I am taking a blog break until the 2nd November, going to a beach cottage in Cornwall to do some serious writing and hiking.
For the final post before my break, I am delighted to host Carolyn Weber, author of the beautiful memoir, Surprised by Oxford. Carolyn offers us a lovely and enticing excerpt from her new book, Holy Is the Day: Living in the Gift of the Present. Welcome, Carolyn!
I was so touched and honoured, and, well, just plain delighted, to be invited by Anita to share with all of you an excerpt from my new book Holy is the Day: Living in the Gift of the Present (IVP, 2013). I’m a huge fan of Anita’s wit and charm, but most of all, of her obvious heart for God. What a pleasure to be “here”!
I wrote this book as a kind of prayer walk, as a way of working through how we are called to a second, deeper calling as believers. We may start our pilgrimage with a leap of faith, but then we are called to continue through a leap with faith. I consider such challenges as career changes, moving, marriage, friendship, caring for children and for aging parents … the day-to-day things we all face and in which we all need the encouragement of fellowship. As an overarching frame to the narrative, I chronicle the trials and trust of pregnancy as a living metaphor of expectancy so central to the Christian faith.
Expectancy involves trust, anticipation, hope, and obedience. When we are born anew in Christ, adopted in Him, a life of grace becomes our birthright, a way of being. The path is bespeckled by miracles, so that even when we feel the blows and burnings of this fallen, groaning world, we yearn and know (for the two affirm each other) that all will be set right, all will be restored, beyond any present tints of human understanding.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, KJV).
So, for inviting me to share my words here, and for the opportunity to welcome new friends in Christ, I say to Anita and all of you dear souls across the pond, what I used to say when I lived in Britain –
(In every God-fulfilled sense of the term)
It is okay to love deeply, the seen or the unseen. Even if this love comes with fear. For surely it will. I can’t think of a love that is worth its salt unaccompanied by any fear at all. But it is in the facing of the fear and loving still, and through it, that the loving becomes burnished to a precious sheen and transformed into an ever-present gift.
Not to love as we are called to love is like living your life on the surface only: like coasting down an unspeakably beautiful scenic road while constantly riding your screeching brakes. Fear punctuates what should be run-on; it causes the song to catch in our throat. And yet it is the really deep love—the most fearsome—that carries us through life, death and into living again.
On this Holy Saturday, as I move among the trees, the baby moves inside of me. The sudden flutter causes me to think of how John the Baptist leaped in his mother’s womb when Elizabeth met Mary, pregnant with our Lord. Is this how I meet my God—sight still unseen—from the very center of my expectancy? Is the miracle lessened at all by the threat of my worries? Or is the miracle in waiting, too—in my waiting, and in its own waiting, like a shoot coiled within the seed . . . faith meeting faith to heart-leap together?
Carolyn Weber: Author of the critically acclaimed memoir Surprised by Oxford, Carolyn Weber holds her B.A. Honours in English from Huron College at the University of Western Ontario, Canada and her M.Phil. and D. Phil. Degrees in Romantic Literature from Oxford University, England. She has been a professor at the University of San Francisco, Seattle University, Westmont College and Oxford University, where she was also the first female dean of St. Peter’s College. An author, speaker and teacher, she currently resides in Southwestern Canada, with her husband and four spirited children.