God as Majestic
A few years ago I drove from Los Angeles to Nashville with a photographer friend of mine. If your a fan of Christian music chances are you have some of her work in your home, in the form of an album cover or poster. She flew to LA to buy a Prius and asked me if I would accompany her on her voyage back to Nashville. My schedule at the time was pretty flexible and the idea of driving across the country seemed pretty romantic to me. Enhanced by the fact there was a girl in LA I was interested in spending some time with.
We took our time, we stopped in Las Vegas to hang with a buddy of mine who builds and designs magic tricks. The artistic ability of human beings to construct these architectural monstrosities was fascinating to me. I mean the “bigger and better” mentality permeates the very fabric of Vegas’ history. I’ll be honest, it’s pretty impressive. Humans are clever. Adam the trick maker showed us the “other” side of Vegas. The art galleries, the fancy wine bars, and even the local greasy diner with it’s delicious heart attack sandwiches.
Beyond the bright lights of the Vegas strip just before you get to the Hoover Dam is this great little spot in the desert where you can pull of and take in the scenery. The photographer and I took a little hike through the foot hills around Lake Meade. It was something that I can’t fully explain in words but it was one of the few moments in my life where I really “felt” God. I have not yet been to Israel but this desert space seemed like the kind of place Jesus would hang out. We continued on through the beautiful flats of New Mexico where the stars were like sequins on a jazz singer in the 80’s. That trip also held some skiing in the rocky mountains and what seemed like an eternity in the endless monotony known as Kansas. I remember remarking to my companion something like, “I’m not sure why Dorothy and Todo were in such a hurry to get back here!” .
But the high light of my trip by far was this moment we had at the Grand Canyon. We were at one of the main viewing stations and my friend cut her finger on a piece of equipment. She asked me if I had a bandage of some sort, which I being the failure of a boyscout that I am, did not. Interestingly enough the people, complete strangers, around us jumped into action, offering napkins and tape, handkerchiefs, and one much more prepared traveler even had a butterfly band-aid. I remember thinking, “You can not stand in the presence of greatness and not be compelled towards kindness.” It was like the majesty of the moment, the scenery, the sheer magnitude of this natural wonder had everyone under a “nice” spell.
I began to wonder if this isn’t how God works. I mean if you have a true, honest, and real encounter with God, don’t you leave different than when you came? Isn’t that what happened to the woman caught in adultery? Who was likely naked and smelled like sex. He didn't rebuke her he didn't even make her ask for forgiveness he just loved her, saved her life, told the Pharisees to take a long hard look at themselves before they started stoning people,and sent her home. He basically told her, “Go home, and let this moment make you different.”
As I was leaving the park another man who was walking in, said something under his breath that was truly profound to me. He said, “All of this and not an inch of it made by human hands. Could we do any better? No! we would only screw it up.” Which is exactly what happens when like the Pharisees we try to play the roll of the holy spirit instead of letting the true beauty and greatness of God be the catalyst that brings change. Grace is Gods’ to give and change is Gods’ to bring. And I’m so glad he does. Our roll is to share those revelations with each other and encourage each other to keep walking in the “light of His goodness and grace”.
4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”]]
12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”