Sunday, April 5, 2009

Until Now Ramblings

I am experiencing record-breaking emotions registering off the scale... because... I don't know. I've burst into tears today a grand total of... I have no idea. Almost every little thing has caused my eyes to mist or spill emotion throughout the day.

All is well here. No, better than well... we are supremely blessed beyond anything that we could ask or imagine. I'm not depressed. On the contrary, I'm hopeful. In fact, I'm filled with wonder... awe. I'm overcome with... {sigh... another lingering sip of my chamomile tea... blot the salty trickle making its way down my right cheek... I'm a mess...}

I'm overcome with God's goodness. His faithfulness. His miracles. His mercy.

I'm curious "what He's up to." You see, since January, when my girlfriend and I were discussing Romans Chapter one together, two words keep playing over and over in the back of my head. Two words that got stuck like a scratched CD, "Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now)..." Romans 1:13 until now... until now...

I honestly don't remember much else from our conversation. That was January 7th. I breathed a prayer down deep inside of me, a prayer not voiced, simply exhaled, slowly, as I considered, "...what, Lord? what is it?" Inhale. Exhale, "...what... until now...?"

Paul wrote in his letter to his friends in Rome, "...I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now)..."

For the last month or so the boys and I have been meditating, lingering, reading with long pauses in between, passionate discussions ensuing, on Isaiah 53. Then we celebrated Palm Sunday. Moved into Passion Week. Onto what Germany calls Gr√ľndonnerstag (Green Thursday). We went to the Maundy Thursday service at Trinity Baptist Church, paused our agendas to take communion together, and remember Christ's last supper on the eve of his crucifixion. And to write that word feels... awkward... strange. Crucifixion.

The boys kept coming up with scenarios, each trying to put into a visual... "that's like saying..." Each of them comparing the most perfect innocence taking the punishment for the most vile, corrupt. Then the stark suddeness of His holiness, our messiness, our desperate need.

Good Friday began with the echo of the "clackers" and the children's voices throughout the villlage. In Germany, the bells are silenced from Friday morning until Easter morning. In lieu of the church bells, the children walk in clusters down the streets, rattling wooden boxes like pebbles churning inside. Friday night the boys slept over at their friend's house -- making a grand total of 14 boys -- while LeRoy, Israel, and I settled in for a quiet evening.

We eased into Saturday morning. LeRoy and I drank not one, but two cups of coffee together and conversed in complete sentences. Israel paced, lamenting she had "no one to play with," asking when we could go pick up her brothers.

And all the while, "...until now" whispers.

I have a favorite plaque hanging on my wall. It was a high school graduation gift, handmade by my Uncle Gordon.

"...He Hath Made Everything Beautiful in its Time..." its time... in its time... until now... timing is everything... His timing is everything... He works all things together for good to them that love Him and keep His commandments... made everything beautiful... in its time...

The Old Testament prophecies and fulfillment thereof. His life for mine. He bought me... with His blood. Because of Him I can trade in my burial clothes for resurrection garments.

Until now...

Oh that I might take all my until nows up until now and all tomorrow's until nows and, "Look full in His wonderful face;" that "the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace."

That my life, my "often planned to..." desires, my dreams... that I might live boldy, passionately... that His plans will come to fruition...

"He hath made everything beautiful in His time..." (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

...and I continue to grapple with this extraordinary grace...


  1. I love you, you inspire me so and feel me with such joy and hope. I am so glad you are my friend. I will say it worried me at first to hear you are NEVER do that. But, I times I am overcome with the thought that I am loved that much. That one would sacrifice for me. Me? It is awe inspiring. Love you.

  2. Until now...

    Wow. I think that every "until" in the Bible deserves the meditation, the baptism of thought that this one has here. Until now... the tipping point...

    Can't wait for more essays!