I’m back. A number of friends have asked me if I would ever return to my blog. There are lots of reasons I stepped back for a while. I’ve been intensely engaged writing my new book, now tentatively called Conversion: Drawing Nearer To The Heart Of God. In addition, Sharon and I had to take an unexpected pause to make our way through a rough patch with health in this past year. We believe we are healed and feeling better than ever, full of energy for what’s out ahead.

But what is out ahead as we turn the year and the decade into 2020? I’ve been thinking about new goals, as I always do this time of year, but especially because I find myself on a new journey of incredible change. I’m reflecting on what I call conversion, a kind of second awakening that hit me recently. It’s a longer story I will share over time, but I believe God has come closer than ever before and is asking different things of me. Who I am now? What am  supposed to be doing? Things are different for me.

C. S. Lewis may have said it well:

The first job each morning consists simply . . . in listening to that other voice . . . letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. . . . Standing back from all your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind.

There is a lot of wind blowing out there. We’re all buffeted about. We are uneasy about the dangers in our world. Mostly our world is filled with such intense hatred. Our country is splitting apart at the seams. Can I become the kind of person who contributes healing instead of hatred and division?

But then I’m trying to figure out, as Lewis encourages, how to come “in out of the wind,” not as an escape, but to let that “other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in.” That’s the new starting point for me. If I am going to contribute healing of any sort, in my own heart and in the world, I need to come in out of the wind to find restoration. I’m trying to do this every morning, in prayer and holy reading, for example. Coming in out of the wind is preparation to draw closer to the heart of God. That changes everything. Hatred will always begin to dissipate when God comes closer.

George MacDonald, that wonderful  late-nineteenth-century Scottish poet, writer, and pastor, of great influence on Lewis, once said:

To be right with God is to be right with the universe; one with the power, the love, the will of the mighty Father, the cherisher of joy, the Lord of laughter, whose are all glories, all hopes, who loves everything, and hates nothing but selfishness, which he will not have in his kingdom.

This is the kind of thing that is framing my goals for the year, to move from selfishness, the root of hatred, to find my way toward love and joy and laughter. And here is the key: This happens, believe it or not, when we come nearer, early in the morning, to the heart of God.

That’s the new story I am determined to tell in the days ahead. Stay tuned.