The Lord comes in the transitions. He redeems in the wretched weariness of grief. He rescues the lost in the darkest hour and positions His sons and daughters as vessels for His will, His goodness.
Approaching the midnight hour, between what was and what will be, a long-suffering Believer arises in the hour of his restlessness, fixes some soup and sits, only to bow his head and meet His Maker. God comes in the transitions; in the in between moments of light passing to dark to Eternal Light again.
And we are left to cover Him with mercy and look for the window where we can bask in the sunlight of the promise of more mercy. The sun rises up and God gives us a new day and another purpose. Our prayers are specific and quick and God numbers each tear and places them in a jar of His amazing grace. It swells, saturated from years, yet every one is absorbed into His own Heart.
Redemption flies in like the flock of sparrows chirping in the tree outside the door. She does not recognize herself, what was expected yet she did not expect, that for everything there is a season. Yet something draws her to ask.
I listen. I pray. We're all separated from him now and we grieve.
We're all separated from Him and He grieves for our own return.
She knows of Him, but never met Him. I introduce Him, the one who called her husband home.
"I believe, she says. He was a believer, but I...how can I do this? I don't know..."
Jesus came to break that separation, to fill us with hope for each new day...
that day called tomorrow that seems empty, the hour coming that seems impossible, the minute next that reminds us.
Grace flies in on wings of eagles and hope comes too, knowing she'll be recognized by her prince and by her King. She repeats her question again and I answer again.
...answer and reassure her again.
She asks her son if he believes because she never told him, she never taught him. "Yes mom, God is good."
And He does for us the same when we doubt, dwell in fear, garnish a moment of ungrace, reveal our own scarred flesh and want to reopen and reinfect those wounds.
We bring her into our home. We partake in the Divine dinner and are filled with the sustenance of service of the Body of Christ.
She looks for him in the dark of the unknown, calls out his name.
The Lord calls out for us, the one lost sheep, and he guides us back to the protection of the flock.
The next day, she does what she knows, what she loves, nurturing the garden, culling the old leaves, pulling the weeds popping up. The Lord sees her without a blemish and the weak will be made strong as I watch her break up the ground as if she is ready to plant.
Night comes again, that loneliness of unrest and confusion. Her grandson is called by an angel to go on a mission, but that is not the real mission. In his return, awake and available to intervene, God places him at the right time to usher in safety, protection and mercy.
A conversation happens. Insight. Clarity. Compassion, Understanding, Grace. Words I will hold onto forever. In her memory, it disappears in the morning mist and fog that hangs heavy in her mind. She readies herself to hear the Word of the Lord, to be in His House for the first time as a Believer.
Dad sings in the choir now.
A recent memory of him I will treasure; this last Christmas Eve, standing steady next to me, holding his unlit candle ready for the light of another to touch his, and singing every word, "Silent Night...," "O Come All Ye Faithful."
Faith, the Scripture tells us, starts as small as a mustard seed, a bird seed. Yet Redemption is infinity, forever, unmeasurable. We plant it in deep, in the broken-up hard ground He promises to soften. The gardeners gather around our plot in life to tend to us, and His Word seeps into the ground to find the seed and begin the sanctification of our lives, no matter how long we've waited, how long we have left. We ask for the tools, the wisdom to turn towards the SONshine, live and thrive in His Goodness, gather in the rays and wait until our own time of Harvest comes around.
Thank you Lord. I am grateful to know the HOPE and PROMISE of a loving Savior. I am grateful that You allow us to be Your servant in the dark and into Your marvelous Light.
God is good all the time and all the time God is good. You are my Prince of Peace. Amen.
Journal Questions for response or written thought: Where has God given you clarity in the darkness of your life?
When has a memory given you insight into something you sought an answer for?
Do you know the Prince of Peace? Do you need Him tonight, in your own darkness?