Day 3 | Hey, Zechariah
I did not have anything to say, so I waited to write. Having a propensity to just randomly start things, today was the day where I normally would have stopped because I did not feel like writing. I spread out a few of my journals and leafed through them page by page looking for something.
I wanted to keep up the type of writing where I just have the piece word by word, but it stopped tonight, and I find myself dry.
It is comical because I introduced Zechariah yesterday in the morning, but yesterday I was Zechariah. I spent the morning writing, praying, reading my Bible... doing everything seemingly right. I prayed about waiting and wrote about waiting and prayed about writing about waiting and wrote about praying about waiting.
It hit in the car on the way to O'hare. I love airports generally speaking, but recently I have not wanted to go to O'hare at all. I dreaded it. My parents happily chatted in the front seat, but I just stared out the window.
Alone in airports is where sometimes I get too far into my own head.
The rain outside matches the inside of my heart... a heart covered in tears. It aches. Nothing, Lord? Not a single word? Please, Lord, give me a thankful heart.
Where is the joy, Lord?
It seems like it is all pain.
Is this what life is?
The plane jumped up and down the turbulence, and I sunk deeper into my writing until at some point I fell asleep. The flight from O'hare is not even an hour, so I do not think it took very long for my pen to slip out of my hand.
I read about a man and see Zechariah in the temple... I imagine that he might have had a similar feeling to flying from Chicago to Cincinnati, perhaps wishing to avoid the temple completely. He and his wife Elizabeth were not able to have children, a sources of great pain and shame. Both had been righteous in the sight of the Lord, and I am sure that they had given up hope because Elizabeth was barren. Both of them were older. (Luke 1:5-9)
God sent the angel Gabriel to tell Zechariah, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord." (Luke 1:13-15)
How did Zechariah respond?
Well, if I am any picture into Zechariah... he was staring out the window on the way to O'hare yesterday. He asked, "How?" in disbelief. An angel had literally just told him that the Lord had heard his prayer...
With me, God has been answering my prayers. I tell Him that I need to see Him when I lose sight, and He gives me His eyes. I ask Him, "How?" and He shows me that He is far more faithful than I could ever desire to be. I spend the mornings and evenings writing, praying, reading my Bible... doing everything seemingly right. I pray about waiting and write about waiting and pray about writing about waiting and write about praying about waiting.
During the adventure this Advent, I want to choose to be Elizabeth. She said, "So has the Lord done for me at a time when he has seen fit to take away my disgrace before others." (Luke 1:25).
He gives me stories everyday. I found myself at mass and chatted with Keith again. He is a man who has a rough story in Oxford, Ohio. I am not sure the details, but he always asks me to pray for a Good Samaritan to help him find a place to stay that night. I always say hello to him, and now I have started to see him at daily mass. He says funny things to me, and tonight he said, "Make sure you tell Jesus happy birthday on His birthday." I assured Keith that I definitely would.
I saw him again later when I paused in the evening to just sit under the Christmas lights on High Street. Keith walked by again.
"Jesus loves you."
"He loves you, too, Keith."
"Your grandfather loves you, too."
"Thank you, Keith."
"Stay wonderful and be happy."
"I will try, Keith. God loves you."
It was simple, and I know that Keith asks a lot of people for money. Whenever I see Keith though, he asks me for prayer.
The last time I saw him, we walked out of St. Mary's together, and he told me to read 3 John. I just flipped there in my Bible, and it was on October 17, 2016.
"Beloved, you are faithful in all you do for the brothers, especially for strangers; they have testified to your love before the church." (3 John 5-6)
I think that I did not want to write tonight because I did not want to admit that I have been Zechariah a lot lately... I do not want to wait for the Lord in His time, but when His time comes I want to respond like his wife Elizabeth and say that the Lord saw me and took away my pain. I know He sees me and comes for me, too. Just like Elizabeth, everything comes alive.
Specific miracles have happened today, but it is too soon to share the stories. That being said, the Lord has been answering prayers that I prayed months ago... prayers for healing, holiness, and joy.