It's seven-thirty on a Friday night, and the sun is beginning its nightly routine, slowly melting into the horizon and forming rivers of red, orange, and yellow. The late light flows through the power lines that run from our house into the distant sky and bathes our red-and-white, wooden frame house in hues that speak of longing and promise. Josh, Emily, and John are the first to feel the outpouring of the sky. They are sitting on the roof and watching that deeply spiritual phenomenon that is the end of a day.
Below them I sit on our home-made picnic table, surrounded by a buzz of activity. Out in the gravel lot under the power lines, kids are doing cartwheels and tossing around a football. Beside me at the picnic table, Anna and Donovan are finger painting with a couple of ACU students. Black and white hands become unrecognizable in the assortment of blues, whites, and greens as they leave hand-prints on construction paper and the hearts of those who are meeting God in the Other.
In the kitchen, Faith and Aaron are finishing up dinner, Lily is washing some dishes from a late lunch, and Conner is keeping his eye on the ice-cream maker, spinning away in its bucket of ice and adding to the din. Soon the artists' table will be returned to its original purpose, and the many miscellaneous conversations about life, love, faith, and struggle happening throughout the house will cease – better yet, will be joined as young and old, black and white, male and female, Christian and Sojourner, poor and rich join hands and give thanks for God's provision and love.
This sun will set, but we will continue to live in the sunset, for we are those called by God to live between the day and the night – citizens of the Kingdom that is here but still coming. When Anna sits on my lap and John learns to forgive his enemy; when I confess my sin to my brothers and from their eyes and mouths receive the forgiveness of Jesus; when Poon recites a poem and Kendrick returns my smile; when I look into the sky – I feel the weight of all God has done and a longing for all these signs around me to reach their fulfillment as God's kingdom finally and fully comes on earth as it is in heaven.