Thursday, November 02, 2006

Titanic or Treasure

By: Ezra Connection

Ephesians 3:16-19 (NRSV)

I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

The recent blog with the metaphor of seeing God steer the Titanic, reminded me of another man who almost wished he could, and of someone else who showed me a glimpse of true treasure, instead.

“Tite,” though brilliant, thought of himself and his own glory. Years ago, we served briefly on the same English language committee after the Titanic had just been raised from its watery bed. Earlier, he had had the grand vision that he alone could raise it, and the glory would be his. He “spent his all,” as the Prodigal Son had once done, and went far into debt as well, to buy an ancient hulk of a ship to act as the base of operations.

Suddenly, a different team raced to find the Titanic and raised it, and “Tite” was left with a lost dream, with a ship no one wanted, and, probably, with lifelong bankruptcy.

In contrast, a year ago, when a prominent man died locally and his estate was suddenly sold, the faithful older groundskeeper of a quarter century moved with his wife, to our farm. Our humble “cottage,” more usually known as a classroom portable, barely met their needs in transition. Despite their reduced status, “Barnabas” often waved a cheery greeting, as he voluntarily rode his big riding mower around our huge farm lawn. Or, sometimes, after shopping, they came in with a small bunch of roses for our daughter, saying they seemed “just meant for her.”

Yesterday, as this couple prepared to move to their chosen seniors’ housing, and we passed on our grateful thanks for the blessing they had been, Barnabas graciously bowed, and left a gentle kiss on my cheek. His words touched me deeply: “I have wanted to tell you that you are loved very much, far more than you can ever imagine.” A tear almost escaped—because I, with my restrained British roots, so seldom pass on my deep appreciation—whereas he at that moment enfolded me in God’s love.

“More than you could ask or imagine,” came to mind, so recently repeated at church from Paul’s prayer. If they, as neighbours, could so bless me, how much more could my own dear heavenly Father bless me, and others through me, if I gave my all to find that Pearl of great price—and, instead of claiming a sunk Titanic, experienced the vast ocean of His love!

Ephesians 3:20-21 (NRSV)
Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen

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