My family has dozens of terms and phrases in our quirky tribal lexicon, words like “whomperjawed,” “gaddrief,” and “joobers.” If someone is attractive, he or she is “plum purdy.” If the opposite is the case, the person is “ugly as a mud fence.” A negative situation causes us to say, “I don’t like this, not none,” and tasty food “slaps our spot.” There are also endless inside jokes and movie quotes without number. Yes, we have an entire love language built from scraps of memories and chatter. It’s a beautiful, mismatched quilt of words we can wrap ourselves up in, something that makes us feel cozy and safe. One of my favorites is the paradox we utter whenever people are coming home for a visit. We tell them, “Hurry, but don’t speed.” In other words, we want to see them as soon as possible—but not if it means risking life and limb (or getting a speeding ticket) to get there a little earlier than expected. We’re impatient to be reunited with the people who understand us better than anyone. But can the same be said of God?
I know He is perfectly patient. Why shouldn’t He be? For Him, past, present, and future are all wrapped up together; it’s not strung out like a thread the way it is for us. But there are moments in the Bible that make me wonder, and I can’t help but feel that God is eager to reveal Himself to us. Think about Moses’ request: “Please, show me Your glory” in Exodus 33:12-23. Moses is asking to know God, to experience Him so he can better understand Him. God could have easily told His servant, “No.” He had no reason to reveal Himself to a created thing, but that’s exactly what He did. He hides a man whose heart and soul cannot fathom His radiance in the cleft of a rock and covers him until He passes by. What must that have been like? What awe must Moses felt knowing that God’s hand was quite literally on him, protecting him from everything, including his Maker? God stooped to humanity’s level in that moment and showed a favored servant as much of His glory as He knew could be withstood. That is an action taken by a God who wants to be known, One who is just as excited to be fully comprehended by His children as we are by Him.
The same can be said of Jesus sitting at the well in Samaria in John 4:1-42. It was a place the Bible tells us He “needed” to go through for one woman, a lost and hurting soul whose life would be forever changed by encountering Him. I’m sure Christ sat there calmly, sanguine despite the heat, and watched His beautiful world go by. Maybe He swung one sandaled foot or hummed as He waited. Though Jesus knew exactly when the Samaritan woman would come to the place alone to draw her water, I imagine Him being giddy, looking forward to the moment and eager to interact with her. Did Jesus smile when He saw her coming as she walked with her head down, silently praying that no one would mock her for once? Did He rub His wonderful, soon-to-be-nail-scarred hands together in anticipation of the joy that was soon to come? I think so. He was a Savior who wanted to be found and made sure others could experience Him with their eyes and ears as well as their hearts.
Though the Lord’s timing is impeccable and His plan flawless, I believe He’s like we are in the moments before loved ones come home to find the surprises we have in store for them—a meal lovingly prepared, a gift purchased, and everything made ready for their comfort. He understands the anticipation we feel standing at the windows, our breath fogging the panes, because He feels it, too. Yes, He’s as eager for all of us to get there as we are. “Hurry home,” He whispers to our hearts, “but don’t speed.”