intellect santa, revelation belly

I moved. On the winds of books and furniture, pots and clothing, I was swept from a house to an apartment. On Friday, in a series of many back-and-forths, I moved. Now, I am unpacking. Today my books came out to play.

Despite the fact that I sold about one hundred books when I moved to Redding almost two years ago, I still have hundreds of books. I love them. Like some people love eye crinkles because they are distinguishing, or my seminary friend Lizzie loves scar stories because they are, in a sense, personally historic; I love books because they held my hand through valleys, across rivers, and around tight bends. In the dark of night we’ve talked: conversations which shaped me significantly. And now, I am asking my books to inhale deeply so I can squeeze them onto a tall bookshelf a friend gave me a few days ago.

I was thinking while situating my booklings. I was thinking about education, about the foundations God builds in our lives, and particularly about my own education. Here I am nearly done with my third Master’s Degree; living in Northern California; financially stretched; doing a research job part-time; applying and waiting for more jobs; and preparing to semi-move to Baghdad, Iraq after May 2012. There is a lot of mystery, but today I laughed remembering a prophetic word I received when I was 18 years old, “You will get countless degrees.” At the time I had taken a year off between high school and university, a decision I got an overwhelming amount of flak for. I have always heard God’s leading clearly with regard to education. There has been no uncertainty in where I went to school or when I went there. And so, today, I’m 31, and my black bookshelf, a plump Santa Claus whose tummy of books jiggles when he laughs, is testimony to my journey past and my journey future. God and I have built a foundation, through countless hours immersed in theology in the seminary library basement to long nights grueling over Palestinian political parties in my tiny Jerusalem bedroom, through cold winters in Massachusetts to hot summers in Israel, we have built, and built, and built.

The last floor we’ve completed, but certainly not the last one to be built, is the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry floor. Two years of studying revivalists and revivals, experiencing more and more of the Holy Spirit, and daring to think world-changing thoughts with                    world-changing people.

Revelation in many aspects is the crown of my education. And this gives me a freedom and a power far beyond academia.

This uses the fuel in my tank and adds 200 mile per hour driving skills. This makes me ready.

Madeleine L’Engle articulates the relationship between the intellect and revelation in her book “Walking on Water”

“not to set aside or discard the intellect, but to understand that it is not to become a dictator,

for when it does we are closed off from revelation.” 

the gift of the “impossible”

“It may be that we have lost our ability to hold a blazing coal, to move unfettered through time, to walk on water, because we have been taught that such things have to be earned; we should deserve them; we must be qualified. We are suspicious of grace. We are afraid of the lavishness of the gift.
But a child rejoices in presents!”

(page 77)

“Am I suggesting that we really ought to be able to walk upon water? That there are (and not just in fantasies) easier and faster ways to travel than by jet or car? Yes, I am. There are too many stories of mystics being able to move hundreds of miles through the power of contemplation for us to be able to toss them aside. Over and over again throughout the centuries we have made choices which were meant to free us, but which ultimately have limited and restricted us. But the artist has retained some of the freedom we have lost in the industrial dailiness of our living.”

(page 94)

Walking on Water: Reflections of Faith and Art

by Madeleine L’ Engle