And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. Genesis 1:6-8
So last night I picked up Jincheng from downtown stage crew and he was very much tired and a little bit cold because we were waiting for each other in different parts of behind the Leo Rich theatre. And when he got in the car I asked, “How was it?” and he said, “It was boring,” and I apologized and said that I was sorry that I signed him up for stage crew because I had thought that it would be something different and interesting.
And I take that all back. I woke up this morning with a clear fire-in-my-belly understanding that what Jincheng needs in his life more than anything else right now is to be bored. He is never bored because he is always plugged into a fake electronic world of flexible thumbs and swirling colors and probably lots of shooting and blasting rockets and he blocks out everything that is real and true and beautiful and growing and big under the expanse of Heaven.
And luckily I had one of those wow-I-have-no-papers-to-grade-no-dishes-to-wash moments last night and John who now lives with us gave me a book to read: Being Wrong. A great book that I could pretty much underline every single word in its 339 pages. And I thought it was kind of funny but really very true that Kathryn Schultz couldn’t really cite wikipedia in her notes but she did acknowledge that although everyone knows it is a pretty questionable resource, no one could write anything today without it. And the main point is that, boy, have I been wrong thinking ol’ Jincheng could break out of his prison with just a few pep talks. He is totally stuck and doesn’t even know what lies outside of his small blinking screen. And there is a whole expanse waiting for him, a glorious vastness.
And so I am going to wade in and yank the plug. And really I know I have all of the weight on my side of the rope; unless something dramatic happens immediately he will have to return home with a stack of failure notes to his big family rock pile that he dreads more than anything, running an import export marble factory. And I will have failed with this perfectly sweet young man who simply has no idea about life. Who sits in the car when I go into the grocery store because he is terrified of all foods except for white hot dog buns and red apples. And In and Out burgers. Who trailed around Downtown Saturday Night behind Mr. Greet Life with a Huge Smile and Everything is Glorious and a Delight and Flavorful Giovanni tapping on his screen. And I had to snatch his phone from his fingers while we were crossing the Brooklyn Bridge on a bright blue sky with just a few heaping clouds so that I could take a picture for him to send home.
And maybe I could a little cord yanking of my own. So very big this God, who speaks. And it was so. Who never fails.
God is patient, God is kind. He does not envy, He does not boast, he is not proud. He is not rude, He is not self-seeking, He is not easily angered, He keeps no record of wrongs. God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
God never fails.