Grace and Peace to you.
Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Before God no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account.
The “piercing” is not violent assault, but skillful surgery, perfect knowledge of what is inside us; the “dividing” is not cutting us apart but discerning, distinguishing between what is eternal and what is passing, what is true and what is false. The Word is God knowing us deeply. God’s Word is the act of paying attention, more like listening than speaking. The Word of God is a presence—indeed, a person— who knows you, who understands what moves you, who feels your reality form within you.
The Word knows the difference between what is truly you and what is false, imposed, and needing to be removed. God’s knowing presence, God’s judging, is not cruel, not against you (you’re still thinking of that sword). God looks on you only with reverence and love. God sees you, with the eyes of “mercy and grace,” of one who can “sympathize with our weakness… who in every respect has been tested as we are” (v. 16, 15). God’s Word is the living presence that loves you from the inside out.
I think of my sister’s cancer. She needs (and receives) from God a love that knows her true self, that treasures her soul, her absolute being—and who sees clearly and exactly what is false and life-diminishing in her, what is not really “her,” and needs to be removed. To have life and have it abundantly, she needs a listening Word that pays attention, a discerning Word that knows what it’s doing, a sharp Word that can cut out the killing stuff from her and set the rest free.
The living and active Word listens you you deeply. Let that Presence pierce you. Let that Listening lay bare the intentions of your heart, so that you can see yourself clearly, as God sees you. Let that Love sink deep to the marrow of your fears, the bone of your desires, not to cut you up, but to see what does not give you life and free you from it, so that you become more truly and wholly yourself, for the sake of your lovely, precious, holy life.
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