I discreetly studied Michael over the top of my cards as our Apples to Apples game progressed. I know that he is a man of integrity, but – as our friendship deepens – I have been trying to keep my heart in check until I am able to determine how important his faith is to him.
Our a cappella group has held rehearsals at Michael’s apartment several times, and his walls are decorated with various crosses and bible passages, but in contemporary American culture, that doesn’t necessarily mean much in the way of authentic faith. I know Michael attends church services whenever he has a free Sunday amid rotations, and I heard that it didn’t work out with the last girl he dated because he discovered a few dates in that she wasn’t a Christian, and a shared faith is important to Michael.
Probably most encouraging is the fact that, in the course of conversation with the group, Michael occasionally mentions in passing the goodness of God or the sovereignty of God’s plans. The way Michael speaks indicates that he has a deep-seated respect for God and a faith in God’s goodness that underpins everything he does. “You will know a tree by its fruit“, and Michael exhibits patience and lovingkindness that I believe evidence his faith. I continue to look for confirmation as I rest in this season of waiting.
With just a few rounds left in our Disney Apples to Apples game, one of our altos drew the adjective “Ancient”. I chuckled to myself, thinking that the Yzma card would be the perfect one to play, but sadly, it had already been used. So I played “Beaches” instead, tailoring my choice to the alto’s very literal, cut-and-dry personality.
Sure enough, when she flipped over my card, she exclaimed with a grin, “Beaches! Those are older than Jesus!”
She had only meant the Jesus reference as an “omg”-like outburst, but one of our equally literal basses paused the game to ask, “Wait. Are beaches older than Jesus? He showed up around 2 BC, right?”
To my surprise, Michael spoke up, quoting John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
“Oh, yeah.” One of our sopranos with a Catholic background nodded, confirming for the group that Jesus is in fact more ancient than beaches, and everyone moved on with the game.
Except me. I kept glancing at Michael in wonder, that he would not only know that verse but also understand its significance – that Jesus is the Word, and He was with the Father at the beginning of time; that all things were created through Him.
I am encouraged. I am hopeful. But I am also waiting on the timing and the plans of the One who Michael and I both believe is good, sovereign, and loves us more than we can understand.