Complacence

20 Jun

If you want something enough, you fight for it. I wonder if it’s a complacence we’ve come by because most of us have never had to struggle for the rent, or our family’s food, in childhood. If it’s the complacence of the developed world.

Que sera sera and if it doesn’t happen, it wasn’t meant to be. Who said that? What about that persistent widow? This idea of looking on and complaining unproductively or politely standing by while someone squanders your inheritance…

It exists in the public sphere. Christians forget to be vocal, to be politically active, in addition to being prayer warriors, to be socially conscious, to be economically wise. It exists in our relationships – a miserable and rather invisible blight. You pursue your relationships, you prioritise, you know that those are the only things you call permanent in your life. You don’t let it slide, expect it to be God’s work. It is God’s work, but he might not be so willing to give you a precious son or daughter of his, if you’re not willing to be careful with them. You too – you’re precious, you’re not to be treated with that complacence. Your community, your church, your family, your wife or husband – they are called to that position by God. As you are called to that position by him. Your government is called to be the support it is. Society is called to operate by laws of love, mercy and justice – Christian norms. And if any of these institutions and relationships goes against them, you are called to be not-complacent. To speak, preach, teach and write of the right. In love. To also always consciously correct yourself, test yourself. In love (yes, even to yourself). In humility. In the knowledge that one might be wrong, always. But to always try and try again.

Not a culturally biased idea of the right thing – God’s idea.

Sigh. Rant over!

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Parenthood and childhood

19 Jun

I was just reading about school choices by parents – and yes, I read homeschool choices too. In fact, primarily those because blogging seems like a major outlet slash networking tool for those mothers!

And one of the comments on one of the posts said something to the effect that children don’t remember what happened when they were two, when they grow up. Do you?

No, the question tag was part of the comment too. And I had a very quick response – yes.

I actually do remember what happened when I was two. I remember walking into the rain on the terrace, falling backwards from the trike and someone running down the stairs and nearly flinging themselves over the balcony on the landing to stop my dad who was on his way to work… that, when you were barefoot, the floor in the kitchen was somehow a little different from the one in the bedroom with the power outlet under the bed and the unconnected plug that served as my mother’s or the maid’s stethoscope or mine, whenever we played together, the sadness on some days when the sunset came and the parents hadn’t yet… These posts I was reading were on separation anxiety. And while the commenter was giving good advice – “Go anyway. Your child does grow up and does learn to be her own person” – my instinctive reaction was that children perhaps do remember.

I remember.

I think children do remember. They hold these memories precious. And if you bring them up well, they know both the wonderful things you have done and given as parents and the things you might do differently. They also know the things they might do differently, if they were parents, given the memories they have as kids.

And after all, isn’t that the point?

I don’t think either extreme of the spectrum have it right – children are neither best served unguided, nor controlled. That sense of the child being a wonderful new person in Christ, as well as that sense of her being your responsibility the moment she steps into or forms into your family – both seem important.

The possibility of being a parent scares me sometimes. And I am often glad that it does. I’ve always wanted to adopt and the intentional choice and mission in that decision is such a symbol to me of the calling that parenthood is. Parenthood is a calling both for husband and wife. When it comes, it probably takes over everything else. Probably changes your choices about e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. Like God – he left his home, he left his place with God, he became a servant (becoming is a word for changing, he wasn’t only God anymore, he changed), he let them take his life if it would save the children… You practice for it when you marry someone, already. Too few people see that nowadays, I think. This is why I am glad that the idea of being a parent has not lost its fear for me.

But I’m just a 20-something talking.

Wilderness woes and wistfulness

11 Jun

In the coach station at Birmingham. I’ve decided to give my very forgiving blog some context and character. It’s a grey, windy day in Birmingham this morning, as I head home. I’m sitting in a cafe across from Starbucks (because they have better armchairs) with coffee from Starbucks and considering a refill.

I’ve had a bit of heart-wringing from Him for a few weeks. The way that I’ve been seeing the next couple of years has fallen through. I always knew it could – but you always know things can change with that superiority of a Christian who’s been there, done that, learned her lesson…

I think to myself: I got this faith thing down pat. I have waited and trusted so often, over so many, closely intervalled seasons, that I don’t need any more testing. 10 stars for me. 


And then halfway through one of those sentences, God pulls the rug out from under your feet. And you’re in a test again. At first, you don’t even realise. In my little boxed-in, ‘churched’ worldview, change means doubting my calling. But God said I would live here, do this, give my tuppence to this part of the world. God talked to me about this relationship. God talked to me about planning my finances. So how can this happen?

See, in my head I have a plan. I know what God wants (at least some of it) and I know how to get there. And I am incredibly stubborn about the way that it’s going to work. The problem is if it doesn’t work that way – if he asks me to leave, if he brings me back to Canaan after a 40-year detour in the wilderness but he’s only ever told me the Canaan part of his will and not the wilderness part… I’m a screaming, kicking mess. Because I *never* get that the wildernesses are not detours. It took me 15 years of my life to work out that although God promised the promised land, he actually first moved Abraham FROM the promised land. And then brought him back.

Nuts.

I’m writing this. But I STILL don’t get it. I don’t get the sovereignty, I don’t get the need to relinquish control, I don’t get the concept of doing all I can see and all that will keep me sane and giving the rest to God in confidence that he’ll work it.

Because seriously – who does that?! Who drags you miraculously into the place you think you’re going to be for the rest of your life, hints to you that that is a place that’s a pretty major part of your life. Ok, tells you this is what he wants for you. And then drags you out of it?!

And yet – he does. And it’s not simply a lesson in the wilderness. It’s God in the wilderness. Just like God in Canaan. And you shake your head and shake your head and say ‘No, no, no – this is where I’m meant to be for life. You told me. You told me.’

But all he really said was to obey.

I feel like I’ve been in the wilderness for a little while – and usually, when I expect it… you know, that’s okay! I’ve got my little survival bag and contingency plans. But I’ve been in this weird place for a few days now (yes, nothing dramatic) and I should expect that God never gives me expected things! And every time I have time to myself, my thoughts and my God – I remember all the promises, all the hurts, the little things, the big things, the distance, the slight distance from God – everything that the wilderness, if not the cause, is a reminder of. A big hulking symbol, unmissable because I’m in it dead centre.

And this is why this lesson is so hard. I can only obey. I cannot predict the obedience of others or the obedience of time and circumstance and the weather, for goodness’ sake. I cannot predict that the picture will come true. I can only simply fit my piece into that puzzle clumsily.

Clumsily is really all I can do. You might be able to do perfection. Today is one of those days I can’t even try.

And this is why I’m sitting here crying in a coach station, having cried through church, having cried through conversations, having cried through being told off, having cried through defending myself, having cried through being a pain in other peoples’ sides, because I have NO way to explain why I’m crying. So I have a Mac, a coffee, a tissue held to my face like I have a nosebleed, gratitude for the rain because it covers up crying people, and the funny urge to write a song and these two quotes from two favourite books, one of the books life-giving, one of the quotes rather like a hug and the other rather like a pat on the back and a reminder to get on with it. Because the wilderness is a blessing. Canaan is a blessing. Both are – in the strictest sense – merely wanderings until we see Him face to face. I would say “The show must go on” but this is much too life-like and God-like for that to be fitting.

This:

You Yourself have recorded my wanderings.
Put my tears in Your bottle.
Are they not in Your records?

Psalm 56: 8

And then this reminder from Anne Shirley that puts a smile on my wet face.

“Gilbert darling, don’t let’s ever be afraid of things. It’s such dreadful slavery. Let’s be daring and adventurous and expectant. Let’s dance to meet life and all it can bring to us, even if it brings scads of trouble and typhoid and twins!” – LM Montgomery, Anne of Windy Poplars

Captive

31 May

I have been reading these posts by a friend on Facebook. That all-pervading presence that is social information personified.

She has had posts lately about feeling let down, being hurt by words, some said in malice and some said in joy – but joy she cannot share in. These are the advantages of blogging secretly. She is struggling with childlessness and it hurts to see other people’s joy.

We dramatise Hannah and Penninah as if Penninah was the worst woman alive, and Hannah the sweetest. But I think it would have hurt to know that Elkanah loved Hannah, that he kept giving her double portions out of love and concern for her. Now I don’t know how exactly bigamy works… Pretty sure I never want to. But I’m thinking if you really did love one woman, the other would have to come second. I suppose you could get away with several and kinda treat them all affectionately – but if you loved one woman, with all your heart, then she was different… And that must be a hundred different kinds of hurt!

I am in no pastoral position with this woman at all…

But my friend – I wonder if she is able to see the blessings she has. I look at her with nearly envy sometimes because she has two beautiful adopted kids and a very supportive husband (with the adoption and everything else) – and all my life, I’ve wanted to adopt.

I wonder if Hannah or Penninah ever stopped to wonder about the other person. And if they did, whether they accepted the status quo and gave their own family’s happiness their best shot. Or did those thoughts ever materialise into a different emotion? Did they ever change the way they lived their lives?

My friend’s friends – I wonder if they are able to see someone else’s pain.

I say this with 00 superiority. I sometimes do see other people’s pain and I still – get this – I still only try to remedy mine. They can deal with it, God – I’ve had that before.


These are fair responses. They’re healthy sometimes. It’s okay to say no sometimes.

But if the Holy Spirit dwells in you, then conviction will come of grace beyond human ‘normal’. Wisdom also comes from the same direction – above. And there is the process of extending grace. Reluctantly. Yet heartfelt. Because God won’t let go of you. But there is also the process of wisdom and knowing when grace needs to be extended inwards – towards yourself, towards letting yourself grieve. No – correction. Making yourself grieve. Understanding that God is acquainted with grief. That joy comes from a night of weeping. That God will replace the ashes you have, but you need to face them, gather them and surrender them.

So with grace and the wisdom to show grace to yourself, God begins to seep into the clenched muscles of your soul… He is able, because in that quiet place where wisdom leads you to give yourself space and to vocalise or to hear your own grief… You begin to hear God.

I think that we live in a world where instant gratification doesn’t just exist on the commercial front. Our lives, our community have become instant. But our community isn’t only a blog or a website away – the challenge is to live with the community God calls us to. And trust me – just when you think you’ve learned to live with them, God will pull you away and make you move. Or move those ones you counted on for comfort. Family – yes, but even they are no substitute.

Until you learn over and over again to find God-space. Because we don’t wage war the way the world does. And even our thoughts are subject to the knowledge of God. I find that so intriguing – knowledge of God? So we know what God knows? Or do our thoughts need to be the way they would be if we got more intimate with God? Or do we only have the knowledge that God ordains – and every other vain thing we put away?

Perhaps a bit of all. Perhaps as we gain intimacy with God, we know more of his heartbeat… we know more of the way he thinks… we learn more of the way he thinks OF and FOR our own personal lives. Every little experience, every person in our way – they help in that process. Knowing him more. Because he is relentless about pursuing this relationship with us. He doesn’t miss a chance. Perhaps as we learn more of the way he thinks… we begin to distinguish between the obvious and not-so-obvious solutions he gives us, and the obvious solutions the world gives.

But hearing him, seeking him is so integral to that. We think we sanitise our thoughts to him – but we don’t. He hears it all. And I’m not a grace-filled, loving, soft-spoken, tender Christian at his feet – I am the mess I bring and the mess I make. Dirty, ugly, and full of pain. Just as much as any other person. I leave a little less messy every time though. A little more glory in my face.

And it’s only when I stop running that I can bring every messy thought captive to the feet of the One I am called to know, through all of the phases of my life.

PS to the last one!

16 May

This whole concept of Biblical femininity and Biblical masculinity is kinda rubbing me the wrong way.

A woman is not any less a woman if she doesn’t sew, stay at home, bake cakes and dance (okay, okay, some sarcasm there…). A woman, in fact, in Proverbs 31 did quite a bit of marketing and business. She provides, she goes out and supplies the merchants with sashes, she goes out and markets her wares (!) and and and – she speaks. She gives “faithful instruction”. She – get this – “she watches over the affairs of her household”. She sounds like she’s pretty in charge.

And a man is not any less a man if he doesn’t bring home the bigger income, or doesn’t equate to his ‘machismo’. It worries me when evangelical preachers say things like ‘man up’ and ‘be a man’ in some situation, and make it a Biblical mandate. There is not a specific set of ‘male’ traits and ‘female’ traits that the Bible asks us to have and to follow. We’re denying creation – he made us male and female. We don’t make ourselves male and female in different ways. We emulate the character of God, we are the whole woman God called us to be or the whole man God called us to be.

This feeds in a little bit to the fact that much of the question of gender and sexuality is culturally fed. And we make it ‘Christian’ in a way that seems so harmless but is still dangerous, because it allows to subscribe to gender in way God did not ordain by the way we asses ‘how’ male and female we are.

‘Biblical masculinity’ and ‘Biblical femininity’ seem to engender proponents and telly evangelists and a plethora of bloggers who become overnight experts. For the record though, I’m not indiscriminately against people in these forums. 🙂 I know there are several husband-wife duos out there who do offer an honest account of their every day learning if they’re bloggers with humility and humour and authenticity (like her and him 🙂 ), or a well-thought out argument and often a sermon and teaching on the subject, like this wonderful couple whose teaching I used to love (although it’s been a while).

I have stereotypes. You could call them dreams even – going to a dance ;), being chauffeured around a bit, being given flowers and chocolate and having someone eventually think I’m perfect. You do too – don’t you? But the thing is I know they’re my wishes, I know they’re my desires, I know some of them are fed by Disney.

I do not make some of these things a Biblical mandate. But I know and I see how easy it can be to make them mandates, and how hard it is to pull out the tangled hairs and threads of culture and context from the nature of who God is. Yet it is our call to constantly engage in this activity, constantly probe and do a winnowing of our minds and understanding to see him ever more clearly. And even as I say this to you, I know we will never be truly perfect – until then.

Gender and all that – my half-formed thoughts on a page

14 May

I’ve been struggling for some days with the expression of this. This place of frustration because you so want to do some research and you have to wait for bureaucracy, this place of frustration because you wish Christians – and not just inter-church murals! – would relate to each other outside of theological niceties and interact as people and understand the image of God that is naturally and fluidly in each of us, this place of frustration because you want to say something and let your intellectual thought process go on but you’re afraid of stepping on toes.

Anyone’s toes really. I’ve had these thoughts on gender and sexuality and what is permissive and what is profitable and leadership in the church and relationships – can you see how I might step on anyone’s toes? And I don’t have a side to which I belong – I cannot say to you ‘Ok, I’m a liberal and if you’re going to be offended – stay clear’. I think I’m pretty conservative – but then conservatives are a weird breed and who knows how they (we?) might judge me?

There has been a lot of debate in Biola – a campus I am fairly familiar with through students – on sexual orientation. In my research on social science research projects and ethics, I came across a rather disturbing forum and a train of thought which I am itching to write about and parallel to current arguments. I like predicting people’s reactions and I am usually a fairly accurate guess. And I think they would react with horror that I could ever posit two things such as what I hope to and say that they were similar with good humanitarian ground. However, I think I will. And I’ll make my disclaimers known in good thesis statement fashion 🙂

Today however, I think I’ll stick to A TINY smattering of the oh-how-I-hate-calling-it-that egalitarian-complementarian debate. Actually, quite a few of the debaters are ranting against the terms. It doesn’t really have to be one or the other and a couple can well be equal as well as complementing to each other.

But for what it’s worth, before I even go into some of my ideas, I think that two people are purposed to come together and interact in the special, unique way that God made them. That’s why he only ever called you to one wife or husband – e designed us pretty neatly and uniquely, and he purposed us too. And some of us intellectual or regimented or well, seriously, more anal types need to realise that that is how God’s going to make it work. You go into it with no guarantees except that God called you both to be together, and there’s no changing that.

God could then overhaul your lives entirely. Speak to one or both of you, redefine your calling, or ask you to act on that instruction h gave you when you were 10 and you forgot all about. God could change your physical circumstances, or your mental even! And it is silly – and I often make this mistake, as a single – to think that it’s possible to get all your shots in order before the big day so that your life is sorted for the rest of eternity. I, of all people, should know the answer is ‘Never’ to the question: Since when has the Lord ever made things that easy?! Provision, yes. Love, yes. But trivial and easy lack of challenge – no.

Neither husband nor wife can take a decision FOR each other – unless that couple decides to do that equally and unequivocally for each other, and they take no decisions for themselves. It can’t be one partner taking every decision for the other, unless that is mutual. That undermines the value of each person that God has placed within them. If it were mutual – wow, what a testimony; but also man, that’s going to be hard! Hierarchy goes against the verses that speak of mutual submission and considering others better than yourself. You lay a claim to that authority OVER someone else (Mark 10:42), you immediately destroy the model of servanthood and leadership that God provides.

Paul’s use of the term ‘head’ is a rather complicated thing – no? It strikes me that over and over again, he overturns the image we have of a ‘leader’ in our heads. He makes it instead evident that the leaders are called to lay it down – him saying that to a culture of patriarchy would have been a pretty radical thing. Perhaps he was asking those husbands who had, as their culture dictated, held all authority until then to lay it down? He’s doing a pretty radical thing in the Corinthian church too when he asks women to be silent – women who’d never learned the language the Scriptures were taught in and sat to another side to gossip… Well, suddenly, they needed to shut up and listen. Women who came from a temple culture of matriarchy and female worship – Corinth. And then he kinda turns it upside down for the men in the political and male-dominated city which then became a pretty central spot for Christianity – Ephesus.

He compares the men to Christ, he uses the term ‘head’ in the same way he used it for Christ – and then he says, go do that. I think there is something to that model of headship. And I – personally – don’t think it defines bottom-line decisions but giving, and nurturing and making sure the other is benefited, can grow and can reach their full potential and glorify God best. I’ve been reading a few articles by NT Wright (<3) and Gordon Fee, Tim Keller (who is complementarian but one of the most egalitarian ones, apparently) and also Piper and Grudem, who are on the other side. Piper, however, is very nearly egalitarian too or seems to have become, in his later writings. And almost all of these people have constructions for how the verb ‘submit’ is not repeated with the word for women, but rather remains in the first injunction to both and then is extended to the next clause. Quite a few details like that.

*On a side note – I picked all men for my list of exegetes, intentionally, to avoid any accusation of bias :). It would be kinda cool, incidentally, to see an argument by all-women exegetes to explain this position (or even another topic) and even cooler to see a guy do it 😀 Okay, aside over.*

Bottom-line – there are two theological positions on this – both very clear, and both with a measure of persuasiveness. And I think that in reality, in the practical outworking of life, it will be up to the couple to choose to work their family in the way that serves and produces fruit for God best. In a way that makes use of the giftings of the husband, wife, and children not in any way that reduces the wife’s or the husband’s gift at all. I think I personally might need to remember that in pursuing my calling and my giftings to the exclusion of my husband’s – if that ever happens 🙂 – I have a very high degree of answerability and even blame before God for those things that my husband might miss out on. And I pray I have a husband who thinks likewise!

However, it could be hard if the man or the woman wants to be the authority and grasp for it consciously – it could be hard in that there will be pride on both sides and hurt and ineffectiveness.

TBC…

Hurting, healing and thoughts

27 Apr

I just read this and it hit where it hurts – where it heals. Lisa Gungor shares on how we can hold on to pain with our loved ones.

I’ve been struggling with this. At what point is it wise to remember the hurt and be wary of the person who hurt you? At what point is it wise to forget entirely? It is NEVER wise to hold a grudge – but is it ever just a sensible thing to remember some things…?

It hurts to say I have sometimes actually made that decision with family. Love them but leave them… But that is not Christianity – Christianity is instead security in Christ, that the hurt that someone else gives you will never erode you or change how beautiful you are. Because you are, you know – God is not mocked. And then Christianity is to have enough knowledge of how much love is poured into you to be able to then shed that love abroad (Rom 5:5) and let everyone else in your life have it in God-measures. Not to run away from the hurt but to stay vulnerable, and at the same time keep your identity separate from the hurt.

And – wow. I fall short.

I’m sitting here crying because I give love inadequately but I have received so many times over! For one thing, I’m sitting here crying because… Well, I miss my mum. God has given me a wonderful set of parents and my mum has been an amazingly understanding, perceptive mum. I miss some of my friends. I miss some of my sisters.

And I’m sitting here crying because I have God. And in so many different ways, because of him, I have love.

 

I pray today that I’ll learn to give love the way I am meant to. That I will learn to be vulnerable before people ask me to, that I will learn to not fear it when someone falls short of God’s standards, but keep recognising in them another like me. That I would learn to love.

Love stories – no, really

25 Apr

Some day I want a modified version of this – http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008695378_apwadyingtogether.html

Not the euthanasia part but almost everything else. I sometimes wonder if I am unromantic and realist about what I see in my life – and extremely idealistic about what I want and how I make certain things happen. It’s probably not just me. Problem much? 😀

So my unromantic and realist side tells me my grandparents were sometimes crotchety, definitely had a good share of weird (runs in the family and if not them, who else?!) and a give-and-take of good and bad times together. My grandfather was incredibly stubborn but very convinced that he was right and reading people right. My grandmother was a sweet old thing who smuggled the sugar for his daughters-in-law and their children when he boomed about excessive sugar usage.

You know? Random ridiculousness like that.

And yet, when she died – he kinda lost his edge. I don’t remember much booming. There was the ‘I’m an old man’ acknowledgement in him. My dad gets the same when my mum has been in the hospital. I want to think this thing is mutual even though women often outlive men in developed countries and I have fewer stories on the other side.

There is a story Ravi Zacharias uses in his book the Grand Weaver, telling us how God weaves the stories of our lives. God subtly makes director’s cameo appearances for those who don’t have an everyday conversation with him – but he’s definitely there. This is one reason why I lean towards the theory of intelligent design (but that’s a story for another time).

And I copy Ravi Zacharias’ retelling of a story in the Reader’s Digest, probably fiction but there are lessons I want in it in my life – and not just for my relationships with people but that All-Important Person in my life whom I live to serve. The two are not unconnected (and weren’t for my 14-year-old self, either, but that’s another story)

Fine tells how one bitterly cold day he stumbled upon a wallet on the street. It had just three dollars in it and a crumpled-up letter that obviously had been carried around for many years. The letter was dated sixty years earlier and began, “Dear Michael”. The beautifully written, sadly worded letter ended a romance because of a parent’s demands. The last line promised, “I will always love you, Michael,” and was signed, “Yours, Hannah.”

Fine decided to try to track down the owner of the wallet. Using Hannah’s address, still legible on the letter, he finally retrieved a telephone number. But when he called it, he was disappointed (though not surprised) to learn that Hannah and her family had long ago moved out of the house. The person on the other end of the line, however, knew the name of the nursing home to which Hannah’s mother had gone. So Fine called the nursing home and learned that Hannah’s mother was no longer living. When he told them what he he was trying to do, however, they gave him the address and telephone number they had on file for Hannah. He called the number and found out that Hannah herself now lived in a nursing home. Fine asked for the name of the home and found the phone number. Soon he was able to confirm that, yes, Hannah was a resident there. As soon as he could, Fine decided to visit the nursing home and try to talk with Hannah.

The director met him at the door and told him that Hannah was watching television on the third floor. An escort quickly took Fine there and then left. Fine introduced himself to Hannah and explained how he had found a letter in a wallet. He showed her the letter and asked if she was the one who had written it.

“Yes,” Hannah replied, “I sent this letter to Michael because I was only sixteen and my mother wouldn’t let us see each other anymore. He was very handsome, you know, like Sean Connery.” Fine could see both the twinkle in her eye and the joy on her face that spoke of her love for Michael. “yes, Michael Goldstein was his name. If you find him, tell him that I think of him often and never did marry anyone. No one ever matched up to him,” she declared, discreetly brushing tears from her eyes. Fine thanked her for her time and left.

As Mr. Fine was leaving the home, the security guard at the door asked him about his visit. He told the story and said, “At least I was able to get the last name from her. His name is Michael Goldstein.”

“Goldstein?” repeated the guard. “There is a Mike Goldstein who lives here on the eighth floor.” Fine turned around and went back inside, this time to the eighth floor, where he asked for Michael Goldstein. When directed to an elderly gentleman, he asked the man, “Have you lost your wallet?”

“Oh, yes, I lost it when I was out for a walk the other day,” Michael answered.

Fine handed him the wallet and asked if it was his. Michael was delighted to see it again and, full of gratitude to the finder, proceeded to thank him for returning it when Fine interrupted him.

“I have something to tell you,” Fine admitted. “I read the letter in your wallet.”

Caught off guard, Michael paused for a moment and then asked, “You read the letter?”

“Yes, sir, and I have further news for you,” Fine continued. “I think I know where Hannah is.”

Michael grew pale. “you know where she is? How is she?”

“She’s fine, and just as pretty as when you knew her.”

“Could you tell me where she is? I’d love to call her. You know, when that letter came to me, my life ended. I’ve never gotten married. I never stopped loving her.”

“Come with me,” said Fine. He took Michael by the elbow and led him to the elevator and down to the third floor. By this time, the director of the building had rejoined them. They came to Hannah’s room.

“Hannah,” the director whispered, gesturing toward Michael, “Do you know this man?”

She adjusted her glasses and looked at the man as she searched her memory bank. Then with a choked voice, Michael spoke up. “Hannah, it’s Michael.” She stood, as he walked over to her. They embraced and held on to each other for as long as they could stay steady on their feet. They sat down, holding hands, and between their tears they filled in the story of the long years that had passed. Feeling as though they had intruded on a sacred moment, Mr. Fine and the director slowly slipped away to leave the two alone to enjoy their reunion.

Three weeks later, Arnold Fine received an invitation to attend the wedding of Hannah, seventy-six years of age, and Michael, seventy-eight. Fine closed his story by saying, “How good the work of the Lord is.”

And I’ll credit Sarah for it too as hers was one of the best blogs I found it on.

I want that faithfulness. It is what God gives me. In fact, he gives us more. Hosea, anyone? He gives me that faithfulness even when I do not wait for him. And I want that desperation and resolve that I’ve got to hold on – that no one else matches up. I want that with God, I want that in my relationships too.

Things I’d love to try

21 Apr

Things I’d love to try (Pinterest invite anybody? :P):

Cake decorating with the set of tubes and bags and everything. I used to have one when I was little, and I don’t know what we did with them.

Going to Africa for a little bit (SD, if you’re reading this – I mean *a month or two* ONLY at the max) or having a job that allows me to travel there. I mean ‘try’ as in not because I want to see if I’ll like it. I’ll love it and hate it, but I’ll be kinda happy having done it. It might be off my list or it might give me ideas as to what to do with all the things that are in my head concerning East Africa, and all the other things in my life that are also awesome.

Actually put together a dress. Myself. With crude, unwieldy stitches but it’ll be home-made!

Watch this space for more 🙂

No other word…

18 Apr

So thankful for the cross tonight. Incredible, amazing sacrifice that took me as I was and still does.

I came to Christ as a child. That was fairly easy. Since then, though, I have not-quite-walked away but turned aside… Kinda like being at a party and taking so much pleasure in everyone else’s presence but that of the love of your life. Kinda like that.

Kinda like forgetting to smile into his beautiful face every day.

And then smiling back, because I know he’s never left my side.

Kinda like that. And today, I’m sitting here listening to Third Day’s Just To Be With You  and the Gettys’ Power of the Cross and crying like a baby.

No other word but love…

He is so alive.

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