7/14/2009 02:50:00 PM

in all the low places

Greece was fantastic. What else to say? It's the kind of experience that is best shared over a cup of coffee at Starbucks, narrating through photos. Definitely not as suitable for writing about in a blog that maybe ten people read (if I'm lucky).

One thing that I really appreciated about Greece was its history. Perhaps the reason why I am not as drawn to places like Bermuda and the Caribbeans but really attracted to places like Rome and Cairo. The ruins and the architecture... it's all very Indiana Jones kind of romantic. As I reflected on all the places we visited in Greece, from the Acropolis in Athens to the island of Delos, it's clear that people back then were intensely devout to have built such majestic temples in high places. The hikes themselves were challenging enough. At one point I thought I would have definitely been an atheist back then because 'going to the temple' 4-5k years ago in Greece is not the same as hopping into my air-conditioned car and driving to an air-conditioned church. I admire their dedication, their faith, their fear of the divine and unknown.

It also made me intensely appreciative that God is not a god who we have to strive to reach in the high places, but that he meets us at the lowest places of our hearts. Climbing the Acropolis, scaling Mount Kynthos, peering off the edge of the cliff at Sounion made me realize how special and unique Jesus is, that he is God reaching into the muck of our lives, digging around in the dirt, doing all the sacrificing and all the work, building holy temples not in mountains and physical places but in the recesses of our often deceitful and weak hearts, hearts that are cold and inhumane in our callous selfishness, our ignorance of others, our tendency to put 'me, me, me' first.

It is so ironic that by taking the initiative, by humbling Himself, Jesus has taken away any claims - however facetious - we have of protesting that we deserve salvation because we build temples for Him in all the 'high places' of our lives. He strips all the lies away and shows us our utter dependence on Him, and at the same time His amazingly abundant love for His darkest and most cherished creations. He lays the foundations of the holy temple in the corners of our desert hearts.

Now I understand why, as I stood at the beach of Mykonos at night, this thought came to my mind:

Jesus is more divine than I will ever know, and more human than I will ever be.