John 1:14. So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have see his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
One of my best friends died last week. He was only 44. With his death, a piece of me will forever be gone. We knew each other for nearly 30 years. We shared life together in all that it is and all that it isn’t. We wrestled through many things and both agreed and disagreed about a lot, but we never questioned our friendship, our bond. My daughters even call him Uncle Tony. What I cherish the most about our friendship is that we made a “home in each other’s life.” We shared the mundane, the joys, and the travails in all the pits and peaks of living. I could trust his advice and criticism, and l leaned on his insight about my family, my job, and my person. He was a friend and a brother.
A few years ago, I remember surfing in Hawaii on the island of Maui. One day on that trip, I rode some of the biggest waves I’ve ever surfed. The faces were 12-16 feet with an occasional 17-18. I was not expecting the size or mass that came at me that day. Initially, the waves were powerful but not daunting. However, as the morning session progressed the waters began to churn and the line-up of waves quickly began to peak on the outside and rear their heads like giants. Several times that day as I paddled to position, flipped around with board in tow, and rode down the face of some pretty big waves, my heart raced and my body became enveloped in the pursuit and focus of the ride. It became one of the days of my years of surfing that I will never forget.
As I remember my friend and brother Tony and that day of powerful, mesmerizing surf, I am transfixed by the reality of utter engagement in the experience. Unless you knew Tony or experienced that type of surf in Maui, these stories although possibly intriguing, might just be stories on a page. Likewise, if Jesus were only to preach a message that you are loved and that he understands you but yet he never “became human and made his [literal] home among us,” I suspect it might be near impossible to believe that he can fathom your life, your feelings, your joys, your hurt. However, what I love about this verse that makes this such a mysterious and tangible draw is he did become human and journeyed just like we do. Therefore, he understands my deep anguish of my loss of Tony as well as the “stoke” I get when I surf.
Dear Lord, help us to grasp the reality that you lived on this earth with us and wrestled with this “stuff” like we did so that we can come honestly and constantly to you.