impeccable timing’s object lesson

January 3rd, 2017 update/ explanation.  This was written on May 9th, 2015 about an encounter with a stranger in September 2013 who looked and acted a great deal like someone I had stopped talking with in July 2012 but in whom I was still very much interested.

Now extremely happily married to someone else (see themakingofamarriage.wordpress.com), I feel I can now share this because the point is more true and clear now than ever before.

The closest human relationship, marriage, mimics and wets our tastebuds for a relationship with the divine.  In a good relationship, the other will look enough like Jesus (gracious, merciful, firm but tall and open and loving) that the differences will be that much more painful and yet a good relationship is Christ’s way of refining us and of showing Himself off- making us fall so much more in love with the One who makes such a beautiful relationship possible.

In RefreshedI wrote about how a family unit is like God cloning Himself- inviting us to sit at a table with boundaries and rules but where we have enough support to thrive.

I very much feel like He’s cloned Himself in my husband.  That man is so very good to me and it just makes me long even more for the God he represents.

 

May 9th, 2015

A little over a year after the gentleman mentioned in “Frustratingly True” and I stopped talking, I was working six days a week at one job and was giving my mornings and days off to a second position.  My manager at the first saw that I had twelve days in a row and offered a day off- I admitted I’d just give it to the other.  That night (Thursday?) a huge crack sprang up across my windshield- just below my line of vision- so I went back the next day and said sure- an afternoon off would be helpful.

Tuesday afternoon, I was just a floater anyway so I arrange to leave early, going home so that the windshield man could come by noon.

Other than being a couple years older, the man is a splitting image of the other and immediately launches into a story about how he had broken up with his gf that morning.  Deep breaths.  As I watch him work, I can’t help but notice that many of the mannerisms are the same, the way he spoke was very similar.  Even some of the phrases seemed verbatim.  As he starts telling me about how he washes dishes at his friends’ homes (something I loved about the other), I interrupt him and attempt to return myself to reality.

“I didn’t catch your name”.  This is a completely different person.  This is a stranger, in my driveway, changing my windshield that just so happened to crack because I really needed an afternoon off but I was just too stubborn to take one.

It was purely coincidence that he had the same name as the person he was unintentionally mimicking to the tee.

I explain to him a bit of my incredulous laughter by sharing a bit of my own story, as always hoping “that I didn’t condense it so much as to remove the honor from the words”.

As he left, I reentered the house not sure whether to laugh or cry so I did both.  Water welled up in eyes that had done really well up to that point as I slowly close the door, laughing to myself- glad no one was around demanding an answer as to what was causing such a mixed response.

For over a year, I had longed to hear a similar voice, see a similar face, respond in a similar way to similar body language.  There was a familiarity with this stranger that time hadn’t earned and it was messing with my head and heart.  He was 40 while I was 24 so when I say we hit it off immediately it wasn’t a sexual desire; he was not someone that I wanted to be with, but he was enough like another that he increased my longing for that other while being a wonderful companion in and of himself for that brief moment.  I thoroughly enjoyed his company but his presence was bittersweet.

I knew he could not stay and I didn’t want him to.  There could never be the closeness of a real relationship, only an hour of sweet familiarity with a stranger.

In the same way, an earthly husband will frustrate me to no end.  I’ll know he can’t stay but I won’t want him to leave and his similarity to my real love, Jesus, will just make the differences oh so much more painful.

In the letter to my widowed self, all I needed to explain all of that was two words.  Windshield [Name].  Remember that his brief presence was a gift.  Good things can make me cry too.  God saying, “You may grieve, but him leaving doesn’t mean that I have also left.  I am the one you really want”.

I am not [yet?] a widow but the man I refer to, the one playing the role of ‘real deal’ in the divine object lesson, is currently dead to me and there is no guarantee, no likelihood, I should but can’t add no possibility that he will ever return to a life that intertwines with mine.  He has chosen another and not out of anger {well, usually) but out of respect, I grieve his absence while refusing to make a move that suggests he’d come back.

Including send what has turned into quite the lament into cyberspace where it could be seen before its time.

If God ever brings this story to light, he will bring it to light without my help and then give me permission to share, perhaps publicly.

Until then- I don’t know.  I’ll share as the Spirit leads as much as the Spirit leads.

January 3rd, 2017.  I’ve tried to be as transparent as appropriate about my struggles because it makes the victory all that much more exciting.  God really does work all things together for good. All things.  This man’s parents met my husband and I the morning of our ceremony to sign our marriage license because no one else was able to make it all official.  I’m telling you- God’s really good and will use everything, your hurts and hangups and disappointments and and and to show Himself faithful and to build His character into us.

 

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