Written on August 31, 2016. By Shari Norvell
There is a tale of legend and lore in the Norvell family. It doesn’t reside in a great novel or almanac. It was placed modestly upon typed pages, stapled simply and held until handed in a filing cabinet, in a closet. And once read and many times told, it came to dwell in each of us.
The saga began as that of many families did, during World War II. There was a noble man who became Secretary of Defense for Poland. He served faithfully and found great favor. Even so, the land he loved succumbed to the prejudice and pride of Hitler and his troops. Faced with a force that demanded he serve that which his country fell to, he could not.
He became a diversion so his family, a wife, twin boys and a daughter could find freedom. Separated for a season, he took one route, his family another. The father’s service to Poland brought prosperity to the family, but the border guards were determined to take everything of value. Yet, man can’t truly take what the world didn’t give. And so, this little fellowship of hope sewed their jewels of provision into a little girl’s teddy bear and emerging men’s jackets. Hidden and hemmed, they made their way through the scrutiny and scour of the guards and journeyed on to Canada and a new life.
Father and family were reunited. Man and wife lived the rest of their days on the provision the jewels held tight for them. I know not the story of all three of the sibling, save one. For one son made his way to America and found the one he was always meant to return to. The sister of my person’s father, an amazing man who spent his days reminding and remembering, so we would never forget.
This story has traveled the trails of my heart much during Jubilee. For how many times have our escapes been narrow as we were relentlessly pursued? How fierce the fight to turn us from found to lost? How deep the digs in dirt that we might lay within graves of discontent and disappoint?
Yet, how vast the land of our returns! How hounded and hunted by goodness are we! How held and holy by the hand the world hangs from! And how spared from spoil! How reckoned from ruin!
Deuteronomy 4:9 says: “Only be careful and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live.”
This verse has tread fearless and fragile across my heart’s stony ports, breaking them unto fallow, these past fifty weeks. I have remained and reveled in its truth. For a pure heart is not one that has never missed the mark, but one that carries the slit, slip and stitch of garnering the gems of who He is. Who He has been to us each on the wild walk of asking Him to be our every.
and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:18-19
and everyone who heard him was astonished at his insight and his responses. When his parents saw him, they were shocked; and his mother said to him, “Son! Why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been terribly worried looking for you!” He said to them, “Why did you have to look for me? Didn’t you know that I had to be concerning myself with my Father’s affairs?” But they didn’t understand what he meant. So he went with them to Nazareth and was obedient to them. And his mother stored up all these things, all he said, in her heart. And Yeshua grew both in wisdom and in stature, gaining favor both with other people and with God. Luke 2:47-52
Mary, who carried light and love inside, still needed to adhere the treasure of truth to her flesh and bone. For she would need baste and seam across the brilliant stones He gave her, word by word, breath by breathless. She would need them at the cross, in days that moved beyond understanding. Others were astonished by Him, yet they did not follow Him to the cross as she did. Only absolute knowing allows you there.
It is the same for us. When darkness comes, it is trinket and treasure, given by the Generous Jeweler that lights our way. No slide marked darkness can tempt or tear. For beacons don’t turn off their beam to shade shadow, but beckon dim and murky to become what was always intended.
In a wilderness wretched and worried, Jesus waited and watched as satan bid him turn stones to bread. He could have and astounded many. Yet He knew to astound is not to sustain. And He came to be sustenance, to help us remain with the One He came from. So we might become lingered legend. Enemy bids us turn stone to bread as well. We can astound others by what we can do for ourselves, but it won’t reveal Him. It will lead others to the beg but not the beauty.
For the beauty. His hide. Our reveal. If we will. Hidden doesn’t mean hindered. It means waiting. To be found.
A few weeks ago I took two little warriors and 3 maidens animal hunting. I should probably add, stuffed animal hunting. Through forest and field we searched for giraffes, dragons, horses and dinosaurs. Giggles ensued when each “wild” animal was found. But it was nothing compared to the moment when a little Knight, saw the moon. A crescent in the sky became a cradle for his awe. “The moon, the moon” he cried. His fellow little joined. “Moon, moon!” They don’t yet know all I do about the moon. But they know this. The moon has been there holding light enough night by nights that they believe it is always there, everyday reminding of His faithfulness. He is who He says. He does what He says. Slit and slip. There forever, for the beauty. They They were awed. Absoluted.
They don’t know forgetfulness. I pray they never will. That we no longer will. For remembrance leads to joy. I wrote this in my journal this morning, “The struggle with grief, meaning its inability to become joy, to return to joy, comes from forgetting.” He says things to each of us. Words to be written and realed. Revealed. When He speaks we can be astonished or we can store them as treasures and ponder them. To ponder (in Hebrew) means “to meet, to bring together”. Sounds a lot like communion. “Do this to remember me.”
What is a stored treasure He would have you journal to remember Him? Hang the moon with Him! Always. Ever. Forever.