The miracle of chalk art illustrates the story of Luke 1-2. The historian Luke is the hand of the chalk artist, sketching a scene that spans over thirteen years. The picture incorporates a myriad of colors and details—some unusual features, yet from an outsider’s glance the scene is an ordinary one. The picture includes two women expecting their firstborns. But wait!—the one is far too old and the other seems especially young. The townspeople are gossiping about the girl; a scandal, they say, that this “good girl” would be pregnant, and her fiancé does not deny responsibility. Mystery also surrounds the older couple because of the husband’s recent malady of muteness.
The artist shows these two families (even though they live in different locations), and sketches other everyday details that highlight the cycles of time. Shepherds are on the hills in the background—it is that time of the year. The census is called—it is that time in the kingdom. Nine months pass for each woman and they give birth—it is the time of life. The couples circumcise and name their sons on the eighth day—it is the time and fulfillment of the law—and at forty days, the younger couple presents their son at the temple. The artist’s last strokes of chalk depict the son of the younger couple twelve years later, traveling to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover—the yearly time of sacrifice.
The lights dim and the artist Luke walks away. His sketch of these events, families, locations and cycles of life suddenly melt away. The black light—O light of Divine truth!—is turned upon the picture and the audience gasps in wonder. The chronos time has disappeared and kairos shines forth. The real picture, once invisible behind ordinary things, is now manifest. Scandal? No, now we see Mary embracing the angel’s unbelievable message and worshipping the Lord in humble joy. We see not only the old, mute father but now the prophetic angel meeting him in the temple—and suddenly his mouth open, pouring forth praise. And while the shepherds perform ordinary duties, the light of the Divine story—even God Incarnate—shines upon them as angels sweep them into the presence of Christ. The obedience to laws in circumcision, temple sacrifices and the Passover is suddenly transformed by the Redeeming One, who fulfills them in Himself.
The human narrative in Luke points to multiple people, locations, events, times and customs. The Divine narrative, however, illuminates these, unifying them in a single, definitive Event. It is one story, the fulfillment of the past, the hope of the future: this “black light” proclaims the story of redemption.
After three wonderful weeks with two wonderful families and many friends, Daniel and I boarded a plane this morning to return to Ottawa. It’s hard for me to believe that a year ago this morning, I was also boarding a plane with Daniel Harris. January 8, 2010, we were comparing passport mug shots with Alana and Marcus, on our way to unknown adventures in Singapore, Nepal, the Philippines and (for me) Indonesia.
Over thirty hours of travel to Singapore was just the beginning of good discussions and revealing situations that helped me to get to know this guy a little more.
It’s been a good year.
We’re celebrating our five month anniversary … preparing to hit the books on Monday … looking forward to the next four months at Augustine … and excited where prayers and ideas will lead us to be next January 8!
Brewed by Laura Harris at 9:41 PM
Almighty God, Father of all mercies,
we thine unworthy servants do give thee
most humble and hearty thanks
for all thy goodness
and loving-kindness to us and to all men.
It would appear that the author of Caffé Latte con Amor has been with more occupied with “caffé latte,” “amor,” or some other pastime outside of blogging. That’s a true story. And I suppose the following has more to do with love than lattes, so be warned.
In the words of my brother regarding his own love story…
“We fell in love.”
“We got married.”
The events of the past year--particularly the last six months--have been such a surprise to me that words like beautiful, miraculous and surreal are inadequate to describe them. I have received gifts of experiences, friendships, lessons and love that I did not anticipate and that I do not deserve.
I opened my journal recently and noticed a comment from January 1 of this year. I had written something like, "I wish I knew what would fill the pages of this upcoming year..."
I'm glad I didn't. I think I would still be hiding under my bed. :)
Someties I'm so impatient during waiting times to discover "what's next." But over and over, in retrospect, I'm amazed and grateful at the timing God graciously allows. However unexpected, the events of the past six or eight months were perfectly orchestrated and overwhelmingly peaceful.
On this 34th day of "happily ever after," I shall close for now and save more updating for later.
Signed, a happy wife in Canada.
“Do you feel like you’re seeing—living—‘Same Kind of Different than Me’ every Monday?” the pregnancy center director asked me. “We have the same deal here as that story … and it could be you.”
Yes, it could be.
I fill out the forms and follow protocol. But notes on the form tell facts, not the story of a life. I hear the stories of dashed dreams. I talk with many girls my age and younger who have already experienced a divorce. Eyes speak what could never be told with words: fear. Rejection. Disillusionment. Sometimes the nonchalant gestures and confident explanations try to stretch a band-aid over the raw wound. Unbidden tears spill as they tell pieces of their brokenness.
Today, it was my tears … at hearing how this song verbalized the prayer of my heart.
Little girl twenty-one, the things that you've already done
Anything to get ahead
And you say you've got a man, but he's got another plan
Only wants what you will do instead
Well little girl twenty-one, you never thought that this would come
You starve yourself to play the part
But I can promise you there's a man whose love is true
And he'll treat you like the jewel you are
So turn around, you're not too far
To back away, be who you are
To change your path, go another way
It's not too late, you can be saved
If you feel depressed with past regrets
The shameful nights hope to forget
Can disappear they can all be washed away
By the One who's strong can right your wrongs
Can rid your fears, dry all your tears
And change the way you look at this big world
He will take your dark distorted view
And with His light He will show you truth
And again you'll see through the eyes of a little girl
There could never be a more beautiful you
Don't buy the lies, disguises and hoops they make you jump through
You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do
So there could never be a more beautiful you
“With His light He will show you truth.” There is no single answer to the 15-year-old reeling, at seeing those double pink lines. There is no single answer for the 17-year-old who thinks the next man will fulfill her dreams. There is no single answer for the 21-year-old, overwhelmed with the responsibility of supporting her two toddlers alone. There is no single answer for the 23-year-old who sees abortion as the only option.
The stories—the hurt, the complications, the fear—are beyond me. What I saw and heard last week, sitting across from beautiful girls, overwhelmed me. Their need does not overwhelm our Father, though. And while there are no single answers to the years of decisions, the myriad factors and the built up pain, there is ultimately hope only through Christ.
I pray that my few words can express Christ’s compassion. I pray that His truth would be spoken in love here, even when it’s rejected. I pray that “little girl twenty-one” can experience the same forgiveness I have, and someday testify to the power of God transforming her heart and life. I pray that our Father would be glorified here by the compassion, listening ears, truth spoken, needs met—His love reaching out.