About fifteen years ago I was part of a group of women who were reading The Sacred Romance by John Eldredge and Brent Curtis. It was a book that changed my life. John has gone on to write many other books..his wife and son also write. I appreciate their ministry and their message. This initial book is still my favorite..I often refer to it in my counseling practice and recommend it. The concept of a sacred romance was new to me and a little unnerving at first. Was God truly a romantic and was it true that He was romancing us in this very fallen world? As I began to open up to that possibility.. I saw glimpses of the goodness of God in ways that were wonderfully surprising. Of course.. it began to make sense.. we are created in His image … we embrace and long for romance.. He must have invented it.
Over the years since that time in my life I have kept the romance alive as much as possible..there were times when it seemed exceedingly real and times when it seemed to be an impossible dream. I read John’s other books and reminded myself that I needed to fight for this. I keep thinking about the reminder at the end of the book.. John writes ” Finally, we were meant to remember together, in community. We need to tell our stories to others and to hear their stories told. ..our regular times of coming together to worship are intended to be time of corporate remembrance..’ This God has done’, we say this, He will do.’ ..remembering is not mere nostalgia it is an act of survival.”
He is the Great Romantic who fills the sky with colors for no reason other than our pleasure. He created the ocean and filled it with living things for our pleasure. He wakes us up in the morning with songs..birds singing their hearts out for our pleasure.. just some reminders.. in case today is a day when you need them.
These photos were taken last night from my deck.. and no I don’t live in Hawaii! I wanted to share them with you so that you can remember.. so we can remember together that the larger story of God has a wonderful happy ending.
No.. I’m not referring to the plane ride back from Maui. My bumpy landing is the one that I had coming back into my life after our vacation. It felt so good to be in another story for 10 days.. it wasn’t a perfect story.. they never are. It was a new story.. an unpredictable story that was filled with new people, places, and things. In the vacation story, there is no concern about the future because every day brings beauty, surprises, and romance. I made a deliberate attempt to live fully through each day and took lots of pictures so the memories would stay fresh after we returned.
Once we were home I struggled with the same pressures and circumstances that I was able to leave behind. I think I expected everything to change dramatically (wishful thinking!) As I continue to make the adjustment.. .I’ve started to realize that I can either choose my own small story again or the larger story that God is unfolding. The small one is dark and negative..the larger story is hopeful and faith filled. This is a choice that we all face continually and one that I have written about repeatedly.
I write about it because we have an enemy who wants us to forget the goodness of God. He wants to steal the beauty and romance that God has for us whereve we are. John Eldredge writes about this in the end of his book The Sacred Romance. ” Remembering is not mere nostalgia; it is an act of survival, our way of watching over our hearts with diligence…When I consider all that is at stake in this journey I am on, how vulnerable are my heart and the hearts of those I love, how quickly I forget, I am moved to fall on my face and cry out to God for the grace to remember.” What more can I say?..except that I landed safely in the arms of God.
” I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterword you will take me into glory..my flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73