Sunday, April 6, 2014

How Jesus Came for Me on Wednesday

I've had a great week with God.

Last Tuesday night, I found myself praying for Jesus to just come. Not in any specific way, not with any specific answer to prayer. I just asked for more of him. However he might come.

I went about the next day. Classes went all right. I noticed that my sixth period Algebra II class was sharp and attentive for once. They latched onto the lesson quickly and with good readiness for the next one. It was pleasant to think that the school week would end early (no school Friday due to prom preparations). I looked forward to tackling the monolithic tower of papers on my desk, getting it finished early.

As I sat in my classroom after hours, I glanced outside for what felt the first time in months. It was 7:30. The sun hadn't set, and the snow had vanished from the hillside since that morning. I felt beckoned to walk outside for a tick, see how the world was doing.

I was bowled over.

Spring had arrived.

Those spotty rainstorms that announce the arrival of spring, turn the sky into a dense maze of clear azure and towering black? They they were, suspended and threaded across the azure sky. Wispy smears of gray and white hung towards the ground, as if they longed to scatter their rain on the brown plains as they drifted eastward, slowly but surely.

The air was cool and moist, with just the hint of a breeze. The scent of the miniature pines drifted down from the nearby hill. The crows were calling back and forth over the distant whisper of wind - the open sound of "outdoors", unmuffled by snow.

On the east horizon, billowing pink and orange thunderheads like ramparts. Which are they doing - hemming me in with their lofty walls, or inviting me to come under their dark, dramatic world? Can't decide.

The setting sun warmed me enough to stay outside without a coat - and at the same time, threw the world into shadow. Every little hill, every ridge, every house and structure and tree called out by its shadow, the dimming light fading just enough to bring all the rest of the world into sharp relief. Golden prairie against green swaths of tree, the color of the village, all so three-dimensional and deep and there like only twilight can reveal. I could almost reach out and touch it from the hillside.

I knew it was God. He knows this delights me.

To smell and feel and hear the world in its slow motion return to life in behold the rainstorms sprawling overhead as they tussle with the sky for see the texture and coolness and enormous depth of Montana at twilight...nothing beats that for me. He knew that.

I felt humbled, too. There's a small part of me that gets tweaked when someone tells me to look for joy in "the little things", or advice like that. It's good advice, don't get me wrong. But sometimes I feel I'm being asked to pretend the big stuff doesn't matter. It's too big. I've got kids coming to school with one hoodie and I can tell they haven't been able to wash it in months, and you want me to stop and smell the roses?

But I asked Jesus to come, and you know what? He gets me. He knows what I love. He knows how to get around my burdens. He knows how to push my "joy buttons". The spring rainstorms hint at the rest to come, feeling so expectant.

Just what I needed.

The difficult things are there, but they're not oour reality. Get out of the dark classroom for a minute. God's outside. His good earth, his slow but sure motion, and his coming summer are our reality.

Just ask Jesus to come. Don't underestimate his ability to sustain you.

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