In T-minus 43 hours, a small hoard of people will descend upon the Harris house in the spirit of neighborly love and Christmas cheer and this house will sigh at the sheer weight of people creaking across its old floor boards. Cookies will fill most every flat space of landscape and little people will eat all of them, leaving crumbs all through my house and y’all, I am up to my ears in all sorts of giddy.
Except for the promise of rain that is due to arrive in 37 hours.
In my fabulous plan for this neighborhood open house, it never crossed my mind that God would choose to rain on our party.
So we invited everybody and then we invited their mama, too.
I passed out an invitation to an adorable little man and his wife who dropped off oranges just 2 nights ago. And yesterday, when the Man and I had lunch with a local pastor and his wife, I invited them, too. Who cares if we’re not even friends yet??
Then, this morning, as I fed the kiddos breakfast, I paused to hear the weather report. And I near about cried.
Rain all day, beginning at noon and lasting until SUNDAY morning.
I ain’t got no time for rain on Saturday.
No time at all.
I can’t put a fire in the fire pit and let the kids roast marshmallows outside in the rain and I can’t hold everybody and their mama in my house.
I’ve been thinking all day long, What is God thinking???? Rain???
The Man got home from work late tonight and I hid the Advent calendar candy while he ate dinner. We made small talk while the kids tore the house apart and I could read the heaviness etched across his brow.
“What do you see for us,” he asked. “Like in 10 years. What do you see me doing?”
I paused, struck with the weight of his words hanging in the air, and I shrugged my shoulders as I answered, “I’m not sure.”
He leaned back into his chair, his eyes closed, and I watched him breathe. “I don’t know either,” he said. “I am so mixed up inside. Even after 40 days of prayer, I still have no clarity.”
I sat across from him as he bared his soul and I took his words in, close enough to hear them but far enough away not to feel them.
Feelings don’t tell the whole truth and so I held tight to Truth and loosely to the words flinging between us.
And then I picked up our Advent reading for the evening. We’re a day behind, so we landed in the story of Rahab, the prostitute.
The kids piled in and the Man leaned in to listen and then as God would be God, He spoke to us, right where we were:
Nobody and no situation-no sin, no mess, no decision-meets the diagnosis of despair. Because there’s God’s cure of amazing grace. No personal choice that muddied your life can ever trump the divine choice to wash your life clean. No situation is more hopeless than your Savior is graceful. Ann Voskamp
We ate fists full of gummy bears and let the kids respond to the story, and then shooed them to bed. They went willingly, and the Man and I stole a few moments of quiet to share the things beating in our chests. I shared my dreams for us and for our family and he listened, without really responding with his own dreams.
I think he’s forgotten how to dream.
A year ago that would have shaken me to my core.
But this year, I receive his quiet as the gift that it is and I give him wholly to God, knowing He alone can breathe a new dream into him.
And I trust God to be faithful to complete what He has begun here.
Even when I wonder what He’s thinking.
It’s late now, and my house sleeps. I think about our Christmas party with the definite chance of rain and I feel the wave of excitement bubbling up inside of me.
And I consider how God has been faithful to be God to me.
He has ordered all of my days here in order to show Himself faithful and trustworthy and good.
And so I give Him my party and my man and I trust Him with the story He is writing here on Avent and on the hearts of my people.
And I whisper Hallelujah all the days He is writing.