Tuesday, January 6, 2009

CLEARANCE


Last month I was invited to the White House for a Christmas Reception through a friend who has worked on White house staff for the past 8 years. Marie is a slight but plucky package of directed energy. She overshoots my understanding of politics but has graciously pursued a relationship with our family after her introduction through our eldest daughter, Jonalyn.

Washington DC is cold and seemingly aloof but with Marie- it is richly accessible! We toured the Congressional Dome, the Library of Congress, (I got my card and spent a morning in Rare books among volumes of delicately illustrated books form the 1400's!) and the Supreme Court. At the last minute I changed my flight home, so I could accept Marie's invitation to attend the staff party. Since I had not brought anything suitable to wear I did some focused hunting at the mall and shot myself a smart red coat.
The night of the party we hailed a cab, and clamored in like children pressing towards Christmas. I was told that we couldn't carry anything in to the VIP's party, so we carried only our umbrella, a discreet hair comb and our ID cards. When we arrived, there were half a dozen hearty looking men and women checking our ID at a booth like building. Did we have our ID?
Next check.. were we on the list of expected guests? Let's see Taylor Taylor? Was I Roberta? NO, Mary Wilhelmina.. Ah yes, there was my name. As we walked up the path 50 feet, we were met with another ID inspection and check. This thorough checking was similar to our reception a few days before at the White house. Once cleared, we gleefully entered and were met with waiters with trays of food, waiters with drinks and waiters with ear headsets.. (hmm, wait.. i think they were the secret service personnel)

There were only 2 reasons I got to attend such lovely events and rub shoulders with these high profile people The first was WHO I knew- Lady Marie, my diminutive friend with a big heart. She was known. She was expected. Her word that we were welcome was enough to move security gates, and place our names on the "Expected and Cleared guest list".
The second reason was my ID card. It identified me as legitimately me..It proved I was the person that had been cleared. I was someone who was expected.

I have another relationship with someone who calls me friend. He has placed my name on an EXPECTED and CLEARED list. My name is written in a book that will be opened before a very large audience. I have been cleared and I am expected. Nothing can block my way into this place. I am not just part of the guest list, I will be part of a great ceremony.
My ID card? That is what will identify me as legitimately me. Interestingly, my ID is closely tied into my relationship with this friend I am telling you about. Because I have been made alive through him, I have been adopted by his Father, I am part of his family, I carry his name, I am a temple of His Spirit, I am complete in Him. When God sees me, he sees my friend, because he is creating his image into my life. Jesus has given me an new ID

So I will have access to a place more sensational than the places I just visited. The guests there will all be of one accord. There will be great feasting and rejoicing. But there probably won't be any secret service people.
And my Friend will give me exquisite garments to wear for this gathering..I have a feeling they will be White..

Daddy's Romance

Jessica, when you were little you used to love activity. It was really hard for me to get you sitting down and listen to a story. As you grew that seemed to calm down a little bit but not very much. You are still the girl I knew then.
Being 19 is exciting and launching and hopeful. It is a lovely age at which you stretch to find yourself.

When Daddy and I went to Cairo, he gave a talk on preparing for marriage to those who were young (about 19-29) and single. I loved what he had to say and am so thankful that he took his own advice when we were young. He had a relationship with a Christian girl who was a beauty. She was tall and thin and beautiful of face...much more of his match physically than I. His heart did not have the wisdom to see beyond these and so he got involved in a close and unhealthy relationship with her. You know that daddy often gets what he pursues. That is kind of a Taylor trait.

Well thank God he stopped Daddy short and to make a loooong story shorter, daddy began to think about the fact that God wanted daddy to know God and be in a relationship with God that was closer than a girlfriend. He had wrapped up so much of his energies pursuing a girl that his relationship with God was lacking.
If you are still with me, let me know- I will buy you lunch at My Thai! I know its hard to stay with such a long letter, but that skill improves with practice.

Anyway I so admire daddy for this. He says he let the dating and boyfriend/girlfriend area of his life go to sleep. Meaning he decided to prepare his own soul for marriage by focusing on the relationships that he knew God wanted him to concentrate on. First with God and then with his mom and dad. I sooo appreciate that because I know there were girlfriends before me but through that period of what he calls “being asleep,” (like Rip Van Winkle) God prepared him to recognize that I was someone he wanted to get to know. He was ready because he wasn’t looking for me to fulfill him. God was fulfilling him. Daddy had taken time to grow close to his parents although let me tell you his dad was kind of a difficult man –never seeming to being pleased with what Fred did. But daddy worked at it and I think God honored his intentions. He was able to get his family relationships in good order so that as we began in marriage we had a good start.

You have a great dad. He has a gift of seeing years ahead so he can shoot for his goal.
His goal was beyond this world.. an eternal goal. And he wouldn’t allow for things he knew would distract him to do that for very long.

So- I wrote this a year ago it seems but it is still true.. I admire your dad for it. Now I am pleased that you have come to a place where you are holding an exclusive relationship with any guy at arms length. If it is in His will, God will work to bring you a match that is your equal in his time.

Praying for you.
M