Where is my milk and honey?


As we were preparing for Easter, we shared the story – the Romans, the desire for earthly kingdom, the heavenly one instead, the thorns, the whip, and the cross – and my boys began to act it out. They fought over who got to be Jesus, who got to be Peter, cutting off ears. One was a soldier who wore a Tranformer breast plate. He pretended to nail hands and feet to the wall.

So they knew the story, in their own Hollywood way. But one night I read it to them.

And quietly at first, Isaac began sobbing. I continued to read through the resurrection, thinking it would comfort him. But Isaac continued to cry deeply, even after we prayed, tucked into bed, and turned off the lights.

He tasted the bitter, kept saying, “I wish He didn’t have to do that. Why did He have to do that?” He said he didn’t want to hear that story again for three more years, hard to swallow.

It’s tough to explain sin or Real Love or a Father letting His Son go. I put my hands on Isaac, and I prayed for Holy Spirit to reveal Himself. I prayed for the death of my own son.

Early the next morning, I met my MamaCarmen’s girlfriends for accountability, and this was the day I had planned to break my Lent and drink coffee for the first time. We finally sat with our Lattes, already deep in conversation. I was listening and not thinking when I brought that cup to my face, and it hit me like a whoosh, like a tiny dramatic flash into the unseen.

It was immeasurably the best coffee I’d ever tasted, homemade cinnamon syrup, Guatemalan beans roasted within a few days of hitting my mouth. Giving up coffee wasn’t extremely sacrificial, but that act of having said NO to myself, of saying prayers instead, and of waiting never got easier, and it did bring an intimacy between me and Jesus that I didn’t expect.

After letting Isaac go to bed in the uncomfort of the cross, a 6 year old mulling over Great invisible things, I was steeped in the graciousness of Christ’s return, in the only One that could breach such a chasm as my sin has made between me and God.

I tasted the sweetness, interrupting my friends with a few welling tears. We laughed. Brooke took a picture.

On Good Friday coffee made me cry. But really it was the thought of seeing Christ return again, how the whole earth waits for such satisfaction

down to the bones of the children, down to the crust, down to the chert in my Mama’s driveway.

Consider what it means to have Christ-Esteem when we give up our sweetest things.  What is it we’re really craving? Where is your milk and honey?

amberhaines
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12 Comments

Aimee
Reply April 27, 2011

Oh wow, this is such a beautiful painting about waiting on Jesus. My oldest is tender hearted, too, and such things break her heart to pieces. Thank you so much for sharing.

Holley Gerth
Reply April 27, 2011

Oh, MamaCarmen's--that is a wonderful place. Thinking of milk and honey for the heart, and warm coffe in our town that feeds orphans far away. Thanks, friend...

Kelly Sauer
Reply April 27, 2011

I told Piper a few months ago that her heart was broken, and needed to be fixed. She panicked, and I told her that Jesus had died to fix her heart. The waiting, yes, it is so very hard, so very real.

On another note, I've been praying for you guys with all these raging storms. We're fairly protected in Charleston - the sea breaks the weather up as it gets close - but I know you're further south and more exposed to the nastiness.

Much love.

    Amber
    Reply April 27, 2011

    Thank you, Kelly!

    It has been very bad here. Our town flooded big time. Many lost their possessions, and one girl that I had the privilege of meeting was swept away in front of her child. It makes me take Christ-Esteem seriously.

Jess
Reply April 27, 2011

YES. Me too.

kendal
Reply April 27, 2011

my youngest was old enough for passion of the christ this year. he bawled. i prayed for my boys as we watched - to understand and know him. i get a homesick feeling a lot. even when i'm home. a deep, deep longing. it's for him.

    Amber
    Reply April 27, 2011

    Me too, Kendal. Homesick is the perfect word for it. At least it's not a home we're looking back to. It's one we're looking forward to.

Erika
Reply April 27, 2011

Your word-beauty is so prolific - it just keeps coming, flowing to water our souls. Thank-you.

Brandee
Reply April 27, 2011

Oh. The precious heart of your Isaac. Oh.

Danelle Townsend
Reply April 28, 2011

So the "Christ Esteem" begins in the offering. . what we give up to draw closer. I am beginning to see this now.
The waiting on Jesus. . . yes, our milk and honey.
Love this Amber.
He always speaks through you in such amazing ways!
Love to you! Glad you are all safe. We had crazy storms in GA last night.
Praying hard for the ones who were hit the hardest in AL.

Melissa@one thing
Reply May 2, 2011

I love this. We didn't talk about Jesus in my house growing up and I find I still trip over my tongue when I try and talk to my littles about it. I hope it gets real soon...somethings feels unauthentic when I try and make it child friendly...I don't think there is any way to do it.

Thanks for this...
(ps...I just made my own cinnamon syrup...thanks for the idea!)

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