Yesterday, I went to a Sunday School class centering on the first chapter of the book of The Revelation as given to the disciple John. It included a full description of Jesus in His Lordship with the manifestations of His power thriving as rushing waters from His mouth. The scenario was mighty and spectacular in description (His eyes were like a flame of fire, Rev. 1:14; His voice was like the sound of many waters, v. 15). The class was captivated and enthralled by the description, but I squirmed increasingly in my seat.
No one noticed my discomfort as I deeply wrestled in the corner with this superior display of might and power. Internally, I wanted to rise to my feet in protest and lash out, "No! No! I have seen Jesus. I have seen His face. I have encountered Him. – And His softness, His compassion is not like this at all!
"I have met Him face to face, and this scene of fear and trembling is far from the Jesus I found! I found Jesus who gave me only love and compassion, acceptance and wide-open arms. It is not an all over powerful God who rejects that I met. I met Jesus who loves and corrects, who reproofs with compassion. But I did not meet Jesus who strikes fear into the heart by the sight of Him. I met Jesus whose very eyes were those of deepest compassion and longing, not fearsome terror.
"His voice, it was gentle authority. It was gentle directive. It was pure.
"It was not blasting like many waters."
By now, the reader may think me a fool. Think not so! Have faith.
A holy vision was given to me in Spring 1998 ("Unfettered Passion", IMPRINTS: Stories That Solicit a Response, Publish America, Nov. 07). That vision changed my life and broke me from bondage that had ensnared my life for years. It was the knowledge of Jesus’ love and complete acceptance, not the fear of rejection, which broke the snare and chains entangling me. Although I once feared for the sake of disapproval and shame, Jesus’ love won me over as I saw His face. It was the warmth and comfort of full love that melted my heart. This radiant love gave me the strength to shed the facets of sin for the freedom I so yearned for found only in Jesus.
When I was a girl, I used to dread meeting God for the sake of judgment. The picture depicted in Revelation chapter one, or in the Sistine Chapel, "The Last Judgment" by Michelangelo, would have come to my mind, as I feared deep disapproval of my every error while I faced God’s majesty. At that time, I deeply feared that God would condemn me for not measuring up. I did not understand His full love for the beauty created in each of His people. And I had not found out His full acceptance and love personally.
Today, just as in 1998, I know I will run to my Savior when I see Him once again face to face. His face is ablaze, indeed, and His eyes shine with radiance indescribable. I cannot tell you the color of His eyes because all that I saw was deep compassion as I encountered Him and suddenly knew reproof in the midst of His love for me. His love won me over easily.
In the end, physical description does not matter. His love and compassion was the only thing that mattered, at that time, now, and forevermore.
Stephanie S. Sawyer
Tomball, TX 77375
Word Count: 591
All Rights Reserved