When the distance is no longer discreet and you're not going anyplace and the fading sky is all wispy purple and grey, like warm breath some cold night.
You plead for it, for nearness.
All your prayers have become rehearsed, you're reciting them over and over, and you keep trusting in promises. It's 1 John and it's writer talks of one whom he has heard, has seen, has looked upon and touched -- this person being 'that which was from the beginning'.
And you flip pages and you're back at the beginning, it's not so familiar.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
I'm looking around me at colour falling into the horizon and fruit ripening on trees, leaves green. My hands, these feet clothed in fuzzy warm socks.
And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. This is the beginning. A shapeless, empty world covered in darkness. And the Spirit of God hovering over the face of the waters.
And it dawns over me: You're hovering over the face of waters and this is the beginning.You've painted the trees and the skies and the sunsets, every sunset, and this is the moment before You breathe it into existence. You've pored over colours and sunken them into shades and You've sketched our faces. You've written a song of praise to Yourself of Glory.
You're hovering over the waters, about to speak us into existence. This hovering, this stillness, and yes its dawning over me like the apostle Paul's prayer for an enlightened heart: hovering over the face of the waters, the Spirit of God sees and knows and experiences all of this.
It's this moment before the breath of Creation and the Spirit of God sees the corruption and our never-ending cravings for glory and the sin that seeps and sinks and drips all through.
"The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him to His heart." (Genesis 6:5-6)
Hovering over the face of the waters, this stillness between the emptiness of earth and its fulness -- God sees His own regret and pain.
The Spirit of God is hovering over the face of the waters, and He sees Himself born into this place. Hovering, the Spirit of God, before the breath of Creation and revelation of light -- watches faces of flesh whose faces He sketched before time began, before even this hovering -- hammering nails through his hands.
And I don't know why the Spirit of God didn't just hold his breath back and crush this formless and empty earth in His fist and save Himself the pain He observes in the hovering, the pain He chose to inflict upon Himself.
Before his paintings of colour and trees and early morning sunrises are trampled by a world consumed by its own self-full clamourings for glory and exultance.
I don't know why the Spirit of God didn't just scrunch up the sketches of our faces and forget about bringing us as souls into existence.
This is the hovering, the stillness before breath was breathed into the earth. Before light transpired and there was any kind of expanse between waters.
It wasn't too late. He didn't have to say the next words. Hovering over the face of the waters, the Spirit of God saw His face sweating blood, all His glory perceived by none. God come Man, insignificant as a worm.
The Spirit of God has hovered over the waters and seen His own grief and pain and the suffering He has chosen to inflict upon Himself.
And God said, "Let there be light."
Colours splay over the earth and Man is formed from dust.
The Spirit of God already fully in love with us, experiences His own pain in the hovering before the light of Creation -- and chooses to breathe existence.
To bring His song of glory into the world that is the fulness of our joy.
How the greatest commandment is to love God with all that we are, to love Him fully -- and the second, equally important, to love each other as we love ourselves, fully, and how from these commands all the others hang? --
these commands of love hang from the cross. The Spirit of God came to fulfil the law, and the Law is fulfilled in the cross.
The fulfilment of love in our lives is executed at the Cross.
How You painted this world and sketched our faces and breathed all this and the stars into being? -- this is Your song of Glory.
You came here to teach us Your song.
And Your death enabled us to be embraced into it.
We're all lording our own music, creating our own beats, ensuring that our own title is the number one song. Yeah, we've all got our own song. Our own songs of pride and self-exultance, our songs for glory and praise and love. And we're stumbling over the dance, we've got these two left feet and the words never seem to come out right. We go over it, though, again and again and again, insisting that we can make it work. Headphones in, volume up, oblivious to anyone else's song, intent on perfecting our own.
It's awful and we motion to God, calling. "Come join my song! Please! You'll make it better!"
He didn't come to fix our songs.
He came to call us into His own.
Here at the cross? -- blood pours out, the Spirit of God who hovered over the face of the waters, His blood is a puddle making mud in the ground -- this is that we enter into a cross-centred life that is a grace-filled life that is His song, orchestrated and choreographed and written even before the hovering over the waters.
That we hear it and know it and the Spirit of God makes life in us as we die to our own songs and embrace Grace that makes His song our life.
"God...chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved...in Him we have obtained an inheritance...to the praise of His glory." (Ephesians 1:4,5,11,14)
Before the Spirit of God hovered over the waters... He had chosen us as His children.
Hovering over the face of the waters, He rejoiced in the enablement of His power at the Cross to draw us to Himself and so fill us with His spirit that His song is danced as grace in our lives, existence a praise song to His glory.
I'm amazed at existence, to be honest.
And He went and called us into His glorious inheritance.