My friend just moved from our hometown of Vancouver all the way across the world to Italy. She packed up her clothes and her photos and her world, and is diligently building a life for herself there.
It’s a strange thing, to have your best friend live a million miles away. Our whole lives were spent stuck to each other’s hip, quite literally. Our friends knew us as a duo. We went to the same school from Grade 1 until college. We look nothing alike, even though we’re related (and not just in a “you’re my soul sister” kind of way, we’re actually cousins). So not only did we share friends and schools, we also share a family. I’m used to her being around for a movie night, for Sunday afternoons, for Saturday walks. I know her voice and her presence as well as I know my own – maybe that’s what they mean when they say people become a part of you.
I’ve always believed that your most beloved people are tattooed to you permanently, that they can’t be separated from you by large bodies of water and day-long airplane rides, and I believe it even more strongly now.
I’ve written before about the tension that seems to exist in our world, where we have both blueberry pancakes and brussel sprouts, both Saturday evenings and Monday mornings, both weddings and funerals. We’re a people known for their joys as well as their pains, humanity a long twisted string of good and bad all tangled together. And so this is what we were talking about as she was sitting in the Toronto Pearson airport, the excitement about starting something new and the hurt of leaving everything comfortable, both things existing at once, all jumbled up.
It reminded me of God, and maybe these tensions exist because there is sin in the world, yes, but maybe they also exist because we reflect our Creator in more ways than one, and He is the be all end of holding every piece of creation together.
He is the God who calls to Elijah in a whisper and comes to Moses as a flame.
He is the God who rode in on a donkey, and then began flipping tables in the church.
He is both the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the God who both was and is and is to come.
He is the king of Kings and the servant who washed his disciple’s feet.
He holds all of these attributes in his hands. He makes his dwelling place the surrendered human heart, and so we find him in back alley brothels and Sunday morning church services, in 24 hour diners and on street corners and in airplanes and in soup kitchens and wherever the least expected place you think you’d find God.
He is both in the devastation of Friday afternoon and the joy of Sunday morning.
I don’t want that means for you, if it means you can see who God is in a different light, if it means some of your questions are answered – what it does for me is allow me to breathe easier. He’s the good in all things, even if all things may not be good.
See you along the way.