Sunday, 15 November 2015

Waiting for the sun to rise - #comequicklylordjesus

Just a short time ago when cutting flowers this fall, I frequently found myself looking eastward for the rising of the sun - especially on days when the morning dew had fallen more heavily on the plants, and when temperatures hovered a few degrees above freezing. Slowly, and with predictable precision, the sun would rise above the row of pine trees along my field's perimeter; and finally I would feel its promised warmth on my back...and on my hands. Aching hands that from the cold and dew resembled more like claws frozen in time (think of an eagle's talons on the wall of a taxidermist) than that of dexterous and flexible appendages they were made to be! It never took too long - once the sun rose above the trees and its warmth penetrated my gloves - for my hands to return once again to full usefulness. And, it could never happen soon enough.
 

I was reminded of these cold mornings spent in the flower field during a recent meeting. The facilitator read aloud Psalm 130 as a prelude to our round-table discussion. And, when he read verse 6, "I wait for the Lord, more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning", it made me wonder if my longing for the autumn sun to rise in my field was similar to the author's 'waiting' for the morning. Did his body ache from 'waiting' as my hands ached to be relieved from the cold? Much like the sun being the only salve to my discomfort, was he racked with an internal longing like a homesickness that only a mother's touch can relieve?

I wonder. I wonder, too, if my childhood minister's prayerful plea, "Come quickly, Lord Jesus", had a tinge of homesickness and bodily ache like that I imagine of the psalmist. It was the prayer that I recall causing me - a pre-ten year old boy - to recoil with fear. Each time he prayed it, I had the same thoughts - Jesus, don't come yet, because I have so much to do. (With all the singing I heard they do in heaven it didn't sound to appealing to a pre-teenaged boy!) But Sunday after Sunday, no matter how much internal pleading went on inside my head for him not to, Reverend Zantingh would say those words in his prayer, "Come quickly, Lord Jesus". It was a plea, and, sometimes to my horror, he even said it twice.

Strange though, how almost 40 years later, my pastor's plea for Jesus to return quickly has become my plea. It feels like a yearning - like frozen hands aching for the sun to rise. It feels like the separation anxiety that a young boy experienced during his first days of kindergarten. It feels like the homesickness of an 11 year old boy that longed to be in the comfort of his own home. I know...I was that boy.

If you're waiting for the sun to rise,
for floods to recede,
for hearts to thaw,
for heartaches to heal,
for loneliness to dispel, 
for forgiveness to fall,
for peace to endure,
for laughter to ensue,
for tears to dry,
then wait, wait for the Jesus' return.

Like God's promise found in the presence of a rainbow, I know of no greater hope and promise for the future of humankind than Jesus' return.

#comequicklylordjesus #comequicklylordjesus