I hadn’t seen a jetty before. Not in my thoughts of God. Not in my lofty spiritual pursuits nor in desperate pleas for my longings to be fulfilled. Jetties don’t belong there. Not there.
I hadn’t seen a jetty before. Not in my thoughts of Jesus. Not in my lofty spiritual encounters nor in desperate pleas for him to show himself. He didn’t belong there. Not there– so I thought. Yet like the man who playfully swung the keys to death and hades on the road to Emmaus, Jesus decided to saunter into my first month of this hard year. And he showed up in a place I thought I had to forget.
In December I found myself in the Australian bush at a camping spot that my older brothers had told countless stories about. For myself, it wasn’t Christmas break without tents, so when our family friends spontaneously asked me if I wanted to hop along for the night– I shyly, eagerly whispered yes! So on a Sunday morning I found myself literally by “still waters” (apart from the occasional ripple when the boat zoomed by). I just wanted to soak it in, because I knew those were precious moments… few and fast disappearing.
Chloe and I jumped off jetty-posts into the tea-tree infused water and I laughed like hadn’t done after a year of university work. Later, just like Abbey and I team-work wrestled to stuff the tent back in its bag, I struggled to stuff away the memories of such a trip. I started school back in New Zealand and had been instructed by the Holy Spirit to “press on” and forget the former things. So I tried, even in worship, on Monday night back in Tauranga.
Yet as I sat on that blue chair, arms on knees and hair cascading down to hedge me in– I saw a jetty.
And I discovered that Jesus did not want me to forget one thing–
he satisfied my soul with good things.
I have moments where I don’t get it. Or I don’t believe it. Or when “heaven taunts the hearts of men” (Vapor, The Liturgists) and I find myself shocked– that he would be so plain excited and carefree when I’m so bogged down with my list of stuff to do. I guess “my yoke is easy and my burden light” is pretty offending. However, he shocked me again, this morning. So I’m trying to carry on a conversation with him on paper, struggling in early-morning haze. Then my mind “gets distracted” with a memory of the secondhand bookstore in my hometown, my little haven. I try to shove the snapshot out– then cry, because it hurts too much to remember those spots of love, and how far away I am now.
Yet not in my lofty spiritual pursuits or desperate pleas for my longings to be fulfilled, did I ever expect to see him poke his face out behind that far bookshelf…
…and he was excited?! Even more than that day I found a 1952 navy-blue edition of Pride and Prejudice?! It’s like he had something to show me, that gleeful “come on”. But, of course–
“Shut up, Jesus,” was my knee-jerk reaction from pain and the practice of forgetting.
He wasn’t offended.
Holy Spirit just whispered,
All you’ll be able to see is the splash.
Photo Credit: Natalie Neubauer, Fujifilm Instax: Myalls Lakes, NSW, Australia.