"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

God's womb is deep and wide

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I was practicing "lectio divina" this morning... which, although it sounds super fancy, is just a simple way of reading Scripture with a prayerful stance.

In short, the fundamental assumption behind Lectio Divina is that God's word is alive and divinely inspired ("Lectio"=word, "divina"=divine).  It begins with the belief that God is ready and always wanting to talk with you in and through His Word--- His Word is a conversation starter, you might say.  

In practice, simply put, you read God's word slowly and take note of what jumps out at you--- what strikes you.  What might He be saying to you today?  Then, you sit with that "jumping" word or phrase... asking God to speak more to you about it.  You dialogue with God about it and sit (contemplate) the Truth that He brings to mind.  That is 'Stephanie-version' and badly explained, I am sure; but, a favorite tool for me, none-the-less.

Anyway, I was reading slowly through Psalm 25 this morning and asking God to speak.  My eyes landed on verse 6, "Remember, O Lord, your mercy and love..."  Mercy and Love.  The words seemed to jump off the page and kiss my cheek.  

I sat with these words for a few minutes.  I prayed and sat in a listening stance.  Your mercy and Your love, O Lord.  I rested in this phrase for a few quiet moments more. Then I asked the Lord to tell me more...  What more do you have to say to me this morning, Lord?  Why this phrase?  

In response to the prayer-question, I had an intense urge to go to the Hebrew and figure out what Hebrew word was translated as "mercy" and as "love".  So, I quickly grabbed my ipod and googled www.blueletterbible.org (a great site!).  And, do you know what it said?  Do you know what I found when I clicked around these words and their origins...  

God has a womb!  

Okay, maybe that's not exactly what it said.  But, womb is one definition/translation of the Hebrew word in Psalm 25 that we translate:  mercy.   Mercy= womb.  Or, even better... Mercy=bowel. 

Okay, a major caveat here, I am NOT a Hebrew scholar...  not at all.  But, having once witnessed the intricacies of  Scripture translation into Kazakh, I often find it fun and encouraging to poke around and look at the broader meaning of Hebrew and Greek words.  What was God saying in the original Hebrew? 

When I read that this Hebrew word can be rendered womb and bowels...    I was dumbfounded and deeply moved.  The Holy Spirit of God was saying something to me this morning!  He was answering my prayerful question: Father, what more would You say to me about this?  

God's mercy...  His compassion (another translation for this word) is deep... very, very deep...   This part of who God is... this love, this mercy, this compassion... is as deep as the womb. It is as much a part of who He is as His bowels.  He loves with His very gut.  He is Love to His very core.    

I sat and meditated on this great Truth.  My Almighty God is Love.  His love, His mercy, His compassion resides within Him and is a place of life and birth.  His mercy toward me, and you, are from His very gut:  His inner Being.  God is Love!  God is mercy... in His deepest, most hidden parts.  

That is His stance toward me today.  Mercy.  This is His heart toward you, my friends.  From the very depth of Who He is, Almighty God, is Mercy and Compassion.  I will rest in this today!  Remember, O Lord, Your womb... Your guts... Remember, O Lord, Who You are:  You are Mercy, You are Kindness, You are Love.  
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