Friday, September 23, 2011

Sunsets from Parking-lots

Yesterday, I stood on the top floor of a shopping center called Apita. The weather was perfect. There was a cool breeze, clear crisp air, and miles of visibility from my concrete perch. For a brief 15 minutes as the sun set on this city of 8 million people I forgot that I was in Japan. I forgot that I was seven thousand miles from my family and friends. I forgot that I had things to do, music to learn, Japanese to study. God spoke that sunset into being. I listened with my eyes. I listened more intently than to any opera or recital. This mere sunset was more beautiful than what any human voice could sing. This art came from God’s mouth. It was but a stage prop in his show… and I, an ant crawling on the wall at stage left.

I was alone of that roof. No one else seemed to care about the beauty in the sky. No one even seemed to notice. It is instances like these… rare glimpses into my own smallness when I feel at home in the Lord. I had nothing to offer God in return for his show. I couldn’t sing and impress Him…. the equivalent of a child’s scribble art. At most it would be cute. I could offer nothing but a bowed head… a meager sign of respect. Even this He helped me to accomplish.

It felt real to me yesterday… that God has taken the rubbish I offered Him and traded it for blood… blood from Christ Jesus… God.

I fear the beauty as in that sunset, because it reeks of power… power that is above me, that is better than me in every way shape and form. At the same time I long to know it. I long to know that goodness. I long to be fluent in the language of Him who speaks things into being… He who creates something out of nothing. It is an infinite language, impossible for a finite being. It is rhetoric that human senses cannot taste.

I felt at home for the first time in two months upon that roof. I am no more comfortable with living in Japan than the day before. I still can’t speak Japanese, or read kanji. I still don’t really know what I am buying at the grocery store. If I eat too much rice I still get constipated ☺ But God is here even though his people are few. He is still speaking, though few have ears to hear. His love is evident. His patience is vast. His grace abounds, and I love Him for it. I don’t understand it, but I love it!

For those of you who were hoping for an update on what I have been up too… I am sorry… maybe next time. I will be sending out update emails soon. ☺