Tuesday, November 08, 2011

land of far distances: part three

Excerpted from Amy Carmichael's Gold by Moonlight

"And after this, when thine enemies see that thou art so well willed, then are they much abashed. But then will they assay thee with flattering and vain pleasing. Thus do thine enemies that thou shouldest think their saying sooth, and have delight in this vain joy and rest thee therein. But if thou do well, thou shalt hold all such jangling as faslehood and flattery of thine enemy, that proffereth thee to drink venom tempered with honey. And therefore refuse it and say thou wilt not thereof, but thou wouldest be at Jerusalem." "Thou art not there yet," says Hilton, in another place, "but by small sudden lightnings that glide out of small caves from that city shalt thou be able to see it from far ere that thou come thereto." And so indeed it is for us at times, to the comfort of our hearts.

But for him who would be at Jerusalem there is something that can smite and pierce and humble in the vision of the rainbow shown to the prophet Ezekiel and to John the Evangelist.

When one rises high in our material air one sees the rainbow in full circle. And so it is in things heavenly. Rising high in the spiritual air those two most happy seers saw that same glory, the rainbow in full circle, but they did not see the shadow of themselves. As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about the throne that they saw. Upon "the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a Man"--thus Ezekiel. And St. John: "I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne stood a Lamb as it had been slain."

Self nowhere, nothing" our Lord Christ in all things preeminent--we hunger and thirst for that. The mountains under the quiet sky would be nothing to us if they did not speak of a detachment and a purity like that. Again and again the temptation to wish for what is not given will spring upon us ("jangle not therewith"), and the staining, softening though of self, and sympathy with self, will try to creep into the circle. But if the moment the soul is conscious of that influence it looks to its Lord ("I am naught, I have naught; I covet naught but only the love of Jesus") there will be peace; there will be victory. Not I, but Christ, will fill the center of the circle. And "He will with His merciful might of gracious presence break down this false image of love in thyself, till thou be some deal reformed to His likeness."

So let us be of good courage, for each hour brings the hour nearer, when we shall behold His face in righteousness, and we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. I shall be satisfied when awakened by a vision of Thee: that is the word of the Lake of Thun.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Ann,
You are probably way to young to remember the "hymn" which ends,
"And I shall see him, face to face, and tell the story, saved by Grace"
Thanks for the opportunity to remember it.

Grannie Gloria