Who inspires awe in you? Here’s a (partial and in random order) list of people of whom I am in awe: farmers, gardeners, Olympic medalists, those with PhD’s, First Responders, Medical Personnel, teachers, mothers and fathers, long-time married couples. The best among them make their craft, their career, their area of expertise, their calling, appear effortless, satisfying, rewarding, a joyful investment. What is it about all these folks that stirs awe in me? Their hard work, their commitment, their perseverance. Consider for a moment an agricultural expert with a smooth-running farm, a horticulturalist with a beautiful, blooming garden, a beaming Olympian on the podium, a prestigious post-doc earner, faithful First Responders and Medical Personnel, enthusiastic, engaging teachers, parents of obedient children and productive adults, still-in-love elderly couples. One cannot but be humbled by the gargantuan, long term self-sacrifice, secondary goals laid aside, wants and desires denied or delayed in favor of the tasks at hand, the concessions and compromises, the joys and heartbreaks. They are the heroes among us. Perhaps we are they with all the marks and the scars to prove it.
I think of Jesus’ comforting promise to never leave us or forsake us, to be faithful to the very end of the age. Then I think of his parable in Matthew 21 where he speaks in other terms of his terrible faithfulness. He tells the leading priests and Jewish elders that he is the rejected building stone who has now been revealed as the capstone of the arch! He explains the crisis before them: to fall in submission on this Stone (this Faithful One, their Deliverer) and be broken into wholeness or have the Faithful One fall upon them in judgment for their stiff-necked rejection and be destroyed. His audience that day was outraged, but we can hear his solemn words and respond differently. Like the elite list mentioned above, who became the elite through their choosing, over and over again, to be ‘broken,’ we are presented with the choice to admit our desperate need of his divine faithfulness, falling upon him in worship, broken and fully and completely restored in wholeness and friendship – and bounding JOY! PD