Is This Child For Real?

I heard some movement in my bedroom last night. I stirred and sat up to find Tyler kneeling next to my bed, his head rested on his folded hands.

“It’s okay, Mommy. I’m just praying for you.”

“You are?”

“Yes. I am asking God to give you good rest and a good night and so many good dreams.”

I Am in this day.

I am.
I am a mom.
I am single.
I am a writer.
I am comfortable.
I am in this day.
I am free.
I am free to sing, dance, date, love, feel.
I am a teacher.
I am a thinker.
I am a menu planner.
I am the mom of a six-year-old.
I am the mom of an eight-year-old.
They will only be these ages now. Only this year.
I am healing.
I am whole.
I am loved.

Some of these things are true always, some of them only for this year, some of them only on this day.  Still, these are the things I am.

I have been thinking of God’s words when Moses asked, “Whom shall I say has sent me?”

God said, “Tell them I AM has sent you. I AM who I AM.”

He is in this day with me.
So, who am I, based on who he is?
What does he have for me today
that is only available in this day,
not next week, next year, or any other time.

I am in this day.

I AM is in this day.

A Cry for Mercy

A Cry for Mercy

Have mercy on me, O God,
because you promise your love never fails;
because your eyes look gently upon me,
please wash away my stains.
See me as clean.

I have sinned against you.
This will always be true,
a decision that will follow me forever.
My heart is tainted; my spirit is weak.
Give me a heart that is clean and pure.
Give me a spirit that will sustain me.

I am embarrassed to come before you.
Please don’t send me away,
but remind me that – by your mercy – I am welcome here.
Open my mouth.
Give me a melody,
give me a word,
and I will declare your praise.

I would bring you everything I have,
but these don’t matter to you.
Even if I burn my favorite things in your honor,
you would not be pleased.
These I bring to you: a broken heart and a sorrowed spirit.
These, I pray, you will cherish.

~ Adapted from Psalm 51

Sometimes, it can’t happen this side of Heaven.

There’s a knot in my stomach because I’d rather keep these words hidden in my journal, but I think I need to post them.  God, I send these words out in your name, that they may land where you will have these seeds planted.

Here goes.

 

Some relationships cannot and should not be restored this side of heaven.

When David cried out to God for mercy, God forgave him.  But he did not erase the consequences. Grace runs freely; consequences remain.

Sometimes a broken relationship remains a safeguard for everyone involved: if it is fixed, then the people involved could overlook, forget, or minimize the shrapnel of a battle scene.

There is a reason we remember.  Grace abounds.  Consequences remain.

Forgiveness is not restoration. And some relationships cannot be restored this side of heaven.

This and That and Marriage in Heaven

I love the chronological bible. It’s more like reading a novel, like hearing things as they happened, in the order they happened, and hearing what everyone had to say about that no matter when they lived or died or prophesied. Seriously. Revolutionary to my biblical understanding.

Today I’m reading about the Sadducees (a.k.a. self righteous punks who wanted to catch Jesus in a mistake and thereby strip him of all credibility), when they came to Jesus with the question about the widow.

I love this, ’cause I can just picture it.

“Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and have children for his brother.”

Let’s take a moment and be thankful this rule is no longer in play. No need to go disrupting Robb’s brother’s family with a second wife who wants to have more kids who will now be simultaneously nieces and nephews and brothers and sisters and daughters and sons. Have a crack at that family tree.

“Now there were seven brothers. The first one married the woman and died childless. The second and then the third married her…” Good grief! The poor woman of the story, widowed over and over. And over. And the Sadducees don’t stop there. Oh, no. Three dead husbands wouldn’t be enough to illustrate the complication of the issue.

“…and the same thing happened to all of the husbands, right down to the seventh brother. Finally the woman died too.”

I bet she sure did.

“At the resurrection, when all of these men are alive in heaven, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?”

Jesus first answer, paraphrased, is, “You’re all wrong. You don’t know the Bible, and you don’t know the power of God.” And that right there, I would think, is reason enough to stop asking him the complicated math questions. Because he’s going to keep calling you out with his wise answers, you ding-dongs.

Then Jesus gives them his answer: “In heaven, people will neither marry nor be given in marriage.”

His next sentence says ‘they will be like angels,’ and I don’t really understand what that means so I’m just going to focus on the first part: No marriage in heaven.

This never made sense to me in my married years. I was so puzzled: why would God give this man to me – only me – on earth, if in heaven he’ll belong to anyone and everyone? Why don’t the married years count, like an investment you get to cash in when you get to heaven?

But I get it now, at least with a little more clarity.

I think the ultimate goal of marriage is pure intimacy. It’s knowing one another from across the room, knowing the history and the preferences, remembering what he’s good at and what her gifts are. It’s the purity of loving each other in an untainted place, where nobody can change your mind about how much you love this person. And I think we get a taste of heaven in a relationship where we know each other inside and out, we continue to learn about one another, and we are perpetually interested in learning more.

In heaven, maybe this kind of intimacy will be true in every relationship. At first that baffles me, making me feel like all my relationships will run together if they are defined the same way.

But then I think about how I have no two friendships that are the same, no two friends who bring the same kinds of joy and presence to my life, no person who is replaceable with someone else. And I see how all these unique shades and hues bring color to my life.

So if that’s the case in heaven, if I will know how to love everyone with a holy, sacred intimacy, and if they in turn will love me to the same degree, and we all get to hang out with Jesus and have great meals and stellar parties, then sign me up.

You should come too.