January 10, 2022
Now we see a reflection in a mirror; then we will see face-to-face. Now I know partially, but then I will know completely in the same way that I have been completely known.
1 Corinthians 13:12 CEB
It has been 5 years and 7 months since Rod and I boarded a plane from Hawaii to Charlotte, NC, with Kiko in cargo. Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, by the time this is posted I will be half-way through a flight to Dallas, the first of 3 flights one our way to Hawaii for a much-needed vacation.
All of us are tired and frustrated that after 22 months the pandemic is surging once again. When we made our plans in July for this trip, the Delta variant was just emerging, and now Omicron is causing havoc all over the world. Nevertheless, N-95 masks in place, vaccinated and boosted, we are making this journey to visit a place and people we love.
Aloha is perhaps the most familiar word in the Hawaiian language. It can mean hello, goodbye, love, peace, and compassion. It is made up of two words, “alo”which means face, and “ha”which means breath or spirit. It implies the intimacy of making eye contact, looking at someone face-to-face, and breathing in (or in the age of COVID, beholding) the presence of the other as they breathe in your presence. Greeting in such a way takes time and intention and attention to the other, something we aren’t very good at here on the mainland.
Genesis 2 tells us that “God formed man out of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath (ha) of life, and man became a living being. I imagine that Jesus met people face to face, made eye contact, and truly beheld the presence of each person he encountered. 1 Corinthians 13:12 is the last line of the famous “love chapter”. It is the promise that someday we will know God completely even as God already knows and loves us. We will see face to face, restored to the fullness of living beings. Hawaii may be beautiful, but that will be Paradise!
Keep safe. Aloha! ~ Anne