Forever and Ever



Forever and ever.

The scripture’s haunting words have stuck with me this morning.  Like a taunting whisper, they echo throughout my mind.

The house sits empty across the street. The one who loved it most is no more. Mr. John died this past week. A solitary man, he kept to himself. No car. No close family. He was independent, talkative, and kind.

They carried his body out yesterday. The package that sat on the front steps for the whole week should have given it away. The smell of death spilled into the street and I can’t quite shake it. The house his parents called home is all that remains. But the image of mother, father, and son reunited redeems even an empty house and lingering smells.

Forever and ever.

Little boys’ clean clothes are divided and the laundry basket receives last night’s PJs.
The sink, emptied from breakfast, awaits dinners’ spoils.
Christmas approaches and the lists must be made again.

The same populous that rioted over a dead boy on the beach now closes the doors to refugees.
Politicians wake to scheme another day.
Hostages await their fate in Mali.

Forever and ever.

I confess that I can dream of eternity but will never achieve it.
I can hope for reconciliation, but conflict always creates a new tear that needs mending.
No matter how many births will be accounted for at our Thanksgiving service, there always seems to be more names of those we have lost this year.

Forever and ever, I cannot reach.

Forever and ever, I can only trust.

“This is my resting place;
here I will reside, for I have desired it.” – Psalm 132:14

I trust that God’s forever and ever means not a God who is far away. God’s forever and ever is in God’s resting place where God desires to be – in the heart of the broken-hearted whose endings threaten to unglue them.

I trust that God’s forever and ever allows God to see what I cannot –
…that death is not the end;
…that tasks are not meant to be completed;
…that humanity’s cycle of endless domination and acquisition can never reign because Love wins.

Forever and ever, I seek to live in the tension.

I face endings but they cannot and will not defy the eternal beginning of God’s redemption. God was, is, and will continue to redeem every ending.

Should we need reminding, the few final fall leaves preach the message just fine on their own.

“To the One who loves us and freed us from our fears by his blood,
and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father,
to this One be glory and dominion forever and ever, Amen.” – Revelation 1:8

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