The other morning, I was up earlier than I ordinarily am for a trip to the gym I don’t normally take. This earlier morning afforded me some time to throw a ball to my dog, which is not typically part of my routine. I told the pup it was the last throw and as he retrieved the ball and started to jog back I turned to go inside, when I heard a voice, “Good morning.” I walked to my fence to find it was a woman who Ashley and I had met when we moved into our new rental house. She had been crying and acknowledged the fact. Then she proceeded to tell me why, explaining some difficult circumstances with her family.
It was then my day took shape and I knew why I had started it differently. The morning was not mine. I offered to pray for her and I don’t know whose hand went over the fence first but we held hands. Because she had shared the gift of truth in weakness with me, I got to share a moment of prayer with her. And there, praying under a low hanging tree with my dog panting on a patch of grass, I came to understand a bit more about Mary Magdalene's discovery in the garden. She came to see the man, with her in the garden on Easter morning, as her teacher and Lord when he called her by name. While I prayed, Jesus called me and my friend by name into that moment, where we held hands and shared hope. He was the new-creation glue of God’s future brought into that moment because of His becoming like us—weeping—and because of his not leaving us as orphans but sending the comforter, his Spirit.
I think the Psalmist has a similar moment in mind when he turns the phrase in 139:18, “I awake and I’m still with you.” There is a moment of discovery that happens when God gives us eyes to see and ears to hear—feel and know his presence. A gracious intrusion. A flicking of the ear by a loved one, who comes for a surprise visit. When we turn to see, it is him we find—the summation of all imaginings.
Some continued thoughts, in brief: