Written by: Mike Donehey
Written on: Monday, September 20, 2010


“it would be easier if you were just a thought in my head
simply something that I once read
a belief needing my defense
and it would be easier if you were something I once knew
a hope just to hold on to
but you’re holding out your hands

cause you came to take us back to the start
you came to touch the hardness of our hearts
you gave us truth that truth is who you are
it’s who you are

and it’s not enough to just say, ‘I believe.’
Cause truth is that talk is cheap
so grace give me eyes to see

flesh and blood you offer us
oh to eat the bread and drink the cup
oh to taste to see to feel to touch
Emmanuel God with us
Emmanuel God with us”

Maybe this song won’t be a revolutionary thought for you, but it has been for me. Probably for the last two years or so, this is the thing I have felt that God has been teaching me. Or should I say, the thing that He has been beating me over the head with. Truth is a person.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father but by me.”

How did I miss that for so long? I don’t know. Maybe it was growing up in the church, maybe it was Christian school, maybe it was the fact that I have an enemy in myself and in the devil, but man! Why has it taken so long to sink in?

I remember going through this phase when I first entered college, when all that mattered were answers. I had to have the answer for everything. No matter what the question was, no matter what someone was going through, I had to have something to say. Some verse to reference, some bit of advice to give. And I really thought that I was pretty awesome. I mean, I was enlightening minds and helping people, I was really exceptional. Or so I thought.

Little did I know at the time, but most times when I was wheeling out advice and giving out answers, I was actually coming across as a royal jerk. People would come to me with some heavy news: a broken relationship, news of a death in their family, something like that. And what would I do? I’d just write up a little prescription for them by way of the Bible. “Don’t worry brother! God works all things together for good!

Not that the promises of God aren’t true all the time, they are. But the thing is, just because we have promises, doesn’t necessarily mean there’s answers. At least, not the way we’re looking for. And that’s why God tells me to feel it before I try to fix it. “Weep with those who weep. Rejoice with those who rejoice.” That’s what I’m called to do. Before I try to know everything and have a solution for everything and everyone, first I need to learn to sit down and weep with people. Before I try to put a band aid on their wounds, I need to actually feel the wound myself. I mean, isn’t that what Jesus did for us? He felt before He fixed. He hurt before He healed. He became flesh and dwelt among us.

And so, this changes things. This means that it doesn’t matter how much Scripture and philosophy I know, what matters is what I do with it. Ironically, having a lot of information about Jesus can often be the very thing that keeps us from Him. We delude ourselves into thinking that Jesus is nothing more than a fact on a page. An idea to comprehend, a moral to ascribe to. And believe me, He’s much more than that. He is our life, our breath, and the pulse within our veins. He is before, behind, and all around. Over. Underneath. Inside. In between.

And I want to know Him this way. As bread and wine. As flesh and blood. As a lover, a wife, as the life within. I’m tired of my knowledge turning to arrogance. I’m tired of information turning to superiority. I want to encounter Him, and have that encounter change the way I see the world. Don’t you?

So for now, I’ll leave us with Jesus’ own words in the book of John. May it sober our pursuits, and remind us that the one we are following is not some philosophical ideal to adhere to, He is a person to fall in love with.