We are the wild places.
I don't read very cool books. I'm not exactly sure what cool books are, but I'm positive the ones I read in my free time aren't. For one, they usually have horses with flowing manes on the cover. If I'm in public I usually open it from the back to the front so that people near me can't see what I'm reading. And they're all about knights and princes and quests and journeys. And I'm a dork.
But recently, I read a line in one that kind of shaped how I think of one of the most important ideas in the Bible. I'm talking about the concept that we are called to be the temple. It's not the easiest idea to understand. That the God who used to kill people if they touched the ark is now eager to set up his residence inside me, is kind of mind blowing. But for most of my life, I've looked at that idea as just a poetic description and not really seen the power in it. Until I read a line in a new book.
In the book, a group of rangers is preparing to strike out past their realm to explore the mountains in search of a missing group of friends. Before they leave, all of the men except one are visiting their temple before they venture out into the wild places. A character named Jon watches them leave and then decides not to go to their temple because, "his own gods kept their temples in the wild places."
What struck me about that silly line is that I am the wild places. I am the wilderness. The place where the dark and stormy past collides with the brilliance of God's grace. I am broken and beaten, but slowly coming back to life. My walls are torn down, my attic infested with the rats of regrets. And yet I am the temple God chooses to keep. The place he desires to be more than any other place in the universe.
My rooms inside are dim, there are spider webs and years of dust covering this temple of mine and yet, God calls this home. My sanctuary is cluttered with overturned pews, the wall hangings torn and dirty. Snakes and wild animals still roaming the hall. But there is a new master home. Perhaps the temple is not what it should be, but there is someone new on the throne. The wind that rips through the holes in my ceiling is different. There is a freshness starting to sweep away the stagnant air that has long held reign.
Until I was able to imagine myself as God's temple, the idea didn't make sense to me. But now that I see my life as his home, my heart as his residence, well that changes everything.
I am the wild places. You are the wild places. We are the wild places.