Dec 30, 2010

The Man Behind the Manger


Joe

These last three months have been torture, but Marie's memory keeps me holding on. My heart aches with longing for my love, my sweet Mary. She's coming back home today! I can't begin to describe how glad I am that I can come to pick her up and see her once more. . . and our wedding is so soon! We're going straight from the airport o pick out my tux, and tomorrow we'll be looking for a florist for our big day. All the pretty little preparations that will make our day even more flawless and wonderful. I can't wait to see her. I hope she likes her present that I picked out for her. . .

I drive quickly and steadily to the airport, ten minutes before her plane lands. In the busy, bustling terminal, I sit in a chair and rake rake my fingers through my hair nervously. That makes me smile a little; she's always made fun of the way I do that to my hair when I get anxious. It's how she knew I was about to propose.

I wonder if I'll recognize her? Did she get a tan at her cousin's place these last few weeks? Is she as excited as I am for her homecoming? I laugh a little at myself. How can she not be? We've written for months about how we couldn't wait for our engagement, our matrimony, our wedding night. Both of us have saved everything for each other, even our first kiss : to be shared at the altar. I love her, so very much. My beautiful bride.

Passengers start to file into the few empty spaces around me; her plane has unloaded. I search the crowd from my chair, knowing that if I stand I'll end up looking right over her head. I can't find her anywhere. Then, a tap on my shoulder- I turn around to look right into her eyes. I stand up and embrace her, drinking her n with my hug and my eyes. I pull apart to look at her. Her gentle face. Her curly hair. Her small frame.

Wait - round frame. Round stomach. No. It can't be. . .

She seizes the look on my face," Yes," her words slip from a throat tight with tears," I'm pregnant, Joseph."

I crumple into a chair like a man that's been run through with a sword. My Mary is no longer mine. Someone has been holding her, touching her, kissing her. How? How else? What can I do? What can I say? I look into her eyes, and hear sobs. She's not crying; these cries are my own. Words slip in whispers out of my mouth.

"How could you?" I choke from the inner workings of my heart," How could you?"

"God," she whispers," He placed in me the Messiah."


In church, we sing and read about Mary, the manger, and shepherds seeing a star. Wise men journey from the East, and King Herod loses his cool. Why does no one seem to remember Joseph in all of this: the man standing behind the manger, looking into the eyes of a boy who is not his son, trusting in God and in his virgin betrothed, whom he has yet to marry? That it some crazy faith.

As this Holiday Season draws to a close, a wish you a happy New Year and hope that in yourself you may find a miraculous faith. God could always use another Joseph.

Dec 29, 2010

Whirlwind

These last few weeks have been a definite whirlwind for me. So many different things have been happening and going somewhat wrong. Things have been difficult. I'm not going to lie.
I hope you all had a wonderful day celebrating the birth of our dear Savior! Mine was. . . Well, interesting. Christmas Eve was wonderful. I went to my church's Christmas Eve service, and it was just amazing to be in God's presence there. Afterward, we went to my uncle's house for Christmas Eve dinner and we all had a blast. Then Christmas morning was pretty great, too! We all had fun opening gifts and it was just an enjoyable time. Then. . . Christmas afternoon came. My family and I were going down to Duluth for christmas dinner at my mom's brother's house. My aunt wanted to come, but my grandma (who was making the food) said there wouldn't be enough. Well, it ended with my mom leaving with my aunt coming to get her because of her being angy that my aunt couldn't come.
Going back further, well, I lost a friend that was aforementioned in "Never Alone." He is not living for Christ right now, and things have ended poorly for us. He has turned to swearing and anger, because his dad left them. I think he could really use some prayer right now. Prayer that he will come back to God. I ended up deleting him on Facebook because of previous things, and he sent me an angry message. We texted, and I doubt he listened to a single thing that I had to say to him. I have to let it go, though, and trust God will get him back to where he needs to be. It's the hardest thing that I've ever had to do, but it is for the best for the both of us. That makes it a little bit easier.
I'm not complaining. I've definitely learned to rely on God more than anything else in the world through everything that has been happening with my family and my friend. I've learned to trust in Him with all that I have and to give every part of me to Him. It's been amazing really, to just give it all up. It's a freeing sensation, but yet it is frightening because I don't know where the Lord is going to lead me. That's okay, though.
I've been thinking about living for the dot and the line a lot lately, and which one I've been living for. I must admit, I haven't been living for the line lately, but I'm changing that. the dot is a scary thing to live for. You tend to lose yourself to selfishness and pride. I'm not about to gain the whole world and lose my soul in the process.

So, I have a challenge for you. Think about it. i mean, REALLY think about it. Are YOU living for the dot, or the LINE?

Dec 26, 2010

Bibleless Peoples Prayer Project: The Urimos!

After typing about fifty different salutations at the beginning of this post, all of them corny, I've decided to just begin. I hope you all had a very merry celebration of Christ's birth with your families! Here we go!

A couple weeks ago in church, I picked up a Wycliffe Newsletter to read (an elderly couple in our congregation translate in Cambodia. They've been there 6 months of every year for who knows how long). I read about Vision 2025 : Wycliffe's Goal of starting a bible translation project in every language group that needs one. With current progress, a new project is started every 5 days, but at that rate, Vision 2025 will be completed in 2038. That gives a lot of time for people to die without hearing God's word.

Anyway, I sent in to become part of the Bibleless Peoples Prayer Project , which sends you a prayer card with the name of an unreached people group on it. I just got mine on Christmas Eve!!! They keep track of your info and if there are any developments, they send you updates!

I'm doing research as I write this, but let's see what I can find out about the Urimo People of Papua New Guinea!