By Cindy Koch –
It creeps up every year. Unexpectedly, all of a sudden, our normal and comfortable daily routine merges into the fast lane. I always seem to feel this pressure in the Spring, when the school year is ending, the kids’ performances are scheduled, the end of the year parties are planned, and the world seems to be ending as we all say goodbye at a graduation of some sort. I’ll never know why the close of such things (that happen every year, by the way) call for so many homemade cupcakes and flower bouquets. I have a strange feeling we will all be here again next June, stressing out together at the end of another school year.
But this year I have been a bit more reflective in the end-of-academic-year mayhem. And I blame you, dear readers. Weekly, you have allowed me a slice of time to step away from the mad rush of kids, family, church, and household so that we can continue our conversation. Weekly, I get to read about your thoughts, struggles, and comments concerning just a few of the topics we hold dear. Weekly, you inspire me to tell our story again and again in fresh ways. I usually look forward to playing with the words and images of our life mingled with faith. But, dear readers, I have been too reflective during this end-of-year chaos, and I’ve realized that today I don’t have a calm quiet moment just to ponder.
Do you want to know my shameful little secret? I hate fiction. It is wrapped in metaphor and soaked in symbol. Usually, I just don’t have time to stop and gaze at the flowers. Give me a good non-fiction or how-to post anytime. And yet, during our relaxing dialogues, I’ve found myself bubbling over with pictures and fanciful stories that describe our unseen reality. So the metaphors that pour forth have recently begun to drive me crazy because I really don’t have time for this crap.
But you and I both know that our God works in pictures and metaphors. We hear about an Almighty God who shows up for his people as thunder and lightning. We listen to stories about a God who saves by the waters of the Red Sea and the waters of Holy Baptism. We know our Shepherd’s voice in Psalm 23, hear our Good Shepherd in John 10, and continue to listen to our local shepherd every Sunday morning. God is no stranger to playing with bread, wine, and water to give the gifts of our unseen reality. His Truth is veiled in the common things of everyday life.
But on a day like today, I don’t have the patience for all of that. And I get it—why we might look for a community of spiritual in-the-moment excitement. I feel the temptation to find a place where the Holy Spirit visibly slaps me upside the face and makes me raise my hands and dance for joy. I want to experience a fellowship of perfect loving caring people. I long to live in an unblemished creation where the evil is judged and the righteous are free.
It is times like these when I wish it were all not so hidden. When I have 8,001 things to do, I want God to stand up, plain and tall, and just say it like it is. No more pictures, no more stories, no more obscure parables that get lost in the junk mail. His judgements are good; His mercy is real, and I don’t have time for all this crap.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus.