And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to give to set before the people. (Mark 6:41)
He has taken us to himself. It is the first step in the dance of faith. He takes us to himself again and again and again. It is what the saints call union; that deep, intimate union that we all were created for and most deeply long for. It is what gives the rest of the dance its life and meaning, its depth and substance. It is this intimate taking of us to himself that leaves us completely taken with him in return. Without this step, ministry is hollow and superficial. Without this step we cannot fruitfully arrive at the final step, being given. Without first being taken the seed planted within us will never grow into the beautiful, fruitful plant it was meant to be, but will instead stagnate or die or wither or fade. For it is his love that compels us, Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:14. This life of love that God has planted within us is meant to provide the life and energy for all we do. Thus, our desire to be given cannot last without this love kindled (and continually rekindled) deep in our hearts and souls. Therefore, we need to continually make time and space to be taken by him: to listen to his whispers of affection, to feel the tender touch of his hands, to receive his passionate kiss upon our lips, to know the deep intimacy of his abiding presence. It is what brings us to life on the inside. And it is what offers life to all who cross our paths.