A Love Letter to Abba
How is it your name is the very breath that passes between my lips?
As I breathe in. Yah. Breathe out. Weh. Yahweh.
My love. To give testimony of your works in my life is to give testimony to the very breath in my lungs. To give testimony of your works in my life I will tell about the time when I fell into the deepest pit of despair.
With awe, I will gladly tell them you didn’t merely peer over the side of the pit in sympathy. You didn’t call to me from above in vain. You jumped. Because where I jump, you jump.
I will never get over the fact that you jumped in after me.
For the rest of my life, I may be uneducated in philosophies and theologies, but nothing will keep me from bearing witness to this. I know someone who jumps. You bore the pain, hopelessness, and anguish when I could not. You wept, clutching my corpse of a soul in your hands, commanding my dead bones to come alive. I heard your voice go hoarse as you begged, “let me heal you!” You chose to sit in the puddle of brokenness with me, letting my despair seep through your skin, penetrating your heart.
You are my burden lifter. You are my healer.
When I played the pharisee and ambushed you with cunning questions, you patiently answered them with one word: love.
Slowly but surely your words preserved by men spilled past the reason and logic clotting my arrogant, sick heart. I felt my soul turn within me this summer once I opened myself to transformation. You brought a spiritual director into my life who taught me on matters big and small. As I read your words, she instructed me to seek transformation and not simply information in them.
How long have I hunted for information and missed your transformative power?
I have beaten you, tortured you, mocked you, cursed you, lied to you. I’ve abused your love in every possible way. I’ve thrown your very Word against the bedroom wall in anger. Yet you forgive my arrogance. You welcome my wrestling soul. You whisper, “come closer” to my beautiful, crumbling heart.
Oh Lord! I’ve begged you for forgiveness. I’ve made shallow promises I knew I’d never keep. I’ve teared up at your oceans, pastures and mountains with wonder and adoration. I’ve called out your name in desperation then slandered it in the very same hour.
You confound me. You are my little mystery I will never solve.
Why did you start this little human experiment to begin with? Even as I repeat this old question of mine, I hear the resounding answer: love.
And I have questions still! Every time I feel the whirlwind of questions suffocate me, a vivid scene comes into my head. As I turn in circles, searching frantically for your familiar face I see a flicker of familiar movement amidst a crowd of unidentifiable bodies moving every which way. And there you are, running towards me, pushing people to the side with my own frantic expression mirrored on your own face. Worried eyes on my account. You’re calling out to me, with eyes only on me.
Nothing distracts your fervent pursuit of me.
You don’t stop until you’ve swept me up into your arms. And you never let go. Jesus, you are the reason I am able to enter this sacred space between Heaven and Earth––this holy, satisfactory relationship with the one who created me.
You are a God of layers because you are a God of relationship. To ours there is so much joy and laughter and sorrow and pain.
I didn’t know inside jokes were allowed with the Creator of the universe but you make me laugh! I laugh a lot with you!
You are an experiential God. Your greatest wish for me is to experience your love––though it is too great to understand fully (I know you’re smiling at that). You are my comforter, my doctor. While I hoarded painkillers, you prescribed me a new heart. You taught me medicine only serves its purpose when there is a living, beating heart.
You hold me in silence. You admonish and forgive me. When my laugh echoes, I imagine you break out into a wide grin. You are my maker and my muse. I never considered any of these things as prayer until recently.
I was delighted when you taught me this. Prayer isn’t just talking! Why, that would be exhausting. And prayer isn’t just listening either. Prayer is being in love with you. Silence, presence, wrestling, listening, and talking. These all make up the road trip of prayer.
Prayer is raw. It’s not something to get dressed up for, to patch your blemishes for. It is disarming in the most unexpected way. It is through prayer that I learned not to hide from you when I sinned. You gently pull my hands away from my shame-filled face, and you breathe forgiveness into my blemishes.
You admonish my hypocrisy with tears in your eyes. You forgive the sins I neglect to mention to you. The holes in your hands go unnoticed by me every day. I fail to notice the pain you carry, the burdens you bear, the hurt your human body endured.
And most of all, I struggle to understand my part in it all. It was my slander that drove a crown of thorns into your head. My lies turned into nails. My greed meant your stripping. And my bitterness drove you to the cross.
I am alive because you died. I live because you live. How do I even begin to thank you for something like that? I am utterly speechless, as I often find myself in your presence. You are my everything.
And how I love you so.
All my love,
Anna Grace Mixon is a Ten2 storyteller with Greater Europe Mission serving in Brno, Czech Republic.