Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Isaiah 9:6

Isaiah 9:6
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

I first believed because Ed preached.

I started going to church with Steve when I realized he had not gone crazy and joined a cult that was going to steal all our money (what money?) and invite us to spend the rest of our lives in a compound. The church shared space with an exercise club. Can you really blame me that my mind headed down the cult trail?

During the week, sweaty women peered at their overweight reflections on the mirrored walls and imagined themselves in perfect bodies. On Sundays, we faced those same mirrors and considered eternity. And sometimes we checked out what others were wearing.

I started going to church with Steve after seeing him change for the better; while I was there I listened. I hid under my hair and cried. I hated those mirrors for months.

Ed preached Isaiah 9:6 for four weeks leading up to Christmas. I listened. I needed to hear that God generously gives wisdom without finding fault. I needed to hear that God is mighty and that does not mean He is mean. I needed to hear that God will always, always be there for me. My Abba. I desperately needed peace. Jesus.

Desperate girl
crying behind her hair
lifted her head and received.

***

Tonight, hundreds of miles from here, Ed's family and community gathered to mourn and to celebrate his life.

If I were there, if I had the guts to stand up in front of a group and speak, I'd say that I'm thankful Ed introduced me to my Jesus through Isaiah 9:6. I learned a lot from the Four Quaker Questions, and I love to use them on others. He was right - behind every face, there is a drama going on...

And there's more, but you know, I can't talk when I'm all choked up.


274. Ed

2 comments:

Tracy P. said...

What a gift he was to you. I like what you said about God's might not making him mean. Maybe that's why he chooses to use weak vessels to reach out and draw us in--maybe we would be too intimidated if he confronted us in all his glory. I needed that today.

I'm so thankful for your story, beautiful grown up desperate girl. And very sorry for your loss.

Imagine once weak Ed, now clothed with the kind of body that can handle God in all his glory.

imbeingheldhostage said...

What a really beautiful and powerful tribute, Stefanie. To live our lives as such that we would be remembered for bringing someone to Christ-- I can't imagine any other accomplishment worth having.