The storm woke me up.

That- and my 2 year old, startled awake from the rumbling thunder and continuous lighting. I shuffled in to his room, barely coherent myself, and helped him to the bathroom. Soon, I carried him back to bed, his tiny arms wrapped around my neck. After tucking him back in, kisses and hushes, I headed back to my own room, but found myself pausing in the hallway.

The light flashing in from the tall living room windows cast a strobe-like effect on everything. The rain was pouring, hitting the roof hard, without mercy. Thoughts of the day’s events- the two brutal civilian shootings by police- were caught up in my head and my heart. I prayed.

Lord Jesus, come! Come soon! This world is so broken. The people don’t understand that they are being played, by the enemy of their souls, like desperate puppets. Their hearts are dark. They cry out- WE cry out- for justice to be served and instead, we receive another slap on the face.

The tears welled up within me, the heaviness of yet another pair of lives lost crushed my heart. The rain was sad and angry and everything that I was feeling, washing over the house.

As I went back to bed, I thought about the scriptures urging the people of God to mourn with those that mourn, to contend for those that are unjustly abused, to be a voice for the voiceless. To remain humble and hopeful, despite the antagonistic rhetoric thrown at us everyday. To pray for our enemies. To wash the feet of sinners. To lay down our own lives (our very lives!) for our neighbor, whomever that might be.

The truth is this: this earth will not be made whole until Jesus comes back. It is his work to complete. But that yearning for a new earth and a new mankind is deep in our hearts for a reason. (Here is a secret: we get to participate!) It will happen, but it hasn’t happened yet.

In the meantime, as we wait and pray and lend a hand and go to court and protest and vote and make a meal and cry and wash feet and give a hug and love, we are called to continually point toward the world to come. Toward the One who brings the essence of it to our hearts even now. We are that city on a hill, a beacon of hope shining to everything around it, but Jesus is the very light. He is the One that radiates from us.

We are the house, but he is the warmth and the light within. We are the vessel, but he is the water, quenching the thirsty. We are to participate, but he is the hope. Maranatha.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea no longer existed. I also saw the Holy City, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband. Then I heard a loud voice from the throne:

Look! God’s dwelling is with humanity,
and He will live with them.
They will be His people,
and God Himself will be with them
and be their God.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Death will no longer exist;
grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer,
because the previous things have passed away.

Then the One seated on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new.” He also said, “Write, because these words are faithful and true.” And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give water as a gift to the thirsty from the spring of life.”

(Rev. 21:1-6)

Published by Sara Beth Longenecker

Sara Beth Longenecker is a writer and blogger based in Nashville, TN. She helps women sort through the noise of our culture by bringing them truth, beauty, and everyday theology.

2 thoughts on “Maranatha

  1. I stumbled on your blog via Instagram (your post showed up on my “explore” page). And THEN I realized…we’ve met! I’m Charlie’s mom and Sarah (your SIL) is his nanny. Anyway. I was blessed by this writing. I was doing the same thing the night of this big storm–tucking my boy to sleep and then weeping and asking why. This summer has been brutal, but your words brought me some comfort. Thank you for sharing.


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