my children come to me for yeses. they know i have key to the box where they are stored. i am the one who can hand them out….turn hope into happening, want into for real.
they come to me expecting, believing i will give good things…seldom asking for other.
but sometimes i give them no.
it hurts in their hands.
as they walk through the way that no takes them… i come too. sometimes with explaining–a guided tour. sometimes in silent keeping company until they reach the other side. the side that i already know.
i know their confusion, disappointment, even anger along the way. but my answer stays.
i know the value in the no i give.
i know where it leads.
i know what will come of it.
i cannot open eyes to what forty years of life sees and knows and understands.
they cannot see from their side of my no. but one day they will see the same love as in my yes.
february of this year, i received word that lifetime friend, wilson lami and his family were lost at sea in a small boat off the coast of papua new guinea.
people searched and i ran to ask for yes. underlining verses, i read my god’s own words to him…pointed out rescue after rescue, begging for one more.
i asked for an answer that made sense to me. life. restoration. less loss. good things from a good god.
weeks later with confirmation of a body found…he handed me no.
and my heart fell to the floor heavy with hurt.
for wilson. for his wife wendy and their too young children chaddy, ashton and toni. for wendy’s dad elias and the skippers–micha and henry and steven. swallowed up by the sea.
and i walked the way no takes us.
god came with me. silently.
and on the other side…
just like my children trusting in the evidence of my love and provision, i will ask.
photos courtesy of nelson toro. taken at jais aben, madang–papua new guinea