If this fire and loss of my father has taught me anything, it is that in light of eternity, very little matters in this temporal world. I don’t say that lightly. I don’t say that with pompous airs of detached stoicism. I say that from the trenches of gut wrenching tears and an agony that leaves you unable to breathe. I say that from the underside of the mud in my face, from the taste of my own blood in my mouth, from the bruised knees to which I have fallen. I say that from the place of stripping and knowing in the nakedness, the shame of this life is nothing compared to the glory of his presence. The beauty of his face, the knowledge of an eternity with the Desire of the Ages is going to be worth all the pain and suffering this life can bring. Those are not just words but an ever nearing reality.
What do any of us have to say to each other when the world as we know it is crashing and fading, and falling and shifting? When we can’t look back and point to anything standing saying “this is irreplaceable…truth, stuff, belonging, being” the message of this hour is actually quite simple in it’s terrifying narrowness: “Do you know your God, does he know you?”
It is 30 seconds to midnight, do I have oil and some to spare the long darkness? Or will I be sent away to discover the truth only too late, and be shut out from the closeness of his presence?
Have I heard my name upon his lips? What does the sound of his voice feel like? What is the rhythm of his heart? What moves him in this hour?
The message is simple. Am I my Beloved’s? Is He mine? It is no longer a matter of debate or theological argument. Either I am madly in love as a bride espoused to the groom of her youth, having learned to “love one another as I have loved you ” or, I have grown bored in the waiting and turned to other things to occupy my time trusting that the fiery affections of my first love will be there when I need it.
It is 30 seconds…where am I? What is my message?