I don’t know what it was that drew me outside tonight. The geese were talking down by the lake. There was a basketball bouncing somewhere on one of the other cul-de-sacs. A bird was singing in one of our oak trees in the front yard. Soft voices of our neighbors drifted up from the lake. But I don’t think it was any of those things, that pulled me away from the comfy chair. I think it was the quietness of G-d.
I stepped out on our tiny front porch and looked toward the east. The typical deep blues and grays were overcast with an even deeper purple as the approaching night crept closer. Turning west took my breath away. Aquas, Carolina blues, ribbons of pinks stretching the length of the horizon while a lone goose soared, looking for the perfect place to sleep away the night.
“Yeshua said to him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have shelters, but The Son of Man does not have a place to lay his head.”~Lk9:58 (ABPE)
You have to understand, I don’t take many pictures. That was mom’s job. She loved taking pictures – sharing them with her friends and relatives – capturing the moment that she saw with her artistic eye. Instead, I tend to absorb the moment, treasure it in my heart; maybe pulling it out to write about it at some later time. Yet tonight, I turned back to the house and grabbed my phone.Not content to snap one picture, I ventured (in my barefeet, no less) out into the yard. I wanted to capture the eastern sky as much as the western sky. The dichotomy of the two pulled sharply at me, but the camera’s eye couldn’t catch the mingling darkness tinged with the fading rays. So I settled for snapping pictures of the final evolving colors in the west.
Yet, in between the snaps, I kept turning back to the eastern sky. It pulled me in as much as the western sky. Back and forth. Back and forth. Until it dawned on me. It was the lion and lamb dichotomy.
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.” ~Is 11:6
I have loved this section of Isaiah since I was a child. Actually, Isaiah uses this same contrasting picture of different animals several times in his book. Before the house burned, I had a print of this verse hanging in our house. It was done, not in full color, but through the eye of a brown lens. The lion, the lamb, the curly headed child. It was a treasure that couldn’t be replaced.
Recently, as I was reading Mark Batterson’s The Grave Robber, the Holy Spirit drew a different picture in my mind. This was not just a picture of things to come – not just a picture of our return to the habitat that G-d envisioned when He placed us in the Garden – but it was also a picture of Christ himself. When the WORD became flesh the first time as Rabbi Yeshua, He had to come as a LAMB. The world was a pretty violent place…crucifixions, beheadings, wars… His people needed to see how His Father’s LOVE could change a world – could change our sin nature. And it did…off and on – bright spots in a long history of darkness – for a while.
But as seems to be the case, we often choose the idols even when we know better – even when we have been shown perfect LOVE. It is much easier to love the ease of idols rather than strive to perfect ourselves. It is much easier to excuse our weaknesses rather than strive to correct them. It is once again, a violent world – crucifixions, beheadings, wars….
When the Messiah Christ comes again, He will show another side of His personality- the LION. 2000+ years ago, we were shown His great LOVE, and still – we ignore the wisdom He taught. We walk away. We hide our face. We cover ourselves with leaves of excuses. We have lost our innocence – our righteousness. Only a LION’s roar will be able to break through our cacophony and lead us back to Our Father’s habitat that He designed just for us.
Tonight was a dichotomy of G-d’s making – darkness on one side – light beckoning on the other. The choice is ours. The LION is coming.