Friday, May 15, 2015

Holy Ground

We awoke to a typical, misty, socked in Oregon morning, to begin our drive north to Seattle.  But as we came over the crest of a hill, there was all this glory breaking through the fog.  Though we could not see where the road started or ended, the bridge remained clear.  We could not let this moment escape, and so we pulled over to the side of the road in amazement and wonder. 

Three years ago my extended family underwent a crisis.  When our sister-in-law and unborn baby passed away, our sight was blinded by fog.  Yet, each of us sought refuge under the mighty shelter of God, choosing to believe that God is still good, choosing to believe that God had a purpose.  The road ahead was clouded, yet we knew it had to be there. 

We were approaching the bridge, my brother's marriage to his new bride.   We do not know what lies on the other side, but we do know this.   If ever there was testimony to God's power to heal and restore, it was at my brother's recent wedding. The sun was breaking through.

 It seemed a hushed awe, a reverent whisper lingered in each of our hearts, for we knew the wedding we were about to witness was holy ground.  Surely, the presence of the Lord was in this place!

Weathering does not come quickly, but rather has been tested through wear and tear.  Each piece uniquely crafted, a delight to the artist, precise details noticed.  How much like our lives, (and this wedding in particular), that God would give such depth of love through the pain of the past.  Surely, love is sweet, very sweet indeed! 

Weepy eyes spoke from the heart, emotions in conflict . . . yet not, because really, they went together.  Ecstatic joy for the new couple, but also grief in remembering.  April is perfect after the storm . . . beautiful, refreshing, and most of all, hope.

As sands poured together, two lives intertwined in God's purpose and grace.  Surely, God makes beautiful what is crushed!  He forms us into a work of art for the display of His glory. . . a beauty which would not be achieved except by a gathering together of the broken.

I cannot yet see everything on the other side, but with each passing year, its becoming more clear.   By faith I know it to be true.  The road goes on into eternity and "every mountain will be brought low, every valley raised up as a highway for our God." (Isa. 40:3-5) Surely, He makes the way straight before us.  He makes all things new . . . yet, vintage.  For in our eternal home we will recognize loved ones and our right responses to life's experiences will last, creating this depth of testimony unique to each life. 

Only by the Spirit of God dwelling within us can we always protect, always endure, always trust, always display patience, and . . . always hope.  No longer desolate, we "will be called 'The Holy People' and 'The People Redeemed by the LORD.' "  (Isa. 62:12) I am so grateful for these two families represented, actually three, redeemed by the Lord, permeating the darkness with light.  A wedding drenched with the presence of God.  A marriage, begun not by selfish desires or prideful ambitions, but by God's terms. 

Congratulations Jasper and April, for being a "splendid crown in the hand of God,"  for He has "held you in His hand for all to see"  (Isa. 62:3)  God has been faithful to give the "crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair."  (Isa. 61:3)  Thank you for painting such a beautiful work of art, inspired by the Spirit of God.  We look and are amazed, gripped with a hushed awe of our Maker, for this is, no doubt, holy ground.   

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