Yes, this is a strange tripling: Killing God's Word, Ultimate Rescue---and Cookies? But this world is more tightly woven than we suppose.
First, the Rescue.
How many times have you been rescued in your life? Too many rescues to count, I am sure. But what about the ONE rescue that literally swept you out of darkness and death into full, real, beautiful, glorious LIFE? Remember that one?
I was just a girl, barely 13, but I hungered for God and knew He was both present and absent. Present in the world, absent in me. I was vacant. Somehow I knew I was built for someone to come and move in but no one came. I did not stop waiting, though, until that knock at the door . . . and that rescuing presence rushed in with blankets and cookies and set the table and never left.
All this week I have been memorizing a passage about God's rescue from Ephesians 2. I did something new. I wanted to take those words out for a hike, to test them on the trail, to trot them out of church, the pews, up to the top of a mountain. I realize how I have contained and constrained the words of God, limiting them to the sanctuary at church, to the special chair I sit in when I read. Reading them in my head, silently. And when reading aloud, reading as if they were--------just words.
Only marks on a page . . .
But aren't these words alive? Aren't these words infused and indwelt by the Spirit? Aren't these the words that thousands of men and women have died for? If these words ARE alive, why do we read them as though they are dead? If these words are alive, why do we empty our voice of feeling, inflection, passion, fear, and LIFE itself? If these words are living swords that pierce and divide why do we dull the blade with boredom and monotone? If these words are living, why don't we fill them with the life God has given us through them: our breath, our body, our awakened hearts, our joy??
AND why don't we take them out of the pew and the sanctuary and speak His Living words aloud into His living world?
So I did. I climbed that mountain step by step, with Scripture, Ephesians 2, aloud in my mouth. And all the world came alive.
For we were dead in our trespasses and sins in which we used to walk when we followed the way of the world,
But we have been made ALIVE with Christ! And He has seated us with Christ in the heavenly realms,
that He might show to us the incomparable riches of His grace . . .
And here is how it felt for me to do this----(and I post this humbly, with ugly hat hair, with no cameraman but my own arm . . .)
Would you try this? It may not be camera-worthy (as mine so clearly illustrates!) but these words this day went deep.
When you are needing rescue, in voice loud or soft, let loose God's word, speak it aloud in some beautiful place that God has made. Listen to His words in your throat, out in the air, let hands and arms and feet echo its truths. Speak, know, see, feel its truths again. This truth most of all:
We were dead in our sins. But---God. But God has made us alive in Christ. For it is by HIS grace that we have been saved.
And here is where cookies come in! Some readers asked for this recipe this week, and grateful as I am for all my readers, I said Yes, of course. So last night I batched up another bowl of cookie dough (making sure the recipe was perfect), eating way too much dough in the process--but it was worth it. These cookies take me back to Eden.
Which is why I have named this recipe "Before-the-Fall Cookies." I'm pretty sure that had I been there in that paradisical garden, and had these cookies, I wouldn't have given that other tree, that one, a second sniff, glance or reach of my hand for its dull fruit.
The grace is that they're terrifically healthy---in a cookie sort of way, of course. I hope you love them as much as I do!
Leslie's Before-the-Fall Cookies
1 c. butter, soft
1 cup coconut oil
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. soda dissolved in 1/2 c. boiling water
3 c. brown sugar
1 c. almond flour
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
2 c. white flour
1/2 c. flaxmeal
4 c. oats
Go, climb a mountain, roam a meadow, fill your mouth with God's out loud words, and then with these cookies.
Taste and see how full-of-grace-and-goodness is our God!!
P. S. Would you tell me how your cookies turned out?? (And---if you took God's words out for a walk this week?)