Friday, February 7, 2014

The Sleep Walk of Faith

“These all died in faith”; “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept” (Hebrews 11:13; Genesis 2:21).

The “these” in the above reference are those who symbolically died in their sleep, those who did not awaken to another day of possibility, but to their destiny realization.  Likewise, Adam slept hard while God made soft Eve, “the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20).  The walk of faith leads surely to dreams come true, but also dreams are realized in the prostrate position of sleep.  The mother of all living came from a body cursed with death; Adam did not call his wife Eve until after the curse took effect.  Yes, we must awaken from our sleep of sorrow, but a sleep of sorrow it is until we do.

I thank God for many things, but none more than the ability to sleep when I am weary of the battle and sufficiently filled to the full unto the end of each day with the evil thereof.  Night is a welcome reprieve from the many toils and dangers we have come through thus far in this sleep walk of faith.

Mortal death—to Jesus Christ—was mere sleep, a termination not of life, but a rest from the worries and cares of life.  Sleep, often referred to as beauty rest, is a tender interlude from the incessant noontime sun of harsh reality and bald scrutiny.  Though nothing cleans and disinfects like sunlight, and we are all in need of much cleansing, God gives the night at the end of each day to rejuvenate us enough to endure more antiseptic medicine tomorrow.  Sleep is like an inoculation against death, filled with enough of it to diminish our functions, but not enough to stop them.  It is the antiseptic, or the anti-decomposition of the living tissue of life.

The resurrection we Christians are destined for is only realized through the death and burial functions of that process, and each night’s sleep is a baby step towards that day, and every noontime nap, an infant nibble of the realization of its rays.  But it takes more faith to lay down and sleep than to stand and fight; sleeping and dreaming makes you more vulnerable beneath the sheets than even waking and fighting makes you behind a suit of armor with chinks in it.

Abraham, the father of faith, was never more faithful and effective than when he laid himself out prostrate in deep darkness while God moved between the pieces of his life.
     
Sleeping Beauty ate an apple and went to bed
But a valiant Prince kissed her till she shed
All the apple peels and flesh to its core
And rose before him in full restore

George Gordon Byron, famous as the poet Lord Byron, wrote this brilliant poem in the early 1800s. 

She Walks in Beauty

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

Feminine beauty is that beauty which is derived from and defined by a masculine perspective.  This is no commentary about gender roles or the equality /inequality of the sexes, but to distinguish mankind’s posture from God’s.  We are the bride of Christ, and we need His masculine posture to define our feminine one.  Our eternal beauty is only a reflecting one of His.  He beautifies by His love; we are worthless, unloved, and without our own internal beauty without Him first loving us. This is an unequivocally established principle throughout Scripture and much ancient literature.

I believe Byron, in “She walks in beauty” is saying exactly this; the innocent heart at peace within the seat of emotional man is best described as “she” in the “tender light” of “the night” which the “gaudy day denies.”  She walks in beauty which walks in less than the full light of enlightenment, and the feminine posture is the posture of faith—that posture we must all walk in if we ever expect to arrive at the destination of our eternal resting home.