28 June 2006

Another Glimpse

Some of you may recall the glimpse I had of the Kingdom a few weeks ago. It peeked out again and left me breathless.

I've always loved the story of Ruth. Several years ago I got to lead a women's Sunday School class through the book. I bought a commentary to help prepare. It was tough reading, but I enjoyed it. Last summer our church did a service based on Ruth. I made a costume and told her story in the first person. It is a story that encapsulates so much theology in simple, yet beautiful language. All the great themes of both Testaments are in four chapters. Beautiful, clean, graceful.

This past Sunday we moved our Muslim refugee family from one apartment to another. It is not their last move. We hope to make it their next to last move. We managed to pack the truck before the torrential rains came. We were not nearly so lucky with the unpacking.

In every move there are little mis-steps that leave everyone standing around waiting. For the efficient, time-managers among the crowd this causes stress. But I think those waiting times are necessary, it gives people time to rest, to pause and breath. It gives the people who's home is being moved a chance to regroup and make more decisions.

It was during one of those waiting times that I came upon the husband of the family and LightHusband having a conversation. The husband was talking about how grateful the family was to have had our help. The other husband talked about how different culture is here, that in his home country, family helps with things like a move. If one doesn't have family one is ... well ... out of luck. LightHusband told him that many of us don't have family in the area and that our church has become like our family. He went on to tell the other husband that they are part of our church now, regardless of their faith. And then he expressed his thankfulness that they had been able to secure an apartment that was not terribly far away and that we would be able to maintain our relationship with them. And then the other husband said (in his beautiful lilting accent), "Oh, you will not be able to get rid of us. We will sleep in a tent to be near to you."

With those words, I heard the modern echo of "Wither thou goest, I will go and wither thou stayest, I will stay." And I knew then that we are following Jesus into the hard places. That this was bringing hesed, the Kingdom, into being, on earth as it is in Heaven. Despite the weather, I was at peace.


Blogger Sally said...

what a beautiful account, and even more beautiful because it is true.

6/29/2006 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...

Wish we could have been there.

6/29/2006 11:56:00 AM  

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