He will touch and tug. If there are a thousand steps between us and him, he will take all but one. But he will leave the final one for us. The choice is ours. Please understand. His goal is not to make you happy. His goal is to make you his. His goal is not to get you what you want; it is to get you what you need.
And if that means a jolt or two to get you in your seat, then be jolted.
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Earthly discomfort is a glad swap for heavenly peace. How could he speak with such authority? What gave him the right to take command? What did the pilot know? He knew how to fly the plane. What did the pilot see? Storm clouds ahead. What does God know? He knows how to navigate history. What does God see? I think you get the message. God wants to get you home safely. Just think of him as your pilot. Think of yourself as his passenger.
Consider this book as in-flight reading—and think twice before you get up to go to the potty.
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Burn the bush like you did for Moses, God. And I will follow.
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Collapse the walls like you did for Joshua, God. And I will fight. Still the waves like you did on Galilee, God. And I will listen. And so the man sat by a bush, near a wall, close to the sea and waited for God to speak. And God heard the man, so God answered.
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He sent fire, not for a bush, but for a church. He brought down a wall, not of brick, but of sin. He stilled a storm, not of the sea, but of a soul.
And God waited for the man to respond. And he waited. And waited. But because the man was looking at bushes, not hearts; bricks and not lives, seas and not souls, he decided that God had done nothing. Finally he looked to God and asked, Have you lost your power? And God looked at him and said, Have you lost your hearing? The Word became a human and lived among us.
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It has no words. It has no words because no words exist. No words exist because no words are needed. There are no ears to hear them, no eyes to read them. The Author is alone. And so he takes the great pen and begins to write. Like an artist gathers his colors and a woodcarver his tools, the Author assembles his words. There are three.
Three single words. Out of these three will pour a million thoughts. But on these three words, the story will suspend.
He takes his quill and spells the first. Time did not exist until he wrote it. He, himself, is timeless, but his story would be encased in time. The story would have a first rising of the sun, a first shifting of the sand. A beginning. A final chapter. He knows it before he writes it. Slowly, tenderly, the Author writes the second word. A name. As he writes, he sees him, the first Adam. Then he sees all the others.
In a thousand eras in a thousand lands, the Author sees them. Each Adam. Each child. Instantly loved. Permanently loved. To each he assigns a time. To each he appoints a place. No accidents. No coincidences.
Just design. The Author makes a promise to these unborn: In my image, I will make you. You will be like me. You will laugh. You will create. You will never die. And you will write. They must. For each life is a book, not to be read, but rather a story to be written. The Author starts each life story, but each life will write his or her own ending. What a dangerous liberty. How much safer it would have been to finish the story for each Adam.
To script every option. It would have been simpler.
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It would have been safer. But it would not have been love. Love is only love if chosen. So the Author decides to give each child a pen.
Lovingly, deliberately, he writes the third word, already feeling the pain. E- m-m-a-n-u-e-l.
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