Friday, February 18, 2011


“For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God, nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (Rm. 1:21)


Julian was not her real name, but she was content to be known in history by the name of the monastery where she lived.  Julian lived her entire life, just outside a Norwich monastery’s gates, in a small one room “cell,” and became known to the Christian world as “Julian of Norwich.”  And while there were no cameras in those days to record for history what she looked like, I can tell you from reading her work, she was beautiful.  She was beautiful in the only thing that lasts – her heart.  No Christian should go through this life, without reading her work that has lived through the centuries (from 1300 until now).


For the last several days, I have written about the importance of our minds and hearts being focused on God.  That is the essence of Julian’s writing.  And in our modern world where little thought is given to God, even by Christians, we would do well to remember her words.  I am captivated by one of the core thoughts of her book.  Her prayer, when she was 23 years old, was to ask God for three things.  She wanted God to bring her to a point,  where all she thought about was Him; that God would reveal to her the real suffering of Christ; and that she could see the world from God’s perspective.  And God answered her prayer.


In answer to her prayer to be able to focus on God entirely, God brought a deep illness upon her.  The illness was so severe that a priest was brought in to give her the “last rites.”  It was in this state of dying, that her mind became solely focused on God.  She knew that without Him there was no hope.  It was then she became close to God with all her senses – so close that all she wanted was God, and she knew that to get well would mean losing Him in this way.  She did not want to live without Him.  So it was in this intensely God focused state that God answered her second request.


Here she saw Christ upon the cross.  You must read her words to grasp fully the suffering of Christ.  Our depictions are almost pastoral in their understanding of what really was happening.  He was gray from loss of blood and oxygen; He was dehydrated to the point of skin being cracked; and His bones were out of joint from the brutal dropping of the cross into its six foot deep socket.  Horror filled her eyes as she looked upon the suffering of her Savior.  It was so real; she began to experience the same suffering in her dying moments.


Then Christ removed Himself from the cross to answer her third prayer – to see the world as He sees it.  Jesus came to her bedside and opened His hand, and there in the palm of His hand was a small object, like a walnut.  She looked at it and asked, “What is it Lord?”  He said, “This is the universe as I see it.”  He then added, “Men seek something so small that I can hold it in the palm of My hands.”  Of course the message is, why seek the world instead of the Creator of the world.  And that lesson from Julian is one I will never forget.


We have a devout reverence for education today.  But our education is devoid of the Creator.  It is designed to learn about the principles, the systems, and the material our Lord put in place with no thought given to the One who put them there.  And because of that, our education is flawed and our thinking has become futile.  That is Paul’s message to the Church at Rome.  Men knew God, (it is impossible not to know Him by looking of the evidence of Creation), but they did not give God thanks nor glory.  And the results are very specific.  Their thinking became futile and their hearts were darkened.

 Education without Christ can only produce a futile thinking, and futile thinking serves to make our culture darker and darker.  Yesterday’s news was about teachers who cared so much about their income and their rights they gladly sacrificed the education of the children they were sworn to teach.  It was about a man so darkened in his heart he poured acid on his children, killing one and permanently scaring the other.  It was about nations crumbling, and people dying in the streets.  It was about border ambushes and drunk drivers killing children – the news, folks, was not about highly educated people creating a better world.  It was all about the dark hearts that roam our planet.  It is about a world that desires to learn about the Creation, which the Creator holds in the palm of His hand, and nothing about the Creator who gives life, joy, and righteousness.  Until, like Julian, we seek Him with all our heart, expect not to be surprised about the news casts in the morning.

Kingdom Road Ministries
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