In the year my kings died, I saw the Lord.
In recent days, I have felt *t h i s m u c h* longing crammed into *thismuch* space of my throat.
Sunday morning, the longing surged up my windpipe so painfully that my eyes split at their soft-skinned seams and I wept onto the church carpet.
I just want to see his face.
I want to be Isaiah. I want to be Moses. I want to be a Seraph.
If he does not touch my lips with a burning coal, my heart will burn up.
If he does not cover my eyes with his wing, or hide me in the cleft of his side, I might as well die.
I’ve always been afraid of eternity–I think because I never understood it.
I loved this world and wanted to stay for a long time, despite its backwards rotation. Heaven? Eternity? I don’t want to die! First let me grow up. Let me go to college. Let me publish a book. Let me fall in love, get married, have children. Let me travel and experience and feel. Then, after I have lived, I can face eternity.
There’s an unavoidable explosion of that perspective when you taste the distinct glory of the Father’s heart.
You start begging him pass judgment on your withering, stumpy heart.
Then when you realize his heart is to press a burning kiss against your lips, you start begging to never leave his temple. Cover my eyes. Turn your back to me. Just don’t leave me.
There’s an unavoidable implosion of hopes when you realize you will never see his face in this lifetime.
You will never feel the angst of an unfulfilled longing as strong as this, never be so desperate to both keep your longing, lest you turn again to the kings that die, and to let it go, lest you die in your desire.
I want to see the face that relented from destruction and brought from the stumps of a withering vineyard a single shoot that lived. That shoot is my burning coal, my hovering wing, my bleeding cleft.
I want to see the face that passed among ours, so unremarkable it went unnoticed.
I want to see the face that stayed behind to walk beside me even now, whose eyes are always on me.
I have seen the heart of that face. It’s my compass on this sailing trip, and I’m going to follow it to the source. I will give up growing up, schooling, family, all the kings that promise safety and prosperity, and pursue him until my sails are ragged. I might be lost at sea for years, and spend stints on foreign lands, endure weeks of rain, and see countless sunrises.
But I have seen his heart and Love will blow me home. When I clamor off the boat onto that shore, I will see his face.
Image created on Canva
Lyrics from “Sailboat” by Ben Rector