Monday, July 4, 2016

The Lord is Truly Our Source of Refreshment

Help! I lost my car and we are on the verge of losing our sanity on this wild ride called wedding planning and marriage preparation. When we make it to the altar, we are going to be throwing our arms up in the air and shouting “Victory! We did it!” Well, okay, not really, but our hearts will be that jubilant at least! We’ve waited, hoped, dreamed, waited some more, planned and learned to share everything with one another so that now what remains is one thing:
  “Set me as a seal on your heart, as a seal on your arm” (Song of Songs 8:6)
  “And the two shall become one flesh” (Mark 10:8)
  “Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate,” (Mark 10:9)
  “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it,” (Genesis 1:28)

And this weekend’s Gospel charges us with our continued and now joint mission as disciples of Jesus Christ by rite of our baptism. Christ sends his apostles out in pairs and reminds us of our duty as citizens of the eternal kingdom to spread the light of Christ into our families, city, our nation and our world: 
  “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few,” (Luke 10:2)
  “I am sending you like lambs among wolves” (3)
  “Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals” (4)
  “Whatever town you enter…say to them, ‘The kingdom of God is at hand for you.’” (8)

Yes, God is HERE among us! In fire, in wind, in water, in air. His is the light of love we share, the inspiration that guides us to create new things each day, the refreshment of our souls and the life that we breathe, that sustains us. He is our comfort amidst the daily stress of work and planning and responsibilities. 

That the Lord is our source of refreshment became evident this weekend as we sat in church, hugged round by the beautiful columns and held up in the structure, listening to the Word of God. Here God's holy humor and happiness attacked us on every side, and try as we might to suppress laughter, it seeped through anyway in our radiant smiles, a sign of the pure joy it is to just "be" together, as Robert said, without any "doing." The sacred chant of the choir and bellowing organ, our dear Dominican priest preacher, and the bliss of Holy Communion provided a nonstop flow of inspiration and peace flooding through my heart. “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you,” our Lord reassured us in the 1st reading from Isaiah 66.

We’ve been moving Robert into our soon-to-be home. One night after moving some furniture with his buddies, he picked me up for an impromptu late night date in a flatbed truck he was borrowing. He walked up to my door wearing his leather shoes, jeans and leather belt, jean jacket and Kavu baseball cap. Off we drove with the radio turned up and the manual windows rolled down, and I fell in love all over again… As we stopped at a gas station to fill up the tank, he leaned into the open passenger side window and declared with a grin, “You are a country girl. I can tell!”

Yes, my roots are in the country, but since losing my car, I have become one acquainted with the city via the Metro bus, Uber, rides from friends and dependence on my own two legs to get to the places I need to go. It’s afforded me the necessity to walk the city more. It’s the full initiation into Seattle city life before I leave it, and I am grateful for that. It's the culminating factor in dissolving my fears of living in the city as God has stripped me of my last security blanket of the car, of my independence, and I have had to become brave and do things that scare me because I wouldn’t choose them otherwise. It’s the Lord showing me how to go the right way on the bus (for more about that, click here) and to depend on Him. 

This Sunday's Scriptures are reassuring for us all, for although the disciples had nothing – no money, no car, no traveling bag – they had each other, and they had the power and zeal of the Gospel. That was all they needed. It was enough. They had the power to become all they were meant to be in Christ their strength, Christ their hope, and Christ their place of rest. 

In the end, my friends, God's behind the wheel. Let him do the driving. If we still have Him, we haven't lost anything.