“We were friends for a long time. And one day, I woke up, and suddenly thought of her in a completely different light. And I wanted to marry her.”
I remember hearing this introduction to a love story from two college acquaintances, and being so moved by its drama. A life-changing, earth-shattering, world-rocking revelation. Isn’t that how a great and awesome God moves and speaks in our lives, if we are truly connected to Him? Stops us in our tracks, lights a burning bush, and brings us to our knees? I do take a lot of quiet, slow walks since my dog seems to forget on a daily basis that he has stopped to sniff and mark every tree, every day, for the past few years. But I have yet to run into any burning bushes. Life outside of work has been unremarkable, for the most part. I’ve got the same housework to do that I did just a few days ago. Unpacking and settling into a new home is about as tedious a process as it gets. It has, however, proven to be curiously, quietly revelatory.
We had slowly moved some carloads of boxes over to the new place before our biggest and final moving day, when 30 generous hands connected to 15 big hearts helped load all the larger items into a U-haul, only to unload them one block over. These 30 hands also helped to pack and move the remaining random items that seemed to multiply and emerge from hidden places in the old house as the day went on. The help was invaluable, but the lack of organization on our part led to a hide-and-seek game of epic proportions when I started to look for the most important things, like underwear. And jewelry. There’s nothing quite like calling your girlfriends at 10PM asking if they know where your underwear got packed away. Only to have them say they have no idea, maybe one of the guys packed it? That’s fantastic. And I was so certain that I had dug through every box multiple times in the house and garage, trying to unearth that single, elusive jewelry box, growing increasingly frustrated and frantic with each search. Until one day, I casually picked up a couple items on top of an open box at the front of the garage, and there it was just underneath. The jewelry box. Just where it’d been all along.
And then there was the classic male versus female difference in approach when it comes to settling into a new home. The husband’s task list was composed of fixing, drilling, sawing, installing, building. My task list was composed of cleaning, organizing, decorating, decorating, and decorating. He tried showing me all the hard work he put into sawing a hole in the wall so he could properly install the new washing machine and fit it into the laundry closet. I responded with a blank stare. I tried getting his feedback on colors and patterns and the overall look of a room, only to get a seemingly indifferent shrug. We both dove headfirst into our tasks, buried deep in our worlds, blinded by our respective missions. The inevitable argument ensued. You don’t see what I’ve been working on. You don’t appreciate what I’ve done.
Sometimes, we just need to settle down from the tizzy of over-determination and its subsequent frustration to see what’s been so obviously hidden in front of us. Sometimes, we just need our loud, proud voices to quiet down so we can see, really see, what was so obviously hidden in another person. And hence we find those things that can be ours from the hand of a generous and gracious God in the quieter but no less life-changing moments of humble daily revelation.