heart ascend to the Father’s sometimes hidden presence and purposes- knowing He is wounding me for Love’s sake?

or will i stand in the rubble and be anxious…wringing my hands at the mess, loss and chaos around me ?

can i somehow hold fast to hope when God is shaking all that can be shaken ?                          can i choose gratitude as i count and take in what remains – and believe it to be enough ?

my soul and heart can disagree on this matter more often than not.  because my soul has come to understand that He is forming and carving me to bring about a birth of beauty from desolation.  but my heart can easily stay stuck in the brokenness and debris left by the shaking.

it hurts.  and it’s hard.

the only hope i have is to cling to gratitude.  to remember that i am flawed but i choose to be grateful for the Father’s higher purposes- even amidst what looks like disaster.          and remember that from underneath the hard stone…

007He is forming a dancer.

a beautifully wounded dancer.

and a dancer is always caught up by the music she hears, not the size or condition of the dance floor.  instead she moves with grace and abandon wherever the music takes her.  trust in the Father is her mark of beauty so  she dances for His sake, not her own.  she has learned that self regard and hesitation are her ruin, so she let’s go and gives in to the melody of grace, going where the Spirit leads .

her heart of flesh beats from under those layers of stone where deep within comes the most glorious rhythm . it’s a raw, real and mysterious rhythm that can be heard by those who’ve walked the sacred road of surrender – and found Jesus there.                                  and the rhythm is His whisper saying all is grace.

will you trust Me to write your story ?  will you dance with Me ?                                     even if the dance means a perilous and exposed leaping from boulder to boulder between the rubble ?                                                                                                                                          even if the dance requires something to be carved out ?  can you dance with Me even then?

can you dance on cancer ?263                              can you dance on loss ?                                    can you dance on death ?                            the only way… is to lean in and listen to My voice above all other noise.  set your gaze on Me my beloved daughter and let your failing flesh hear the song I am singing over you.

hear the rhythm of My deep, abiding, relentless love for you and….come dance with Me.



Jesus, we can dance because You have overcome death.  You have danced on the grave and offer us Life .  No matter what circumstances we find ourselves in , remind us to take Your outstretched hands and trust You to make our fumbling feet of flesh to dance.

for my dear and precious friend Michelle , may you be caught up by the relentless love of Jesus as He holds you close in this beautiful dance.  i love you.   xxoo jamie



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1 Response to underneath

  1. evermorecolor says:

    “because the Sculptor knows without hesitation that what lies deep within us reveals His glory.”–Wow! I struggle to believe this about myself. . . and it’s SO undoing to think that HE KNOWS this with certitude about me. I want to know it too! And be willing to trust Him in the dance . . . as you say. Come, Jesus, come. Hold me close so that I have no fear as we dance.

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