Bypassing the psychedelic theology of “Lost,” what is it about that last scene, when everyone gathered in the church, young again and free of old tension while the violins breathe that sense of eternity over the slow motion film? Our hero is dying, we know it’s sappy, but it still rings true.
Something deep inside cries yes, that’s how it should be. There’s something “home” about that church scene that resonates through many other movies and resonates in the human soul, and I’m beginning to taste that buried relationships really can resurrect.
I didn’t see it at first, when threads from the past began to be woven again into the tapestry of my life . The first one, my long-lost, deeply-cherished friend returned to my life after twelve year’s separation, time needed for us both to grow into health and strength in our individual lives. Could this be for real – she was back, and it was beautiful. It is beautiful.
Since then, others have emerged.
This week, two friends, whose lives were intertwined with mine decades ago, independently of each other reached out to invite me into their life’s project. Just to play a tiny part, but still, a weaving together of our paths again.
I’m honored, I’m delighted, and I’m flushed afresh with love for these two. Both widowed, and both turning tragedy to triumph so fiercely that it jolts me out of any lazy coasting. Nothing is to be taken for granted. Life and strength and family are much too essential to be delegated to autopilot routines.
Years ago, while I was living on another continent before my first trans-Atlantic trek to the U.S., Mimi dated Robert, who would later become my husband. She’s the type, who not only lights up a room, she transforms any otherwise mundane situation into a special event. Colorful, compassionate, and highly accomplished, she is now returning from the darkness of despair after her husband’s alleged suicide with tour de force determination to catapult others forward through their pain through her upcoming book. I will report soon about her upcoming book release just before the holidays!
Check out Mimi, now going by her full name, Mishael Porembski and her warrior widows here: http://www.teamlady180.com
Bill is a gentleman with a cologne that makes me feel safe and a humor that keeps me on my toes. Close to ninety, his entire life has been dedicated to building on his father’s legacy, while inspiring countless others to build theirs. He’s writing his memoir, and I’m invited to contribute with the portion that wove my thread into his story.
And this is the story that makes me see the the whole tapestry of loss and letting go with new eyes:
In the early 1990’s, my husband and Bill had together pioneered a church model in South Beach, where a slow, genuine revival was rising in the fashion community. There was no Bible-believing, English-speaking church, and confusion was beginning to muddy the Message.
As seasons changed, Bill moved on to teach at Princeton, and the Gathering became Calvary Chapel Miami Beach, which will soon celebrate its 22nd birthday.
Until four years ago, our location was central South Beach. Renting a small second-story space for an obscene amount, we nonetheless loved the crazy normal of drag queens attempting to pose as ushers, homeless people sitting side by side with superstars, and just the general mayhem of a city celebrating insanity.
But out the blue, a bank approached us, pleading with us to purchase an abandoned church building in North Beach, which had last served as a Brazilian “Art Temple”. Because of our commitment to South Beach, we refused them twice, before hearing the voice of the Lord.
This was His idea.
The building turned out to be the original home of a church, planted in part by Bill’s father, Daniel Iverson. Many purposes have passed through, and several generations have prayed from that church split, till it was again housing His church. 40-something years passed.
God is faithful.
Our relationships and our life projects matter even more to Him than they do us. Sometimes, when we clench our fists too tightly around them, or when the threads have becomes a tense knot, He separates them for a season. Sometimes for the rest of our earthly life. But even so, He holds the tapestry’s design.
It’s fair to give Facebook due honor for reconnecting us with people from the past, for better or for worse. But stronger than a social media phenomenon, I see a relational, redeeming God, who would leave 99 sheep to go seek for the straying one, who would leave Heaven behind to find us in our helplessness and then rescue us to freedom.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (John 12:24-25)
Maybe your relationship is buried in the ground for now. Maybe you are bleeding where it was amputated from you, and you can only mourn. Good! There’s a time for that. Let that loss pulse through you and run its full course.
But underneath spans the unshakable safety-net that He is good and wastes nothing. Anything that can be shaken will be shaken, but then that which is eternal is revealed.
“And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” (John 10:28-29)
Endings just feel wrong. TV shows, relationships – we get invested. We are made for eternity where no death or separation ever amputates us again, and we get a taste of it here.
The loves who belong in your life, He will return, in His way and His timing.
“Every day at dusk I chase the sunset, sunset
Looking for a glimpse of Heaven’s skies
I’ve been given a taste for something
That nothing in this world can satisfy
But I know that a time is coming
When I will be in glorious delight”