This week's story-telling class was taught by Jeremy Rodgers, Austin Stone's "Film Production Manager" which basically means that he makes incredible mini-documentary films for our church so that we can see the work that God is doing through the people of our church all over the world.
One of the stories he shared with us was about our Worship Pastor, Aaron Ivey. Aaron and his wife Jamie went though an incredible struggle to adopt two precious children from Haiti- four year old Amos and two-year old Story. Story was able to join the family in the US before the earthquake in January 2010, but Amos' adoption had not yet been completed. For a while, Aaron and Jamie didn't even know if Amos was alive. They did learn that he had survived the earthquake, but the building that held his adoption paperwork was completely destroyed. Aaron and Jamie watched and waited while the country struggled to rebuild after the earthquake, separated from Amos and longing to get him home.
Watch this music video by Aaron that really expresses his longing much better than I can in any words written here.
Finally, they got a call that Amos was going to be flown from Port-Au-Prince to Florida, and they could come and get him. Jeremy was there to document their reunion with his video camera. I wish I could find Jeremy's video on the internet, but it's a little high speed for youtube, I guess. But you can see the homecoming in this video (Jeremy's in it too- guy with the camera in a black t-shirt)
Jeremy traveled with the Iveys from Austin to Florida, so he was able to capture what happened before this video was taken. What this video lacks that Jeremy's footage didn't is a portrait of an anxious father, waiting in anticipation, desperate to be reunited with his son. His body literally shook with emotion as he and Jamie waited in the airport for hours for customs to finish their paperwork.
This week, I'll start writing about Jesus as the Way, and this story has given me fresh perspective about what that aspect of His identity really means. So many of us for so long have settled into a false belief that God is some old white grandfather sitting up in heaven waiting to zap us when we're bad or smile sunshine beams on us when we're good. Aaron & Amos remind me that God is much more than that. He's an anxious Father who is emotionally invested in His children and desperate to be reunited with them.
I love the lyric Aaron wrote in Amos' song, "I'll find a way to get you here." Isn't that just what our Father did through Jesus? He looked out over a world devastated by sin- as Aaron looks out across the ocean in his video, knowing that a chasm separates father from son- and He made a Way. Aaron's heart longs to be reunited with his boy. Are we brave enough to accept that our Father paces Heaven, waiting for the moment when we will come to Him through the Way He provided?
I can hardly watch the footage of Aaron walking toward the cameras in the airport, holding Amos in his arms without crying. To some people, who are willing to sacrifice the truth about Abba for something that is less but maybe more familiar to them, it's too much to think that this tattooed, singer-wongwriter from Austin could accurately represent a Holy God. But for me, I look at Aaron and Amos and think that they are telling the real story, a story that I'm living, too- a story about being reconciled to my Papa. Will you let yourself think about Him longing to hold you in His arms at last? He has already made a Way to get you there.
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me." John 14:6