Thursday, April 06, 2006

In Pursuit


When you hear the words “in pursuit,” what picture does in conjour up in your mind? Cop cars? Sometimes one sees pursuits on the news or reads about them in the paper. Already some of you may sense an increased adrenaline. I don’t even begin to grasp where this analogy came from, but I am just writing furiously. Starsky and Hutch? CHIPS? Okay, so I date myself.

God pursues us with more intensity than a police chase. When I see a chase on TV-- on city streets, I try to watch the car, but I also notice the many things that are passed by so (quickly)…without a thought….without regard.

God is jealous for our love. "...for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God..." Exodus 20:5a

Holy Passion

Michael had a friend who makes documentaries. She is gifted in so many ways but, with this particular job, I noticed the enjoyment that came through when she talked about the things she was learning when she would put together the pieces of a documentary. One of her docs was on police car chases and the methods used to stop cars.

Are we sometimes going so fast in our lives that we miss the Hand that is at work in our lives? We miss the Source? By now you may be saying, “Okay, lady, what does this have to do with grief…or Michael’s story?” Sometimes the way God slows us down can seem brutal on a human scale. We look with human eyes.

It’s like those pictures that are made of tiny images and if one looks at it a certain way there is a 3-d image within it. It is quite funny to watch people try to see the image; putting a book in their face and going cross-eyed. Michael used to get so frustrated because he could rarely see the image. And now? To see what he sees? I could only imagine.

God pursued Michael’s heart and Michael pursued His. He cried out to understand how to help children comprehend the depth of God’s love for them—especially when their parents were driving in 2 different directions.

The abandonment he felt when his adoptive mother left him and his dad…and when his grandparents died (they had moved into his home)…that abandonment fueled an intensity of searching for trust. He was afraid somewhat of commitment because of this fear of abandonment. But, as God drew us together, he grew in a new freedom to trust. When I dealt with periods of depression earlier in our marriage, Michael exposed some of his fears that I would become mentally ill like his adoptive mom. We fought to find the pieces that were fueling the depression and came through it. In the fall it was often the ache from loved ones passing away—but that is another story.

Michael did not ever want to see a child not connected to others whether it had to do with their parents or feeling safe with a Sunday school teacher or to him as a friend. He was fierce about his ‘friends’—from the little preemie newborns to the three year olds who reverently called him “Pasture.” Then there were the years where his beloved title was “Mr. Mike.” Whatever the age, there was this connection as FRIEND. Even when kids transitioned to middle school and beyond (picture Buzz Lightyear)…those goofy middle years—the kids would return to make a point to say, “Hi.”

They came back.

When Michael took his journey to Jesus—many grown kids came back. They stopped to express their loss of a friend.

That’s the thing; the thing about God. He wants us back. He loves when we return to Him. Not only that, He pursues us intensely and passionately. Can you imagine the grief when we reject Him?

When did all this start—with some image of a police chase? Why do chases happen? Someone is out of control. The police attempt to bring them back to reality-- to safety—for themselves and others. They’ve most likely broken the law or are breaking it. God pursues us with His love. Yes, He allows heartache at times, but when He captures our heart, when we slow to hear Him, see Him…He doesn’t slap cuffs on us or cart us away.

No Law anymore, just grace.

Just.

He IS.

The Law was fulfilled in His Son. The price of our lives of inappropriate behaviors, little and big, were erased by a cross. The intersection we face is to believe the Pursuer…the Passionate One Who seeks our heart…because of love…holding out grace.

Car chases end. Lives end. For me this used to bring on depression—even the anniversary dates. Lives ending—that’s life. But, for a Christian it is a beginning, a new chapter. I face anniversary dates later this month and early next month. I’m moving slow enough to see them. (We all have them.) More than the dates, I see my Pursuer. He lifts me above the despair, walks me through the ‘sting.’ I was just reading about that—the sting of death is sin—those inappropriate behaviors. That is what brought about the separation between us and a holy God. But, the Pursuer, God, made a way back. He gave us His Son, Jesus, who died…

On Good Friday.

Good? What’s good about the pain? What’s good about the human loss to a family, to friends, to a church family…to a community?

Easter. The Pursuer wins.

Oh Father hold me—hold us. Thank You for the resurrection, historically and spiritually. The One Act that allows us to pursue a love that is unconditional. Isn’t it a blessing when He gives us friends here on earth that are glimpses of Him? His arms, His hands, His comfort.

In pursuit of Him…
And finding Him faithful,
Annie B.

p.s. I have an amazing story to share with you very soon. Also, there is a magazine article about my journey. If you find it helpful, please feel free to share it. "It's Friday, but Easter is Coming" You can find it at: www.110mag.com

A recurring theme I hear from (little) people…”Did you know, Pastor Mike was my friend?!” What a privilege I had to share him.

2 Comments:

At 11:02 AM, Anonymous Mark said...

Hey Annie,

Thanks so much for being you. Thanks for allowing me some insight into your and Mike's heart. I have been blessed, am being blessed and (someday) will be blessed to share eternity with you both. I appreciate you.

Mark

 
At 8:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Annie,

Thank you for giving me something wonderful to think about today!
Your gift of sharing whats on your heart is such a blessing to me.
Love,
Elise

 

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