Written on January 6, 2016. By Shari Norvell
Each month we host an event, “Sonday in the Park.” The Generations portion of Arubbah is filled with amazing people playing disc golf, football, soccer, croquet and board games. And, as you might imagine, there is a potluck right in the middle of it all.
A few days ago was January’s “Sonday in the Park.” It was different. There were no games, yet there was fun. There was no food, yet quite a feast. Exactly a week before this Sunday, Arubbah had been covered with water. Again. It’s quite a sight to behold really. Every part and parcel covered. It speaks of forgiveness, atonement and the flood they are meant to bring. Nothing untouched. Nothing ever the same. And after their passthrough, their passover, you begin to live again. A restored life.
That’s what we did on Sunday. We lived restoration. A people whose breath was held in anticipation of the praise to come, let it all out. Pretty heavily actually, as we scrubbed floors on hands and knees, side by side. We were grateful to have a floor that was fastened and not floating. We were grateful for more than that, mopping in the middle of miracles.
On a break from my task at hand, I came upon the group washing chairs. Again. As cars whisked by on the highway next to us, I wondered how many of their occupants were asking, “Why are they doing that? Again?” “Why don’t they give up, give in, let go?” For these same motorist had most likely seen the land as it was a few days before, covered in something that seemed too immense to overcome. Something we should flee from instead of dive into.
Wrapped in the beauty of our again, my mind tiptoed through puddles and pools on its way to another part of the land. A place on the other side called Threshold. The place my person and I have the honor of stewarding and sharing. Just a week before the rapid waters came, we were tucked inside our little shed, just restored from the calamity currents of May, praying and praising. We parked outside the border on purpose. Because we wanted to walk through the brand new gate, that completed the brand new fence. Not just a fence. A gloriously beautiful hem fence. Perfect and pretty. I’ll go so far as to say fancy.
The sight a few days later, stole our breath for some moments. It tried to punch our praise, to knock it out. The fence was gone, posts pulled out and placed across the land for a hide and seek to come. All that remained was the gate. The cute little walking gate, to invite in.
In moments like that, you can’t always explain why a gate standing right where it should be and a floor completely fastened together inspire you to again. A gate in Threshold and a foundation in Generations. AGAIN. AGAIN. Because they aren’t structures, they are signposts that remind you to remember that you are right where He invited you to be. And it doesn’t matter how many manies came by when the fence was being built, telling the fence masters how futile it was to place it there and the outcome it would meet. Because in those ticks and tocks you begin to praise Him, thank Him for all He will provide so you can build it, live it, be it, again.
Upon hearing those tales I realized how afraid of hope our world really is. For hope means someone trusts and trust seem a fierce and frightful thing sometimes. But we won’t fill the world, change the world, love the world without it. Trust is what opens the true floodgate, flings open Heaven’s windows. And you really can’t run between the raindrops of that sweeping epic downpour. Everyone will get wet. And that is why we are here. To saturate the unfilled.
When again looks right into your eyes, you wink and welcome. The punch doesn’t land then. There is no TKO. Instead there is an uprising. A song to be sung. It’s chorus is “asaph”. For this magnificent hebrew word is again and cries “add something, continue, birth.” It is the word used in the Torah when twins were born. It is an add when the enemy tries to take. It is a double portion word that reveals how much more there is for us, even when the surround shouts that there is less. We sing, “There is more.”
Nehemiah inspired a people to build an impossible wall with the One who makes all things possible, though the enemy conspired to knock it down. That wall had many purposes. But its most magnanimous was to glorify God. Maybe, just maybe, a fence can do that too. Maybe some timbers replanted can testify to God’s goodness, His provision and His plans. That’s why, we will build it again. Because again is really a gain. And the world needs to know. He adds, He multiplies, He grows.
Let Pappa remind you of something He invited you to do again and you saw as something you missed, did wrong instead of a path of provision that He wanted to add to you through. As you journal, let Him invite you again to a gain.