Thursday, May 14, 2009

Chasing After the Wind

I’m not sure why I turned to Ecclesiastes this evening, though I delight in the poetic beauty of the passage beginning,
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:”
A time to be born and a time to die. . .
Somehow Ecclesiastes seems like a fractured book. My writing tonight feels fractured – bits and pieces that overlap and draw on each other, but won’t come together neatly.

Daily, for more than a year, we have prayed for the sale of a house. Skillfully built with careful attention to detail, it had been an ambitious, perhaps audacious undertaking – yet begun at a time when houses could not be built fast enough for the market in that community. At the high end of the price range, it was a showpiece for the builder. The market went sour and that new house – that meticulously built house – has caused untold grief to two families, bringing them both dangerously close to bankruptcy. And though I am sure God has heard our prayers, He has not – to this point in time – given the answer we hope for.

There is a time. . . We’re just not sure when that time is. Nor are we sure what else we can do. Even if we sold our own home and gave everything, it would make only a small dent in the debt load.

Now if I could just get a bidding war going on my novel manuscript. One of those half million advances that a couple writers in each generation seem to get would just about do the trick. Hey! Who said writers couldn’t be dreamers? Somehow though, I’d be surprised if God answered that way. Besides, I have a problem with huge advances. I would much rather a half million commitment to marketing the book (although if some publisher insists on that kind of an advance I can probably be persuaded.)

There is so much pain in this world – some of it very close to home. Some days when I sit at my computer, the hope that my writing might make a difference seems like chasing after the wind. The hope that I can bridge the communication gap between two hurting families at a time when both have many questions but no answers, feels like trying to get my fists around the wind and hold it. Yet there is much love between those families. In the midst of the hurt there is much for both of them to celebrate. Maybe – just maybe, I can share enough of the hurt that they can draw close again. And if nothing else, perhaps I can be a sounding board for each. It’s not the most comfortable position, especially for a guy who wants to “fix” the situation. But it seems like there is something gained each time they are able to “cry a little” before going on.

There is a time for everything under heaven, and I’m quite sure God has better things planned than just “chasing after the wind.” Three families are praying for a specific house to sell. I’ll dare to ask readers to join in that prayer. I won’t say more because it’s not my place to give identities.

A chasing after the wind? No. A chasing after the God who made the wind.

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