Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Missing His Face

It's not new news--we undertook a little project last April. We decided to build our own house as opposed to having one built or buying one already finished. Those of you who know us well are probably keenly aware of this endeavor since many of you assisted along the way. The reason we wanted to build was because we've lived in houses built by other people 's hands for other people's needs before. We've renovated those homes to make them fit into our lives; we've suffered through closets big enough for mice and toilets that never felt like flushing when guests came over. We've coated pepto-bismol colored walls with more palatable hues and we've attempted to infuse character and charm into standard issue pre-fab boring designs more than once. So this time, we designed the entire thing; we put ourselves into every single two by four and nail in this home. There is no room untouched by our choices and vision. There is not a closet or a cupboard or a corner that we did not think through and choose exactly the way it would look and what function it would serve. None. Nada. In fact the more we got into building the more we wanted to infuse into every shred of the home our personality, our mark, our plan. And in the end, it's like we are omnipresent in this home. We're everywhere. And here's the interesting part, if you know us--really know Jeff and Sarah--you see us in every detail of the home. But if you don't know us well, you'd walk through this house and completely miss our faces and our hearts in the bead board, the antiqued cabinets, the vintage pieces, the wooden counters. You'd walk right through and completely miss us. Here's what gets me--I think it's really easy for me to do that with God--entirely miss His face and heart in my life. There's a passage in Jeremiah 23 that reminds me of this: "Do you people think that I am some local deity and not the transcendent God?" the Lord asks..."Do you not know that I am everywhere?" the Lord asks." The transcendent God. Isn't that beautiful? When the morning's first rays of light transcend into a room it almost glows--it's not invasive light, it's a light that speaks gently, "I am here. Do you not know that I am everywhere? " When the darkness of life seems to hide the light of God can't you just hear your Father asking you that question? He is here. Now. While you read this blog, He is speaking into your heart, "Don't miss me. Don't miss my face. I'm with you. I'm in the circumstances you face. I'm in the predicaments you are in. I'm in the faces of your children and I'm in your job. I'm in your schooling and I'm in your friendships. I'm in your marriage. I will never leave. Never." But so often we don't see Him because we don't know, I mean really know Him or worse, we've forgotten what the face of God is like. When we lose the man we married to a disease that took him far too young we struggle to find the face of God in the ripping apart of our heart. When the child we raised begins to make destructive decisions the heart of our Father becomes a haze of disappointment and disillusionment as our offspring walk a path we'd never have chosen. And He weeps. Our heavenly Father weeps for us, that we could see Him amidst pain, amidst loss. And He whispers to our spirits, "You can't see me because I'm holding you in my arms. I'm not in front of you, I'm beneath you, carrying you. I'm not somewhere in the distance; I am here gripping you with my everlasting love." Acts 17:28 says, "for in him we live and move about and exist..." Our very lives are in Him. The great moments --when marriages are formed and babies sing their first cry, when homes are finished and jobs are gotten and promotions are given, when our children obey and spring surrenders her first blossoms--they're all the splendor of our Father on display. And the times when we trudge through the long dark valleys too are held in the palm of His eternal hand. Psalms promises He is a very present help in times of trouble. Very present. Near. This is our God. Do you see His face? Do you sense His presence even when you can't see His face? If our lives are houses and God is the designer, the decorater, the builder, the Creator then may we make it our goal to look for His face, to discover His heart in every detail. May we not walk through one single moment and miss Him. Open the eyes of our Heart, Lord. Open the eyes of our heart. Pray with me: Father, I know you are here, but help me to see You. Help me to believe that it is you that carries me, it is You that enables me, it is You that remains when all else fades away. May I never rob You of honor when good enters my life and may I never deny You your glory when I am sustained in troubled times. Thank you for your omnipresence in the marrow of my life. Amen. Read with me: Isaiah 55:6 Psalm 139


Bretta said...

You are a blessing...

Thank you for sharing <3

Julie said...

Sarah... this was beautiful! I LOVED it.

Thank you for this beautiful picture displayed.

I miss seeing you on Tuesdays!