"Without love and knowledge of the living God, we forget what it is to be human. Passion dies. Souls lie fallow. Leaves begin to fall, and we sense that it is getting late." -- Kelly Monroe
My favorite part of stories is when the storyteller decides to give us a peak into the lives of the characters after the plot has already climaxed and come to some sort of resolution. It's when we find out a little about what happens after the fact, when the old world has passed and the new one is at it's genesis.
It's learning in The Poisonwood Bible that Adah, now a doctor, no longer walks with a limp and that the most important character in Rachel's world is still Rachel. It is being reassured that Davy is still safe and once every few years runs into his brother Rueben on yearly hunting expeditions in Peace Like a River. Tom Hanks delivering the package to the lady named "Angel" at the end of Castaway and Gilbert and Arnie standing beside the dirt road waiting for the yearly parade of airstreams in What's Eating Gilbert Grape?-- These afterthoughts give us hope. These show the veracity of what Henri Nouwen said when he wrote "What seemed to be the end proved to be the beginning...Suddenly a wall becomes a gate."
I suspect if a movie were made about the last six and half months of my life, the scene at the end would have occurred sometime in a fleeting moment during the last few days. It could have been the plane flying over the trampoline on Sunday evening and Sutton pointing up to say "Look, it's my daddy! Bye, bye daddy! I love you!" Or would it have been me walking through the cloud of dust at the church today, looking for the first time at the changes that are going on and stopping on my way out to give out hugs and speak briefly to Matt, Harris, and Anthony, knowing that the chances of me seeing them again soon are not a slam dunk, but pretty good nonetheless. Maybe it was in me cracking open the Bible to begin working on a sermon I'll be giving in a couple of weeks or maybe it was in me picking up the photograph I have laying on the desk of Kyle in the church with that big silly grin.
Perhaps it's now, in my trying my best to be a writer, looking out the window at the winds picking up and the clouds coming in and rains waiting to fall for what in Central Texas could be the last time in months.
Being too expectant of our moments will paralyze us into not experiencing them. So let's just walk into them, expectant yet carefree. It's later than we think.