Steady On

And while I live my tongue shall always speak of my debt to you, and of my gratitude  Inferno XV: 86-87

God’s sovereignty is absolute (we must hope) but if Dave Winter hasn’t heard “Well done,” who can reasonably expect to hear those words? Is he surrounded by angels and clouds and harps? That’s too easy to dismiss as a moment of overly pious credulity. As part of the heavenly generosity, in which our rightly ordered earthly desires are fulfilled, Dave is more likely sitting at an endless plate of pork ribs slathered in drippy sauce while working with Peter on the ‘Pearly Gates Board of Trustees,’ offering stubbornly prudential thoughts on roles and responsibilities of board members.

The truth is, I don’t have any idea what heaven might be. But if time-bound hints and rumors hold any truth, there must lightness and light and song. Maybe wine. (Who knows?) Laughter too. Our long hope and promise from Isaiah is that “a bruised reed He will not break.” In heaven, the bruised reed – the blind eyes, the cancer-consumed body, the muscles weak with atrophy, the muddled mind – will be made whole again. It will be brought back to its original good-created intent before it was crushed by the darkness of this sometimes unforgiving world. Dave knew darkness of course, and yet:

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Keep Watch

wpid-20150801_173331.jpgAnd you blink and your strong, beautiful daughter steals your baseball cap for work and, later, serves you a beer when you swear, just a minute ago, she was a blond sleepy four year old in a long orange shirt down to her shins, creeping out of her room after bedtime, holding a ratty, blue stuffed bunny and saying, “You can have my bunny if you want,” because she knew you were having a hard night and wanted to help, somehow.  And the young workers who takes your money declines to look at your ID even though you know it’s policy to check everyone’s ID but she says: “Yea, I don’t need an ID when there’s grey hair.”

Right. So you finish pizza with your two yammering blonde cutenesses, boys 7 and 5, all energy and opinion and noise, who convince you to buy them frozen yogurt, which you must do, of course, because it is a glorious Saturday evening in Sammamish, WA,  and at that moment nothing is more important than pausing in the push to accomplish and complete, a push that middle age seems to weave into your every moment except, blessedly, this moment.
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