9 And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law. 10 Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” 11 So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be quiet, for this day is holy; do not be grieved.” 12 And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them. Nehemiah 8: 9-12
I was in the shower last night when the image I’d seen much earlier in the morning skittered through my mind … I often personify the images of beauty or handsomeness which I see in nature so to think “she’s lovely” was the norm, indiscriminate and bore no special fervor, so I thought the thought, “she’s indeed lovely” and to further the vein, thought comparatively, “ she is pink and my hibiscus is red.”
I lathered on…with her remaining on my mind. I wondered why she was lingering so…
I had not gazed upon her longingly staring at her in the morn as if to receive a message of richness from God regarding His artful and delicate handiwork as I often do, as I’d hardly had time for thinking much less writing…I had simply read the devotional narrative segment, received the breath of covenant life from my blogger and looked at her rather briefly but in great appreciation then jumped into my car and took-off for my first rays of sunrise which I have missed terribly during all the months of Covid shutdowns.
You see, although it had been a difficult decision, I had agreed to return to the gym for in-person work-outs and of all the benefit the exercise provides, the thing I realized of late is that I most have missed seeing the sunrise! …and, AND get this, the time had changed on Sunday and so was perfect! I would not drive there by the light of star or moon … my “groom, my champion” would have awakened and in the celestial heavens would be exiting His tent-chamber and beginning his strides across the darkness of the once moonlit but open sky! I could not wait for this. I looked for Him … I was a little early today… I saw the beginnings of His morning but He was not yet within my purview… I was disappointed, but I must admit I looked and looked to the east with delightful expectation until I had to enter the gym-building. I know my warrior…He is formidable in strength and prowess and He comes for me and fights for me! (ref. Exodus 14:14) What is not to love and long for in this?
I know… you are saying…but you used to write about that all the time, don’t you EVER get over it? NOPE, nope I don’t! I just see Psalm 19 and Job 38-42!!! Who can weary of THOSE?!?!?! Not I!!! I simply could not wait and not only that, afterward I would go to my favorite garden before life on campus was to begin.
The morning was beautifully sunlit and the air crisp, and cool as the tenderness of His breeze mercifully wiped my tear-stained cheeks over and over as I lay in the swing staring up, up, up the tree’s mighty trunk heavenward through the pine boughs into the azure sky. Stunning.
Yes, stunning were the sights. Stunning were the sounds. Stunning were the visions which captured my eye. Stunning was the perspective of getting behind the beauty; seeing it before me not me in and among. I watched as ray touched, as bird shuffled about, as honeybee investigated not wanting to intrude. It seemed holy. After 2 hours, I quietly made peace with parting company and left the bubbling of the water jars; much like that of a babbling brook behind; alive and well.
I wished for a tidbit of human contact, but the offices were closed. I was grateful for my garden foray and also grateful that I hadn’t planned a day among the people there or I would have surely felt disappointment.
Returning somewhat to the quotidian of picking up a few healthier grocery items, preparing for the evening meal, laundry and Election-Day set up (not the norm); I proceeded through the day.
Now, once again, here I am to say (sadly, unusually) I had not lingered in the way in which I long, on the pink hibiscus in the morning photo, yet here she was sitting upon the artist’s perch before me waiting for me to notice her; perhaps giving her even one adoring glance and one more thought as I rinsed the shampoo from my hair.
Had her beauty been of liminal stimuli?
…and so I heard…
…and so I dried…
… and so I hoped not to forget…
…and so I wrote a note of her…
– at 9:30 p.m. when I must rise by 4:00 a.m. tomorrow…seemed important.
Lovely young maiden in pink-tinted white;
Still virgin yet mother holding God at first sight;
Wonder of wonders held her gaze; pure and bright;
A goodness; loving-kindness; perfect joy —Glorious night!
Again, I sat mystified over this being the congealing – such a simple thought. No answer came and so I slept and now it is today.
Election day 2020. My guy may not win and then again he may.
I choose to let God be God and pray! How funny – No, how unacceptably lordly that I would let God be God!!! I look to this lovely maiden and say as she once did, “May it be to me as You have said.”
I ponder her again. I think of pink-tinted white. I think of her willingness to serve her God, our God. I think of her pink-tinted white and see her joy. I see her mother’s mildness as she held her tiny baby, pure and with bright hope. I see the glorious night in which our Immanuel, God with Us, put on His human skin coming to us in flesh and bone that we can understand! How else could we grasp the magnanimity of His gift if we could not perceive the enormity of it?
Dear Ones, I think I now know what this was about now, so to you I say, “Shalom, Peace be with you in the name of our coming Immanuel. You see, in just a few weeks, among the blues of Advent, the flame will bring the pink JOY Candle to light and life. And in this season to come we will celebrate Jesus’ eminent birth just as surely as we celebrate His resurrection.
So, to this I ask you … “In the angst of this day – Election Day 2020, what will change about Jesus, His death on the Cross for you and me, His resurrection or your eternal standing in Him?” I tell you, “Nothing!” Nothing will change! So share with me today in the joy of pink-tinted white; the virgin mild who for us put herself aside to bear our Savior in all His wonder! What a glorious night! Take pure joy in Jesus’s love gift to us, for it is He who says, “I will never leave you nor forsake.”
6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
Although Nehemiah and Ezra are not talking about any such day as we have here today, they speak the inspired word of God. So if you should have lost heart, take it up! In God’s Word is found hope! Hope for yesterday, just as for today and tomorrow!
Dear Ones, this brings me JOY! Join me in it and we’ll walk together into the future with our God. He loves you so!
I love you, too,