Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Chagrined, but then again...

The immodest torrent of emotion I expressed here on Mother's Day has left me feeling chagrined, ashamed.

I truly did, as I said I would, ..."[put] today to bed, and I will not enter this week burdened by these emotions."  It's just that you couldn't know that since I was too embarrassed to show my face 'round these here parts.

But I'm back, and for good reasons. {smile}

A friend of mine who understand this journey has set me onto a writer called Leigh McLeroy.  I finally ordered her book, The Beautiful Ache, have read one chapter, and am already thoroughly engaged.

Here's one reason why.  This is the *fourth* sentence in chapter *one*:

"The best of all journeys may be a hard road to a good place; perhaps fully experiencing the hard, unpredictable road helps us to recognize the good place when we arrive."

See what I mean?  Sentence FOUR is a humdinger, a good thought-provoker.  I like this gal.

In a comparative mood, she spends time paralleling her journey out of Houston as a hurricane (I can only assume Rita) was baring down on the city with the Israelite's journey out of Egypt.  And in the midst of her comparison, I caught this:

Three times in Exodus, God declares that His actions were designed to provoke the Egyptians to know Him as the one true God.  For He says, "...the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it. (Ex. 7:5)"  And again in chapter 14, twice He says, "The Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen."

God's actions were for the Israelites.  They were for the Canaanites (who, 40 years later, would STILL be trembling over what God did in Egypt).  But they were also for the Egyptians.  And, I believe, both in judgment and in grace.

In my Western Civilization I class in college, I learned that Egypt--at this time in history, she was THE most powerful & advanced nation on earth--had a sudden shift at this point in time.  History records that there was a dramatic change for at least one generation, from pluralism (many gods, including Pharoah himself) to monotheism.  

God's actions brought to Egypt both judgment and grace, and they heard His call!

I serve a pretty amazing God.  Grace to the slaves, the sons of Abraham.  Grace to the enslavers, the Egyptians.  So much grace.

Back to The Beautiful Ache.  McLeroy writes this, too, which expresses my heart so well:

"Today I am painfully aware that I belong to another world--one I haven't seen and can only imagine.  I live en route, in between.  And as much as I dream of heaven, I love this life on earth. ... Because I believe that more exists, this life is my exodus, not my end. ... But thankfully, on the way to The Good, The True, and The Beautiful, we encounter the good, the true, and the beautiful. ...  The challenge is to live in the 'now,' fully engaged by its conflicts--and to long just as expectantly for that non-yet arrived day when we will finally, breathlessly, completely arrive."

Truly, our hearts know what our minds forget: We are not home yet.

En route,

-J

Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.  For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. --I Peter 1:17-19, NIV

4 comments:

t said...

Good read sounds like. I think you know this story really shaped some thing for me because of this very fact that we get a peek into that part of the Lord. To show His glory, to reveal Himself to Egypt, to Pharaoh, to Israel, and the world (Rahab and family is thankful :) ). Such intent. Probably a good reminder to ponder today.

Beth@playinwiththepaulsens! said...

good stuff J. it has me thinking but I can't express it yet... gotta chew on it a while.
lu.

Suzann said...

:)

Leigh Mc said...

I'm glad you like the book so far! Blessings, Leigh