I compartmentalize a lot. Organize and try to control my world to keep it safe from the chaos around me. Things in little boxes, one fitting inside another like Russian nesting dolls. Can you see it?

Here is work, the struggles and blessings each in their own area. Here is family, mine and his. Here is faith, Sunday and the other days and here, me, the sweet and the rough. I compartmentalize even the God of the universe to fit in the places I’m comfortable with. How convenient, and how ridiculous! No wonder I fight with the contentment at being placed on a shelf. No real power seen; simply decorative in nature. Just dust me off once a week so I look clean and make sure the garbage is picked up and hidden. I do hate clutter.

Right now my eyes are still made of flesh; my understanding, often defined by the natural laws of a broken world. The wisdom of it makes sense in the moment. These things are destined to go away. These are destined for redemption. That is the promise and glory of following Christ. 

God knows the laws. He built the sizes needed for the nesting dolls as a service after our fall. It helps in part to navigate the violence of our world. To help our minds process it. But guess what? God is not bound by those natural laws. They are not his initial intent for us. He is wholly and fully above and beyond them. John 17:21-22 slapped me awake for a moment, for we are to be wholly and fully above them too. Remember redemption. Remember Jesus broke the separateness.

In the very center of a believer is Jesus. In the very center of Jesus is the Father. In the heart of the Father is Jesus. In the heart of Jesus we exist. The Spirit, wrapping and binding, unifying and communicating. This! This is amazing and fantastic and mysterious and beautiful and glorious!

To be a follower of Christ is to lose the compartments. To blow up the rigidity of organizing and separating the pieces of our lives. The more we understand that God, in his great love and mercy, could love things like us, the more he shows up in us and the more we get to rest in his heart. And while we rest in his heart, he shows up to work in ours. The rolling around of this thought causes a wonder that bubbles up joy, love, peace and laughter. Revel in it for eternity. That is a delicious redemption. 

For now especially, we need each other. He made it that way. I need you to remind me that life is more than the dusting of a shelf of nesting dolls. I need reminding that while this world is broken, I am being restored. That means I need you, my brothers and sisters, to speak truth when all I can see is the brokenness. You need me as well. The words of truth that flow when God is loving others through us. 

Beauty in the unity. 

We are in Christ. Living this means that we are to love one another well; we are called to do that with prayer, words and actions in all of life, not just Sunday. 

The unity of the church with her savior. 

The unity of a body with itself. 

The unity of a relationship restored with the God of all. 

The overlap and connectivity of it hard to pull apart. No separations. Beautiful in the simplicity and the complex overlap.

 Now breathe.

John 17:21-22

I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one- as you are in me Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can all see the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began! 

  • Halli Riskus