Wednesday, November 13, 2013

"The Dark Room"

Ezekiel 8.7-10a, 12 NET

“He brought me to the entrance of the court, and as I watched, I noticed a hole in the wall. He said to me, ‘Son of man, dig into the wall.’ So I dug into the wall and discovered a doorway.” “He said to me, ‘Go in and see the evil abominations they are practicing here.’ So I went in and looked.” “He said to me, ‘Do you see, son of man, what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, each in the chamber of his idolatrous images? For they think, “The Lord does not see us! The Lord has abandoned the land!”’”

I would be mortified if others knew exactly what I was thinking. If the images of my mind were projected on a wide-screen television for all to see, I would be more than just a little embarrassed. If I imagine myself as an ancient city. The wall around the city is what I project to the outside world. I welcome friends through the proper gate into the town square where I present entertaining shows and engage in inspirational conversation. Only trusted friends receive an invitation to my personal residence where they may observe how I actually live.

But there is a room in my imaginary home no one is invited to enter. I call it the “dark” room and I try never to go in there. In this “chamber of… idolatrous images” hangs pictures of lust and greed. It is decorated with idols of jealousy and selfish ambition. People I despise are imprisoned there. I am ashamed of this room and tightly lock the door.  Though it beckons me relentlessly, I try to forget its existence. I’m afraid of this room. It’s very dark in there.

The Lord found “a hole in the wall” of my fortified city of self. He “dug into the wall and discovered a doorway” to my “dark” room! He “went in and looked” around. I was mortified. I thought “the Lord does not see”. But He does. I thought “the Lord… abandoned” me to my room alone. But He didn’t.

Instead of politely avoiding this area of my abode, Jesus found His way in and shed His light. With the same righteous anger He exhibited in the Temple at Jerusalem [1], Jesus engaged in some serious house cleaning. The junk in my “dark” room was exposed, ripped from its sacred pedestal, and thrown out with the trash.

Sometimes I feel sad, lonely, afraid, or otherwise “abandoned” by God. I am tempted to sneak back into my “chamber of… idolatrous images” and close the door behind me. I know this room well. I can hide from my outside realities, fully embrace my pity, and practice the “evil abominations” of my secret sin.

How thankful I am for the “Son of man” who will “dig into the wall” of my dark and private space and expose me to the light of His unending love.

[1] John 2:13-16a The Message 13 “When the Passover Feast, celebrated each spring by the Jews, was about to take place, Jesus traveled up to Jerusalem. 14 He found the Temple teeming with people selling cattle and sheep and doves. The loan sharks were also there in full strength.” 15 “Jesus put together a whip out of strips of leather and chased them out of the Temple, stampeding the sheep and cattle, upending the tables of the loan sharks, spilling coins left and right. 16 He told the dove merchants, ‘Get your things out of here!...’

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