…and i did not know it

i’ve never been very good at waiting.

maybe it’s the visionary in me, the one who sees the end before the beginning and doesn’t know how to get there. perhaps it’s because i’m an idealist, with an incredibly strong sense of how things should be in the world. or maybe it’s just because i’m human, messy flesh and a heart that beats and bleeds and feels, feels, feels it all, all at once, with intensity so fierce it can take my breath away.

and so i tend to struggle with the present, with the right here and right now, with digging my feet in and sucking the marrow from the moment. so often i know where i’m going, but i’m weary of the journey. i just want to arrive.

these days, i find myself living in the tension of the in-between. i read the scriptures and i remember the israelites, those who caught a glimpse of the promised land, of their canaan of plenty; of those who were eager to enter but instead found themselves caught in perpetual wandering, year after year in the desert that looked nothing like what they had hoped for.

like when i got news from liberia that janet was quite sick, had been for two weeks, and she didn’t want to take her medicine. and though a friend was there to care for her and bring her to see a doctor, i felt a twinge in my heart, a slight ache, a longing to draw her close and pray for her healing and urge her to accept the medicine that was only going to help, not hurt. i should be there; i want to be there. but i’m not. i’m here instead.

or when i daydream of my wedding day, of a white dress and a man of tender strength and vows under open skies, before a covenant-God. some days, the fairy tale seems so near, so close that my heart could reach out and grasp it. i should be there; i want to be there. but i’m not. i’m still waiting, still in the not yet, and it’s hard.

and i think again of those israelites, of a cloud and a pillar of fire, of water from a rock and manna, the mystery-sustenance from heaven. God inhabited even their wandering. how can i not think he inhabits mine also? here, now. in this place and in this moment. yes, the desert and the waiting and the wandering:: even this is sacred space; even this is holy ground. like scales falling from the eyes, cobwebs from the musty parts of my faith-laid-dormant, the truth seeps in. and i see, and i know.

“surely the Lord is in this place, and i did not know it.” [genesis 28.sixteen]Image
                                              (Photo by Lis Ferla, Creative Commons)


One thought on “…and i did not know it

  1. Amen! That is so true. He is not only with you in the mountaintops, He is with you in the valley, in the pain, in the mundane, in the ordinary and in the waiting. He’s with you always and will never leave you. Thank you for the reminder.

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