Jesus the Other Sun
Guiding me along the lighted path…
One winter evening when I was just a teenager, I headed for the pond below my house to skate. There, under some flood lights, I skated in a brand new way. I’d just mastered skating in a figure-eights pattern. I felt accomplished and graceful, so different from my normal clumsy self. Several minutes passed as I continued practicing my new skills. The pond was at its best, the majority of it shoveled off by some other person. Skating alone there on my “arena,” it seemed like the perfect evening. After awhile, I turned and skated backwards.
I loved the way the smooth ice felt under my silver blades. In some places, when I looked down, I could see the fine trail my skating blade made as I wandered into a light dusting of snow. Gesturing with my hands, I perfected another figure eight and leaned down low on the ice as I slowed down. I looked out toward the road and finished in a flourish as I looked out over the imaginary Olympic-sized crowd, reveling in their applause.
I wonder how God feels when we give him foot-stomping, wild applause? I imagine how He is bathed in His own light. He has accomplished feats far more splendid than simply gliding on the ice. He walked on the water! He stilled the seas! He healed the people!
He speaks to each one of us every day of our lives. Yes. we have only to listen to His voice.
He is both great and small . . . magnificent, and yet, personal.
Back then, I admired Dorothy Hamill for her smooth moves on the ice as she skated in rhythm to beautiful songs. But God has moved in more ways and directions and has, Himself, been the subject of many more songs than any Olympic skater can even think of skating to.
Looking back on that experience, I’ve learned something I didn’t know back then.
My God is not only a champion, He is also my skating partner.
When I jump, He must be there to catch me in mid-spin and to throw me out again to watch me land on my toes, to twirl around and do that figure-eight thing I so love to do. I must be able to run into his arms and to dance with Him on the ice-our hands catching, meeting, letting go, and coming together once again. I know how to skate backwards and I know that I have to lean into my partner. He will give me that final push I need to finish my recital with flourish.
I listen again to the imaginary applause. It’s now deafening. But it’s no longer for me. It’s for a champion, and my perfect skating partner. It’s for my Savior. He’s the one that catches me when I fall.
Yet He’s so much more.
The applause turns to awe-inspired silence. The thought comes to me: Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
I feel goosebumps on my arm. The image of me skating with the Creator of the Universe and yet someone with whom I can interact with on such a personal level is mind-boggling and at the same time, comforting.
And therein lies the uniqueness of Jesus Christ: He meets everybody on a level in which he or she can relate to. Even an ice skater who can’t see to skate anymore.
But one who knows that her partner hasn’t stopped skating with her in everyday life.
He still catches me all the time. He still throws me out and lets me do my thing. Lots of times I fall because I don’t let Him lead, or my timing will be off from His. Our music changes frequently as we work on a new set of moves and I try to master that routine. He’s so patient with me as I struggle through unfamiliar turns and spins, trying to please Him and skate well.
Through all the routines we’ve done together now, I’ve learned one thing. Even when the lighting overlooking the pond looks so dim that I’m not sure I see Him holding out his hands in my direction, I reach out and He’s there at the right moment so that we can finish the song.
I think that comes from becoming more familiar with His ways and learning to trust my partner.
In many ways, the skating routine is getting more difficult. He expects a lot more of me as I deal with my environment in ways I hadn’t before. But He reminds me that I know the basic moves and to fall back on them, and Him, while I add the more complicated steps, just like I did with the figure eights and skating backwards so many years ago. He reminds me how I did that so well.
Together, we move through this arena called my life.
Ice skating is so beautiful–one pasttime I’ve always loved. I’m excited that God has used it to show me another perspective of His wonderful qualities and my relationship with Him. As I leave the computer, I thank Him for speaking to me in a way I can understand. Maybe a parable.
And just before I fall asleep another image came to mind . . .
Why, I’m even like one of the many roses in a beautiful bouquet thrown to Him after a superb performance; I know He will gather me in His arms and lift me up, perfumed, to His father in heaven.