This week as I drove down the mountain for my weekly move-to-the-hermitage, I listened to my favorite NPR show, Speaking of Faith.
Krista Tippett interviewed Desmond Tutu about how his understanding of God and humanity has unfolded through the history he's lived. He speaks of reforming South Africa and the exuberance and despair experienced in the 1990's.
Then he shares, "...and just as we were recovering our breath, the god of surprises played his most extraordinary and incredible card..."
All day this notion of God of Surprises has shown up for me. In particular this afternoon when I met with the family of a motorcycle accident victim. His condition has been grave for the last week and even yesterday, his wife replied, they were considering "survivability" - or not. It was certainly been a despairing place.
Then, surprisingly, this morning he moved his arms. The family requested a meeting and the doctor was available. The chaplain (me) arrived just at the start as they began chatting. The second opinion neurologist appeared seemingly out of nowhere. The nurse was available to hear what the doctor recommended. All within two hours, the God of Surprises acted in a previously unplanned and unexpected way.
I count on this God of Surprises to bring newness every day. It's not always so smooth and it's not always good news, either. I do count on God to surprise me. I guess that's something to add to my pastoral theology paper!
If I were in your shoes, I'd go straight to God, I'd throw myself on the mercy of God. After all, he's famous for great and unexpected acts; there's no end to his surprises. Job 5:8 (The Message)
How is God surprising you in this very moment?