Friday, February 14, 2014

Surreal Love

Yesterday was a most auspicious and amazing day for me!
A series of appointments which held potential for either great pain or joy just seemed to fall into place without any particular planning on my part.
Kind of like the prospects for Canada’s hockey team at the Sochi Olympics, eh?
First: I had to face the AirCare test again, never a joyful expectation for me.
Then lunch with a friend, and later in the afternoon, I was to have coffee with Tim, the man who had found Erica’s body after our 88 Day Marathon Search.
Life with Erica had always been dramatic, but Life without Erica for those almost 3 months became stuck in an ongoing, seemingly never-ending mystery. I felt unable to move, either backward or forward. Days dragged by, one like another, one after one another. Whatever hope our few leads gendered only vanished just as quickly as they appeared and proved fruitless.
Life was numb, unreal, with little cohesive focus and clear meaning.
Without purpose. Nothing made sense.
And no sense is either nonsense or God-sense. But somehow I chose to trust God would somehow bring His sense out of all the apparent nonsense. After all, that’s Who He is and what He does best!
As we walked into our coffeeshop, Tim described his last month since finding Erica as ‘surreal’.
I especially noted that word because it described the same way I’d felt during the previous 3 months. I’d even used that same word to describe my predicament.
‘Surreal’ defined: a style of art and literature stressing the subconscious or nonrational significance of imagery arrived at by exploitation of chance effects, unexpected juxtapositions.
In simpler words, you can’t make reasonable sense out of what’s happening to predict a sensible outcome.
Described my situation and feelings perfectly.
After all, last Valentine’s Day we’d been together in Hawaii, enjoying lunch on the beach, afternoon snorkelling, exploring a whole new world of colour and life just inches beneath the waves!
But today I wait for her familiar ‘Hi Hon!’ on my cell phone, her footsteps running up and down the stairs, her hugs… but she’s not there. The phone is silent and so is our house. This reality doesn’t make any acceptable sense… it’s ‘surreal’ and I long for yet another glimpse beneath those waves to see what we saw together then again.
It’s no mere coincidence he used that same term: both our live’s directions have been forever changed. My ‘surreal’ described a life suddenly broken, his a startling encounter pointing to new life! My ‘surreal’ had shattered; his turned for healing.
Both our Emmaus-like Journeys have become the reality of Metamorphosis Road… where worms become butterflies and lives change from glory to glory into His image. Together we are now moving from mystery into revelation where His Light gives meaning and the past unfolds as His-story: scripted, directed, redeemed by The One who turns what the enemy intends for evil into our good for His glory!
Oscar can neither come close nor comprehend this kind redemption!
Neither coincidence nor accidents compare with God-cidence.
Tim had never before met Erica. However, he had met our son, Michael while he was putting up new posters downtown after our November family press conference. He said he’d talked a bit with Michael and from that meeting on, he felt strangely connected, involved in the search for this unknown woman.
When he actually found her body, he immediately knew it was her. However, when he contacted police and told them where she was, they were unable to find her after an initial search, so they didn’t believe him, charged him with mischief and put him in jail for the night!
But something more had changed in his life! God was at work and He was not to be denied! God’s ‘surreal’ invaded Tim’s ‘real’ and he would never be the same.
As he related more of the details over coffee, I mentally pieced our stories together and realized that at that same time, a friend + I were having coffee within 100 yards of where Tim was then encountering Erica!
Later that New Year’s Eve, I was home trying to finish a post on how finding Erica was connected with a fresh revelation of Jesus for the New Year. It wasn’t flowing easily and I thought I could perhaps put it off, but then I felt a distinct urgency that I had to post it that night and not leave it till New Year’s Day.
It was God’s Timing: He was moving from the ‘surreal’ of mystery into revelation and I needed to move with Him in His time!
And so today I want to share this fresh encouragement with you from the Lord of the ‘surreal’. This is no mere random act of chance or coincidence that we are seeing unfold here:
1 The Lord chose Erica to be found on New Year’s Day. The timing is significant and this cannot be lost to us. He alone is God who speaks + makes all things new!
2. Somehow God chose Tim to find he:, a man thinking he was running from the police who weren’t even chasing him, running from God, but running into Erica. Though dead, her bones still spoke life into his confusion and like the body that touched Elisha’s bones and sprang to life, soTim’s now being changed and longs to realize and walk in his new identity as a child of God with a Heavenly Father who loves him!
He’s no longer content being an outward-professing Christian without the inward reality.
He’s thirsty for the real thing and it ain’t Coca Cola or anything else found in a bottle.
He and others with such thirst just need to change brands and drink from Holy Spirit wells of living water they’ll find springing up inside that never run dry!
3. And I’ve got 2 more new eagles’ wings: 1Pet 1:11 speaks of suffering + glory that follows! The Friday, January 10 AbbyNews proclaimed: ‘Rejoicing in the Midst of Sorrow’ as its headline for Erica’s story. The Lord made sure He got front page coverage on the day of her funeral for what He was doing in and through us!
4. Pastor Larry Keegstra’s team just returned from their almost 3 weeks’ missions trip to Uganda, ministering in Kids Camps + Crusades. While there, they used a good portion of over $2000 donated in Erica’s memory to finally dig a viable well on the Uganda Jesus Village acreage. Fountains of living water are flowing in the promised land!
5. I passed AirCare! Past problems and fears no longer have their same height since I’ve passed through those 88 Days. 8 speaks of Resurrection and double 8 therefore speaks of our inheritance of Resurrection power released in multiple generations! The enemies’ mountains are really mole-hills. Let God lay your Goliaths low!
6.I’m going for a couple weeks on 1st a Missions trip to Mexico with a pastor + missionaries + then into Guatemala for a week of volcano-conquering with friends.
7.It’s Valentine’s Day: I know it’s late, but please remember: love one another + especially hug your loved ones today, everyday while it’s still today and we are here together. As I wrote here a few days ago:
Yesterday is History. Tomorrow is a mystery.
Today is a gift, that’s why it’s called The Present.
Our life consists of God’s special gifts: relationships which He has brought together and we share in His Presence.
This is called Love and His kind of unreasonable and ‘surreal’ love is well able to encounter this upside-down world and shock its walking dead out of their zombie-like existence.
Jesus’ love does not accept death as its final answer.
I know that now more deeply now.
I’ve seen Him in action through my sweetheart.
You'll always be my Valentine, Dear. I’ll always love you!

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