Thursday, August 03, 2006

God Roept You

This morning I was reading Psalm 81 in the Message, and this verse stuck out to me. It has really captivated me today. And it made me think about my many friends at the Zolder, and around the city of Amsterdam.

"I hear this most gentle whisper from One
I never guessed would speak to me"

When I read this, I thought that's what we need, and we don't expect. We often go through life unexpectant that the One would speak to us, in our circumstances, in our routines, in our decadence, in our depravity, and in our clutter. And yet, He does. He speaks gently and softly to us. It is a whisper like the wind--refreshing on a hot summer day.

Why did I think of my friends in amsterdam? Well, here is a little background on the city. People come from all over the world to visit amsterdam. Most of those visitors are either looking to find themselves or lose themselves in the city. Across from the Centraal Station there is a building that has the words "God Roept You" and "Jesus Loves You" written in giant neon letters. Many people are looking for someone to love them and the second phrase speaks into the hearts of those people seeking to lose themselves in the wilder side of the city.

And then there is the phrase, "God Roept You." It means "God Calls You." Imagine leaving the train station and seeing that sign. You are about to immerse yourself into the depths of drugs and prostitution and excess of all sorts, and you see this neon beacon. God calls you. And He calls in the most unexpected times and places. He calls gently in a whisper.

The One who made the universe calls to us. May we listen intently. And may we hear freshly amid the circumstances and distractions of everyday life.

"Hoe gaat het?" to all of my Amsterdammer/Nederlander friends!

1 comment:

Eric Asp said...

Thanks for the word (and the nod to Amsterdam), Billy. I, too, am captured by that sign every time I'm down by Centraal Station. I was actually just reading a book that included a bit of the history of that building and that sign (strange coincidence).

I learned that the phrase "God Roept U" was first placed atop that building over 100 years ago by William Booth (founder of the Salvation Army). Then, over the years, the Salvation Army abandoned the building and eventually squatted by a cult and later by a more miscellaneous group of punks and addicts. Only in 1980 was the building re-acquired for God's purposes (by Youth With A Mission, a.k.a. YWAM) and the "God Roept U" sign was resurrected (along with the additional message of "Jesus Loves You")...

It's cool to know some of the history about the signage. But it's sometimes even more cool to see how people react when they're suckerpunched by its message as they leave the train station.