Amy Jo – artist, wife, friend (and the worship/prayer Interactions Manager for Heaven Fest ) – is a bit ahead of the rest of us in sharing her take on Chapters 10 and 11 from The Sacred Romance – Drawing Closer to the Heart of God, by Brent Curtis and John Eldridge. Amy Jo is soulful and thoughtful, deeply spiritual and a sojourner into the unchartered roaring waterfalls of God.
Previous commentaries on our thoughts about this book here. Next book, The Shack. Wanna join us??
Chapters 10 & 11 of The Sacred Romance: On the Road and Desert Communion, from Amy Jo
â€œBut we who would be born again indeed, must wake our souls unnumbered times a day.â€ â€“George MacDonald
â€œWe have been rescued, but still the choice is ours to stay in our small stories, clutching our household gods and false lovers, or to run in search of life.â€ (p.144)
â€œAnd weâ€”who are we, really? We are not pond scum, nor are we the lead in the story. We are the Beloved; our hearts are the most important thing about us and our desire is wild because it is made for a wild God. We are the Beloved, and we are addicted. Weâ€™ve either given our heart to other lovers and canâ€™t get out of the relationships, or weâ€™ve tried our best to kill desire (often with the help of others) and live lives of safe, orderly control. Either way, we play into the hands of the one who hates us. Satan is the mortal enemy of God and therefore ours as well, who comes with offers of less-wild lovers, hoping to deceive us in order to destroy our heart and thus prevent our salvation or cripple our sanctification. These are the stage, the characters, and the plot in the broadest possible terms. Where do we go from here?â€ (p. 148)
â€œPretending that life is easier and more blessed than it really is hinders our ability to walk with God and share Him with others. Faith is not the same thing as denial.â€ (p. 150)
â€œOne of the most poisonous of all Satanâ€™s whispers is simply, â€˜Things will never change.â€™ That lie kills expectation, trapping our heart forever in the present.â€ (p. 156)
â€œMemory, imagination, and a passion for gloryâ€”these we must keep close at hand if we are to see the journey to its end.â€ (p. 158)
â€œThe spiritual disciplines of silence, solitude, meditation (heart prayer), fasting, and simplicity practiced by Christ and passed on to us by the traditions of the Desert Fathers bring us through our emptiness and thirst into the presence of God.â€ (p. 175)
Amy Jo: So my review for these chapters is all snippetsâ€¦ quotes from the text, to which I donâ€™t really have anything to add, so I am including a prayer I wrote on Sundayâ€¦
06.22.08 â€“ From the Beloved
Where am Iâ€”according to You, God?
According to me, I am lost again
(Which is fine as long as Youâ€™re with me.)
But I also feel Iâ€™m on the verge of Being misleadâ€”
Of choosing a belief that isnâ€™t from You
But I canâ€™t tell, so I am mislead
(Which is worse than just being lost).
What is Your nature, God?
I really thought I knew and
I really thought I was beginning to see
My place in Your plan, but now?
Now Iâ€™m starting to think Your plan
Is so big and beyond my ideas that
I probably wonâ€™t ever get it unless You show me.
I want to know Your plan, Godâ€”
If You donâ€™t think itâ€™s too much for me to know.
I want to know what Youâ€™re really like and
What You really made me to be.
What pleases You? Is it simple? Is it always work?
Balance in my head Your mercy and justice.
Give my heart freedom to accept Your validation.
I am so willing, God
To part with ANY doctrine I have held dear and
Defended if You will help me.
You can rebuild whatever mental â€œstructureâ€
You think I need to function well in Your plan.
I beg You to give me eyes for the truthâ€”clear vision.
I beg You to help me be more flexible to You!
Before I wear myself out, God,
Before I give myself over to so-called â€œunderstanding,â€
Stop me and pull me back into wonderment
And awe of Your mysteriousness and majesty.
Refresh my spirit. Fill me with Your voice.
Teach me to recognize Light from darkness.
Take me with Youâ€”I donâ€™t want to act alone!
Take me for a ride, God!
Iâ€™m all for an adventure if Youâ€™re guiding!
Shock and awe or rest will doâ€”
Whatever You want. Whatever You feel like.
Peaceful, quiet waters suit me fine
But so would hang-on-tight rapids
As long as Iâ€™m breathing You and Youâ€™re smiling.
Take pleasure in me, God!
Fix me so I know stuff You know and
Can tell what Youâ€™re thinkingâ€”how Youâ€™re feeling.
Show me Your Old Testament power mixed with
Your New Testament grace.
Remind me of things I can point to so others can
See Your wildness and the parts of You You want to show.
Make me courageous, God!
Brave enough to dream a big dream,
Sure enough of Your presence in it to press on,
Wacky and energetic enough to not slow down,
Wise enough to plan things I canâ€™t even comprehend yet,
Humble enough to fail and keep going, and
Close enough to Your heart to represent You well.
Cleanse my mind of pre-conceived notions, God,
Of ill-gotten dogma and false ideas.
Curb for me my attraction to darkness.
Break my heart with what breaks Yours.
Help me when I donâ€™t have words, and
Help me, God, until You help me!
May I worship You forever and in all things.
From Jeanie: Wow, Amy Jo – beautiful. I know He is hearing you. And I know He’ll share His heart with you, for He “confides in those who fear Him.” Thank-you for the creativity you are bringing to this thing!
Pictured: a current pic of Amy Jo and her husband, Damon; and some images she painted about John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” when she was just a girl (1997) CLICK on images for a closer look.