Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
From the time they were old enough to talk, “Jay-ub” and “Meee-umm” were the best of buddies. More than once we heard that the two had to be separated in the nursery for fighting. They grieved the separation far more than the wounds inflicted.
“Miriam, will you play nice at nursery today?” we would ask each week.
“Oh, yes!” was her happy reply.
“Miriam, are you going to hit Jacob?”
And so it went. A rough-and-tumble fellowship of diaper-clad tots, each able to take it on the chin and come up smiling.
Then came the dreadful announcement about two years ago that Jacob’s family would be moving away. How much can a three-year-old really understand about the depths of friendship and the loss of it?
I daresay the answer is that the understanding runs deeper than we give them credit for.
I will never forget the going-away gathering our church held for the Caines family that summer. While the adults and older kids were providing the audience for a series of amateur performances—skits, poetry readings, sing-alongs—to honor and “roast” the family, little Jacob got up, walked across in front of the entire group, and held out his pudgy little hand to Miriam. No words were said, but she just extended her own tiny hand to take his, and the two left the room together. Both smiling sweetly at each other, he led her down the hall and into the nursery playroom. We all watched them go, and I found myself thinking, “I wonder if he’ll come back for her again just that way in another 15-20 years.”
This weekend, we were blessed with a too-short visit while Sarah and the kids were traveling through.
Miriam, now five, got dressed three times in anticipation of seeing her friend again. First, she chose a casual but nice outfit. That lasted about a half hour. She then decided that she wanted to “look pretty for Jacob,” and so she changed into a lovely dress and had me braid her hair. For the next hour, that was satisfactory, but Miriam will be Miriam. Just before time to leave to meet them, she rushed to her room once more and came out in old jean shorts and a shirt reserved for crafts and gardening, unmatched socks, and her old sneakers. With her chin held high, she announced, “I changed my mind. I want to play HARD!”
That’s my girl. Don’t miss out on life by trying to impress with beauty that is passing. Remember to “play HARD!”
It was so good to see our friends again, and to see “Jay-ub” and “Meee-ummm” still friends, though maybe not quite as focused on each other as they were at one time. I know the day is coming when he’ll likely find girls icky and want to surround himself only with other little boys. My mother’s heart hurts a little thinking ahead to that, but I would venture that with a little more time passing, he’ll likely get over that and come to his senses again.
They say that true friends can always pick right back up where they left off, no matter how much time passes between them. I know that to be the case in my own experience. And a part of me is really hoping it will be that way for them, too.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
We were looking last night at Luke’s gospel, as Christ is on the cross. My Captain pointed out that in the words recorded here, when Christ speaks, he shows his utter confidence in eternity. There is no doubt as he is there, dying. He tells the thief next to him with certainty, “This day you will be with me in Paradise.” And just a few sentences later, at the very point of death, with confidence he commits his spirit into the Father’s hands.
I noticed that sandwiched between those two proclamations of confidence was a description of the time when this occurred. “When the sun had failed,” it says.
I don’t know about you, but if there’s anything at all that I would say I put my confidence in, it’s that the sun is going to be there doing its job every single day, in summer and winter, in springtime and harvest. I get up, it’s there. I watch it slip away behind the trees out back, but I know it’s still there, doing its thing and we’ll come around to it again the next time. Even the moon gives evidence that the sun is still working.
Nothing in my experience yet has caused me to question the sun’s reliability. No amount of cloud cover, no eclipse. It’s the SUN for heaven’s sakes. You can depend on it!
But at the very time that God was actively fulfilling his promises to save his people, the sun failed. The very sun itself not only pales in comparison to the reliability of the promises of God. It actually fails. There is nothing in the universe that we can count on with more certainty than the reality of the future, in which God’s word is fulfilled. The sun may fail, but there will come a day when those who put their trust in the work Christ did on the cross will be with him in Paradise.
So for this moment, who am I not to commit into his hands with confidence the day in which the sun still shines?
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Why, my God, did you forsake him?
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Today I got a message directly from God. Again.
It happens. Just often enough to keep me firmly in his grasp. Always just when I begin to fall away into the lie, believing that he doesn’t really want to hear from me, that I can’t possibly hope to “avail much” with him. Just when I begin to think that his unknowable will is operating on autopilot or something, he does it again. Just reaches down and reveals, as if he touches me on the forehead, as if to say, “Here. The little bauble you’ve been asking for. I’ve been waiting to give it to you.”
I’m always a little ashamed of my surprise. But never ashamed of my joy when I see that all the time I was praying, he was already working.
What a delight it is to be allowed to know that you prayed in his will, and therefore he is pleased to grant your request! My response is a more fervent prayer life, thanking him for including me in the inner circle. Bringing before him with new diligence many of you on whose behalf I’m already making petition regularly. It’s such a blessing to be allowed a place at the boardroom table, or so it seems. To see the outworking of a larger plan, orchestrated by the master, and be able to say, “Yes! Go with it! I’m with You!”
Leaves me a happy girl.