Monday, February 27, 2017

The sense of the whole.

Satisfy us by Your loving-kindness in the morning; so shall we rejoice and be glad all the days of our life. Psalm 90:14

Friday night I picked up Ali at the airport. And as the car hit the groove of the familiar stops and turns, a wealth of memories tumbled open. So many trips back and forth to Tucson International Airport. So many smiles and hugs and stories.

And so many years ago we gathered at the bottom of the escalator holding a “Welcome to America” sign. And Ali and I sat up until two in the morning, remembering some, but certainly not all of the twisting turning moments that opened up onto unexpected vistas.

Tuesday he takes his citizenship test, and maybe the judge will swear him in right then and there.

But that was just the trickle before the thundering cataract. Last night I went to the wedding of one of my kiddos. And it was a small gathering of mostly family. And the gang of boys now men who first formed in middle school and have hung in there for some ten plus years. And me.

One by one each one of them made their way to where I was sitting and we remembered. The pebbles tossed into their lives from which ripples still spread. Who could ever guess that making a recalcitrant reader sit in the principal’s office that afternoon and read his assignment during recess would be credited with forming a lifelong love affair with books? Or me forcing writes and rewrites proved I believed in a very unhappy seventh grader? Or the Mexicali adventures. Crazy stories certainly not stacked on any of my brain’s memory shelves.

And the whole evening was a celebration of this very loving kindness of our Father. His overflowing goodness coursing even through the driest, most prickly desert passages of life.

And oh, my heart is glad. He is faithful and good.

That was yesterday’s sermon as well. That no matter our bleak immediate circumstances, our joy is founded on His faithfulness and His goodness.

And He never fails.

May I be satisfied, up and overflowing in the morning, so I shall be glad and rejoice the whole day through.  

Although not one of us has any idea of what lies beyond the curve.

In a few minutes I will be interviewing for a summer position in Erbil, Iraq, to teach Instruction to English teachers. Who knows?

Last night I swung by Home Depot during what turned out to be closing hours, but the parking lot guard ran in and grabbed a handful of paint stirrer sticks for my kiddos’ swords in the opening scene of Romeo and Juliet. Who knows?

My momma’s little cough has somehow turned into six days of pneumonia at Tucson Medical Center and maybe they will at last release her to go home today. Who knows?

He does.

For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

Is death the passage from the successive to the simultaneous–that is, from time to eternity? Shall we then understand, in its unity, the poem or mysterious episode of our existence, which till then we have spelled out phrase by phrase? Is death like the arrival of a traveller at the top of a great mountain, whence he sees spread out before him the whole configuration of the country, of which till then he had had but passing glimpses? To be able to overlook one’s own history, to divine it meaning in the general concert and in the divine plan, would be the beginning of eternal felicity. Till then we had sacrificed ourselves to the universal order, but then we should understand and appreciate the beauty of that order. We had toiled and labored under the conductor of the orchestra; and we should find ourselves become surprised and delighter hearers. We had seen nothing but our own little path in the mist; and suddenly a marvelous panorama and boundless distances would open before our dazzled eyes. Why not? –Henri-Frédéric Amiel