A Devotional Postscript to a Legal-Political Post

by Tom Wolpert on July 24, 2020

In which we remember, we seek a Holy City.

I am a lawyer. I should be capable with words. I am a writer. I should be skilled with language. But I have few good words, few adequate descriptions to offer for describing the interior life of my soul. What can I say? The invisible God has invited my invisible soul to enter and keep a relationship with Him, mediated through a now-unseen Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, by means of the invisible Holy Spirit. I would like more visibility into this, these religious movements in my interior life, unfolding like the movements of a symphony. But as the Lord commanded, “thou shall make unto thee no graven image.” As for his calling card, He announces simply, “I am.”

The time has come to speak. After nearly 40 years of this relationship, I am weary of my own silence. The work of grace inside me is as invisible, as it is enveloping. The growth of the Holy Spirit in me is unmistakable – but I cannot point to a particular event or year, and say – this was when the Holy Spirit worked all its changes and brought forth knowledge and love, like a newborn crowning at birth. The Holy Spirit grew tirelessly within me, but who can point to a particular day? The guidance and molding of God is ineffable; it defeats scales and yardsticks, it collapses time. My soul is as weightless today as the hour I first believed, but it has been engaged, shaped, enlightened over the long hallway of years, sometimes raucous, sometimes silent as a midnight snow, but never abandoned. Freed of sin, my soul floated; freed of death, my immaterial soul had someplace to stand, to take root.

The day of my conversion – that was one special, notable day, a day of revelation, of the scales dropping, of the opening of the mind. The day was shocking, as the distances of time and geography were obliterated in an instant. My inner ear heard, my mind received, God saying, “I am the Bread of Life.” What made it a conversion was the forty years which have followed, befriended by the one who is Spirit and Truth. By this Spirit I was astonished. I dwelt in this Spirit, related to this Spirit, was tenderly sheltered by, was instructed by, disciplined by, and grew to know and to love this Spirit of Christ, an inch at a time, kiss by kiss. Forty years in which an affectionate, enduring, enigmatic relationship with the Light of the World worked a holy mystery in that hidden place which I know to have, but cannot point to.

No flashlight will ever shine on my soul, no extraction is possible with any scalpel – yet it exists, I sense it. Touched by Jesus, King and Master, our Elder Brother and Kinsman-Redeemer, my soul climbs a trellis, it has blossomed into life. All forty years have been an experience, sublime, ethereal, ephemeral, accumulating in power until the impact has become quietly colossal. My soul moves, eternally nourished, like an infant kicking in his mother’s womb, reverberating with life.

I am stumbling over words, these uncertain rungs on a ladder. It leads to an upper room where once a group of men met to share a meal and say goodbye to their teacher and friend. I exhaust my phrases without articulating clearly what I hope to convey. There is at least one word, a nine-letter word, nothing more and common enough, used frequently for all manner of reasons. Spiritual. Perhaps the best word I have. My soul nestles into that word. We understand a little more now, so late in the day – to worship the one true God in Spirit and truth. Spiritual is an overused word, but here we are. Spiritual lives matter. I will do what I can with my words. I will travel the road to which I am called, a spiritual path to a spiritual home, a city of peace. I will say what I see. As the Apostle said, that spiritual man, “I believed, and therefore, I spoke.”

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