Is now, and shall [longer] be…

Written in August 6, 2020

This blank page is my bane and my blessing.

I go away and then come back here, time and time again, abandoning the page like an unfaithful companion and returning like a besotted lover.

There is something that speaks freedom in the boundless opportunities of words not yet written. The unknown. And yet, I feel the crushing the weight of the unknown just as keenly as soon as I leave the page. Life is not a blank piece of paper. There, lives are written, people I love drawn with as much detail and tenderness as the finest sketch Michaelangelo ever penciled. Stories without an ending are there, the sublimity of their telling only increasing with the passage of time. But beyond that, who can say? The sketches, the stories, are not eternal, but everlasting. They have a starting point. And no mortal can see into the everlasting – in fact, sometimes we can’t see what’s right in front of us at any given moment.

As I read this Word this morning, what I want to see is before me and behind me. The faithfulness of God – now. The past stories of God’s “right hand” – yet, now. The comfort I seek is moment by moment as well as in precedent, I fear, for there is no panacea for the overarching pain of this ongoing trial, and certainly nothing to reach into the everlasting future and tell me exactly what’s going to happen. So, shall I content myself with the future as yet more blank pages?

Blank pages, perhaps, but stamped – help my unbelief! – with the invisible seal of the God both sovereign and benevolent. This I must believe, lest I give in to despair.

A new morning dawns. And anything, anything, could happen today. Already, the tears want to flow – Lord, how can I hope when each time I do, I am disappointed? – but the pages, I know, are already written in invisible ink…lemon juice lines that only the blacklight held in a child’s hand can see….and they are divinely composed. May I be childlike enough to hold up that blacklight with anticipation of adventure, of hope, and of good. If I lose those…no. Where else can I go, Lord? You have the words of eternal life.

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