The welcome behind the veil

My daughter is getting married, and she wants to wear a veil. In front of her face.

She knows that veils aren’t that common nowadays. It’s probably because at some point people thought that since their faces wouldn’t show up in the photographs, the pictures wouldn’t be good, so it wouldn’t be worth it.

But the symbolism of the veil hiding the bride’s face, the veil that the groom has to turn back in order to kiss her . . . that symbolism is rich with meaning.

He can now, as her husband, enter a place where he was never allowed before. Now things are different. Now he is welcome. And her eyes will say to him, “Come.”

I remember with crystal clarity a day twenty-one years ago, when this same daughter was two. We sat snuggled together in the big green armchair while I told her Bible stories. I was talking about a different veil. I pointed to the picture of the shocked priest, watching the veil of the temple being ripped from top to bottom.

Tears came to my eyes as I explained the symbolism of the tearing of the veil and what that meant Jesus had done for us on the cross: that now we can enter a place, in the presence of God, where we were never allowed before.

Little Katy stared up at me with her solemn eyes. She didn’t understand, but that was okay. I understood it better than ever.

This morning our pastor will be preaching about the rending of the temple veil, the shockingly beautiful symbolism springing out of and accomplished by the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross.

This is the picture of our bold and joyful entrance into the very presence of God, a place we were never allowed before.

Everything is different. Now we are welcome into His very presence.

Now He says to us, “Come.”

 

 

 

 

Writing about triumph like Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens loved England. Because of this love, he felt a deep sense of urgency to help his homeland change in important ways. He wanted people to care about the poor, to care about orphans, and to arise from their complacency.

While his contemporary George Mueller worked for change by trusting God and starting an orphanage, Charles Dickens worked for change by writing books. Continue reading “Writing about triumph like Charles Dickens”

Lessons from Teaching English as a Second Language

Teaching English as a Second Language has taught me something about English: There are loads of rules. People from other countries who just have to learn the rules and then all the rules about the rules (meta-rules?) can feel utterly overwhelmed with the complexity of the language we speak naturally. They can even become resentful. They could wish that English were their first language, but of course that cannot be.

But if you grew up in a home where English is spoken all the time, and spoken correctly, then it will seem natural, and the rules will come easily. In fact, you’ll be able to intuit rules you’ve never even heard. “Oh yes, I see. I thought so.” Continue reading “Lessons from Teaching English as a Second Language”

A Tribute to Dr. John Dreisbach, 1922-2009

Dr. John Dreisbach was one of the “old school” missionaries, who spent his life serving as a career missionary doctor and evangelist in various places around the world. When he died, I was working on a children’s book about his adventures in western Africa. Perhaps the book will never be finished, but as a tribute, I am posting here the first chapter.

CHAPTER 1
The Mantle

“Don’t know what to say, Mrs. Dreisbach. Sure am sorry.” Mr. Johnson stood at the kitchen table with his hat in his hand. “Don’t seem like enough to say that.” Continue reading “A Tribute to Dr. John Dreisbach, 1922-2009”

Reflections on my fifty-second birthday: the opening of the eyes

In honor of my fifty-second birthday season this past week, I re-read some old journals (always an instructive venture). I went back to 2003, as far back as they go on my current computer.

I found the entire year, with the rare exception of an occasional glimmer of peace, to be filled with anxiety, teeth-gritting, knots in the stomach, frustrations, barely-contained impatience. I was worried and stressed about money (not enough), stuff (too much), scheduling (too much to do), homeschooling (too Continue reading “Reflections on my fifty-second birthday: the opening of the eyes”