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Intimately

Updated: May 6

Have you found that at times it seems that the entire walk in the garden of God is amazingly about not much, but yet about everything?


Maybe the walk is peeling back layer after layer of self-concern, of cosmic maintenance fundamental to our existence: health, provision, resignation, peace, meaning, purpose, persistent pain and weaknesses?


Or working through the cycles of worries about those we care about and all their struggles.


Or, floating off the concerns for troubling events in our ecosystem, country, planet or sphere?


Or, working through all the predictable stations of the cross, emerging out of the grave and floating up to the heavenly places, we finally look around and find that it is all right and clean, just as it all should be.


But then what?


Then silence?


Sometimes bewilderment?


Maybe we notice a force and power not of ourselves peeling us gently away from all of the above.


And is it not thrilling?

Delightful?

Nutritious?


What came to me was such a strong awareness of a man's presence.

A man out of time, a time traveller.

Or a man without time, unbounded.

Faintly, He smells a bit of fire smoke, toast and fish.

His cloak rustled softly.

I felt I could reach out and would touch that fabric.

Or, reaching up would brush up against a curly beard.

He said nothing.

He did not need to say anything.

He simply was.

That is enough.


But, as I sat in profound silence.

So still, I dared not move.

Not knowing what to do.

Not wanting to do anything.

Apart from learning from this man the art of just to be.

And how His gravity pulled deeply on my soul.

Dimming everything back to mere non-mattering matter.


Neither of us said anything.

There was nothing to say.


Then He handed me a simple cup.

Eyes still closed, I just knew where to grasp.

In my hand, it felt just right.

I notice a deep thirst.

Of longing ancient strong.

Bottomless in depth.


I drank.

It surprised me.

At first, it seemed disappointing.

It almost offended me.

It was not at all sweet.

But infused with some bitter notes.


I drank but frowned.

And deeper than words, I felt His soul.

It was scarred from the top down.

Scarred by wounds.

Of being never understood.

From living amongst inattentive people.

Of brotherly betrayal.

Of cultural disinheritance.

Of universal incomprehension.

Of being dispised.

Forsaken

Ignored

Judged

Of flailings, fists, spit and nails.

Of insults and turned backs.

Of disappointment and impatience.

Of all imputed wrong

and chronic necrosis.


In the drink was life

In this life was patience, endurance, peace

and suffering.


I drank it

Knowing that nothing will never be the same.

The narrow road faded to a base track.

That walks through the garden.


How easy it is to expect bliss.

To yearn for happiness.

To want rewards.

Recognition, consolation

When only love is on offer.

That plainest little flower.

Unassuming humble petals on a simple stem.

But in acceptance, we receive.

Unlimited access to all of value.


And of all the great gifts granted by that dear Wind,

Only one pass on through the grave.

It is that substance in the plain cup

That endures all else.

But draws us out beyond those vast open planes.

To this hidden garden.


Please come here too.

The invitation includes you.


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3 Comments


Janet van Eeden
Janet van Eeden
Jun 25, 2023

This is profoundly beautiful. We seldom appreciate the depth of suffering Jesus endured and wonder why we suffer in this world. It is to bring us in closer communion with Him. Thank you so much for these insightful words. 🙏

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Stephan Vosloo
Stephan Vosloo
Jun 24, 2023

Wow Joe. One of the best pieces I have read from you. Thank you for sharing in such a humble way, your life changing encounter with … the Son of Man? … the Son of God? … two in one … three in one?… the risen Jesus? …the Cosmic Christ? … the beggar at the gate, the celebrity … me?

Deep in all of us lives this humble and he says, “Come to me all of you who are heavily laden with your efforts to find bliss and fame and control and learn from me.

For I AM.

I AM meek and humble of heart.

I smell of life.

I carry the same wounds of disappointment and betrayal…


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Janet van Eeden
Janet van Eeden
Jun 25, 2023
Replying to

Also expressed so profoundly Stephan! Beautiful insights. Thank you for such rich food for thought this Sunday. 🙏

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