Personal Update

Fix My Gaze

Tonight, I need Jesus. I feel the ache of longing, of needing to belong, of reaching out to connect with Someone in this universe, of yearning to be covered by the healing balm of God’s love and peace.

I’ve always loved the poem, “A Noiseless Patient Spider,” by Walt Whitman. In it, the speaker captures what I believe is the cry of every soul: to fling out a thread (like the spider spinning her web) that will catch somewhere, that will bridge the gap from one heart to another, that will connect to something outside of itself in this world.

A noiseless patient spider,
I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres
to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor
hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.

There are moments when, like the speaker in the poem, I feel the ache of my soul standing “surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space.” Yet I am thankful that I am not condemned to live in that loneliness, for God, Yahweh, offers me the unshakeable promise of His presence about which the psalmist wrote in Psalm 121.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Tonight I listened to a song by Bebo Norman called “I Will Lift My Eyes.” It echoes the promises of Scripture, and it reminded me of the One on whom I must fix my gaze in moments of confusion in my life. God is constant, and God is faithful.

I Will Lift My Eyes

God, my God, I cry out
Your beloved needs You now
God, be near, calm my fear
And take my doubt

Your kindness is what pulls me up
Your love is all that draws me in

I will lift my eyes to the Maker
Of the mountains I can’t climb
I will lift my eyes to the Calmer
Of the oceans raging wild
I will lift my eyes to the Healer
Of the hurt I hold inside
I will lift my eyes, lift my eyes to You

God, my God, let Mercy sing
Her melody over me
God, right here all I bring
Is all of me

‘Cause You are and You were and You will be forever
The Lover I need to save me
‘Cause You fashioned the earth and You hold it together, God
So hold me now

I am so thankful for the hope and truth of God’s presence in my life. When everything in my life is shaken, I will lift my eyes to the Maker of heaven and earth.

Lord, “You are and You were and You will be forever the Lover I need to save me. You fashioned the earth and You hold it together, God, so hold me now.”

2 thoughts on “Fix My Gaze

  1. Thank you, Christel, for sharing your heart. We have just started a small group series on Friendships, and this was really perfect. May I share it with them?

    I have always valued your friendship (although miles and time have separated us) and your insight. Many times I have longed for a return “of the good, old days” when we sat around a cup of java discussing revelations from Scripture, but I have come to realize the story (His story) continues and we must go forward. It is, however, that Spirit-connection that keeps our hearts close and bound together, transcending time and space — the thread between souls.

    I am praying for each step you take through this exciting, yet apprehensive, year with many life changes. Go with God, and may you feel His presence a little closer today.

    Hugs,
    Kristen

    1. Dear Kristen,

      First of all, feel free to share! I hope my words can encourage your group.

      Second, I miss you so much. I so often think about you, Bill, the kids (who are all grown up!), SHOUT, the college group, and all of our wonderful years of learning and growing together. You come up in my stories, and you shared life lessons with me. I can list many, many conversations with you and/or Bill that changed my life and helped to make me who I am today. I long for the good old days too, and I’m so thankful that I had people like you in my life during such formative years. I am thankful also for the Spirit-connection and that it transcends time and space, as you said.

      Thank you for your prayers. You think you might want to make a trip to South Carolina for a wedding next summer? Just saying… ;-)

      I love you!

      Always, Christel

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