God is amazing.
While such a definitive declaration violates Hiemstra’s rule #7 for effective introductions (“give me something novel or new, something we as the world have never heard before”) sometimes there’s simply no other way to say it. Moreover, how he works is amazing. The prophet Elijah found him not in the earthquake or fire, but in the whisper. I saw God not so much in the crescendo or spectacle, but rather in the tears.
Last weekend our school had about as perfect of a pair of days as it could possibly have. To celebrate its 35th anniversary we had a weekend dedicated to honoring the great work that our great God has done in the life of this school. Friday night featured a gala dinner with 350 supporters feasting and celebrating in word and song the greatness of our God. It was a night to remember. The following evening we gathered again, this time for a celebration concert of praise, featuring faculty and friends of the school. The songs flowed and the Spirit wove, moving hearts and minds to worship and praise.
The two evenings featured enough wind and fire to wow the audience, but what astonished me were the whispered tears. After the concert Saturday night, I milled around the auditorium’s lobby, chatting with a few folks when an older couple came up to me holding a book they wanted me to sign. (The weekend also marked the launch of a labor of love called Rooted: The Story of CVC, a book I authored for the occasion of the school’s anniversary.) The couple, two of the original founders of the school, wanted me to inscribe their copy of the book. They’d only read the first part, but the weekend’s events as well as their little taste of the book had moved them to gratitude. With tears welling up behind his glasses, the gentleman said to me, “Thank you for writing this book.”
Tears often fall like dominoes, one causing another, and his tears provoked my own. Such words moved me. To think that the simple act of clicking keys in solitude, the rhythm of which formed the soundtrack of my summer, might somehow, someway impact someone else and cause tears of gratitude, well, that was humbling. And it reminded me in that moment of the greatness of our God. He takes our meagre talents, as benign and uninspired as the ability to put words together on the page, and uses them to fall like new rain in the life of fellow pilgrims on this planet. What made the moment even more poignant was the fact that this gentleman’s talents with his hands and his mind sculpted the first physical buildings of the school. For the better part of four decades, kids and teachers alike have benefitted from his willingness to be used by God as they’ve sat in classrooms put together under his direction.
Sometimes the Creator’s design for this world amazes and humbles me, how he uses the variety of gifts and talents of his creatures and weaves them all together in a tapestry that blesses the world.
Sometimes it’s just simply fun to be a part of this grand drama. As the teacher John Keating in the greatest movie of all time, Dead Poets Society, puts it: “That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.”