In a couple weeks Emmett and I would have celebrated ten years of marriage. For practical reasons, I can't usually make it to his grave site on special days, so in keeping with our tradition of never being able to celebrate our anniversary on the actual day, I headed over there last week while I was visiting the farm. I smiled as I got out of the car. Other people bring flowers, sometimes stuffed animals for children. I brought an ice cold, glass bottled Cheerwine. I could picture Emmett's smile.
I didn't say much, but as I sat there, I was struck by the change of my own heart. Thomas Kelly says it well in A Testament of Devotion:
Yet God, out of the pattern of His own heart, has planted the Cross along the road of holy obedience. And He enacts in the hearts of those He loves the miracle of willingness to welcome suffering and to know it for what it is - the final seal of his gracious love. I dare not urge you to your Cross. But He, more powerfully, speaks within you and me, to our truest selves, in our truest moments, and disquiets us with the world's needs. By inner persuasions He draws us to a few very definite tasks, our tasks, God's burdened heart particularizing His burdens in us.
God is most certainly particularizing His burden in my heart, disquieting me with the world's needs and simultaneously cultivating a holy longing for heaven.