It was the end of a long weekend and I had been away since Friday. It did not seem like the reasonable thing to do — but it sure felt like the right thing.
I had my friend leave me at a train station — no ticket, no schedule — just knowing I needed to get to New York and certain there would be a train headed that way before too long.
“Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.”
As God would have it, I arrived 10 minutes before the northbound train departed and had just enough time to gather myself and get on board. You see, it was my daughter’s 20th birthday, and although six-and-a-half-hours of travel did not really seem reasonable for a five-and-a-half hour visit, I felt in my heart this would be the best gift I could give her: myself, eyeball to eyeball, just one on one, “she and I” time. It would be just the two of us, enjoying each other’s company because we love each other.
What a day! She picked me up and off we went to a tea shop, lunch and a long walk, just talking and talking and talking about everything. We window-shopped and laughed and ate street food and drank more tea. We ended our day in the park as the sun was setting. It just so happened there was a man playing a beautiful grand piano. We sat and listened with our heads together.
The moon came up and it was time to go. It was definitely worth the trip.
Advent, as you may know, is the season of expectation. We are not only anticipating Jesus’ birth, but also His second coming. In order to prepare for this, many churches offer a special time of reconciliation — a time to get free from whatever might be keeping us from enjoying, carefree, happy, one-on-one fellowship with God.
Do you know where the word reconciliation comes from? Funnily enough, it means “eyelash to eyelash” — or “seeing eye-to-eye” once again.
Reconciliation has three main parts: “re,” “con,” and “cilia.” Most of us probably know that “re” means “again.” For example, “reread” means “read again.”
“Con” means “with,” as in “chili con queso” — which means “chili with cheese.”
Then there’s the last part: “cilia.” We may remember the word “cilia” from high school biology class, when we studied cells such as protozoa. Cilia are tiny hair-like structures that protrude from tiny cells and help them move around. “Cilia” is the Latin word for “eyelash.”
So what do eyelashes have to do with reconciliation? Well, when we put the translations of these three parts together, “re,” “con,” and “cilia,” we get: “again with eyelashes.” Or, we would say, “to see eye-to-eye again.”
Jesus has given us the sacrament of Reconciliation because he wants us to see eye-to-eye again with God.
Amazing! God wants to have the same kind of close relationship with us as I do with my daughter. He wants for us to long to see Him, to be with Him, to hang out with Him … to put our heads together and laugh and be “eyelash-to-eyelash.” Why? Because we love each other.
May you take full advantage of this Advent season of expectation and all God is offering in and through His church. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by to be present with the one who is eternally present and always longing to be with you. Trust me — it’s worth the trip.
“Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9)
Wow. It is hard to believe You want to be eyelash-to-eyelash with me! Amazing! It is so difficult for me to think of looking in Your eyes, and yet I long to look into the loving eyes of Jesus, as that gaze changed so many lives. I know when He looked, He looked with the loving eyes of His Father, as You are One. Lord, may I never be ashamed or afraid to look You in the eyes. Thank You for giving me the sacrament of Reconciliation to allow me to be able to do just that. Please give me the grace to make the trip.
I ask this in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Melissa Overmyer is the founder of Something Greater Ministries in Washington, D.C., and has been teaching the Bible for over 30 years.