as usual, i didn't want to go to member's meeting but Wendy wanted to go and so since i'm pretty much a puppy dog i decided i could join her. the stroll to church was really very nice. we chatted and she made a backhanded compliment about how i looked like Bono in my shades, ugly dude that he is. she later admitted that she doesn't think Bono is ugly at all and it pleased me that she could love me enough to tease me.
in the past as we've sat in the circle i've thought, this is my tribe, these are my people ... but i couldn't find it in me to think those things this time. we had a discussion about camp ministry and how this season had progressed at the 3 camps we're affiliated with. i thought about the moments of coming off the high of camp and how i would seek to try and maintain that feeling beyond its time. i thought about the superstitious things that i would do to make it seem like i was maintaining that level of community high even though i knew i was having no impact on the feelings of the loss of those times. it was disenheartening back in those days and it seemed foolish to try and maintain that as i look back at it now.
then she began to share. R is a wife and mother whose husband was diagnosed with a genetic disorder last year that will one day cause his death. presently there is life but one day the absence of life even while life endures will be a horrible burden. R has mourned this diagnosis and it has led her into depression. her children have mourned it also. her husband has lived with this possibility all his life but she has only come to terms with it in the last year. she saw his mother fall into this deep pit, in fact that was all that she had experienced of his mother. she has looked at this oncoming train and mourned that it was on its way. i listened to her and i realized that i had said some of these same words and cried some of these same tears. i had seen this hopelessness in my own life and i had walked these very paths, sometimes i have crawled.
where do we find hope in this bleakness? we prayed together. people cried with her and comforted her and i sat and wondered where we could find hope ... but i was at a loss.
on the very odd occasion i have little visions as i pray. i sometimes think that i must've moved on to old man status because i no longer dream dreams, i see visions. i suppose i can take solace in the fact that it doesn't happen often so maybe i could still be kept from the old man cubbyhole, at least in my own mind.
as we prayed i could see no hope but eventually i decided that i needed to search for it. it was then that the vision popped into my head. i was standing outside and i looked up at a very very high city wall. i nearly couldn't see to the very top the wall was so high. i then started to yell.
that was my vision. i stood outside in the heat of the day and i yelled at a wall.
i began to think about it afterward and i thought of Jericho. the people of God stood in a circle and yelled at a wall. why would they yell? what good were they thinking they could do?
these were a people who had seen the angel of death pass by their doors, the parting of the Sea, manna from heaven, a pillar and a cloud, water from a rock and the preserving hand of God but now they stood outside of a city and yelled.
i've got to think they yelled out of expectation of what was to come.
i await the rumble and broken bits of clay, mud and stone that is to come. otherwise, why would i be yelling?
i've done a lot of yelling in the last year. i'm hoping that yelling with expectation will bring results. hope does not disappoint.