A Message From The Pastor
Each month our Pastor, Rev. D. Lee Andrzejewski, has a message for us. It always makes us think about what is happening in our lives and the lives of those around us during that time. Click on the above link for his biography.
"THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE"
It was the fall of 1980. Freshman typing class. She was an Alexander... I was an Andrzejewski. Because of this wonderful alphabetical coincidence, we were assigned to sit next to each other. And the moment I saw her, in my first day of high school, I fell in love. How is a 13-year-old boy supposed to learn how to type when he's sitting next the girl who would one day be the mother of his four children? When I say I fell I love, I mean fell hard and fast.
The problem, however, was two fold. Number one, we would never again have a class together until the last semester of our senior year. And two, I was one of the most painfully shy people you'd ever want to meet. I fell in love with her in September of 1980...and I finally asked her out on a date in May of 1984, three weeks before graduation.
May 19, 1984 to be exact. Pizza Hut. The bill came to $8.34 (I spared no expense).
Since that day some 33 years ago, Kristen and I have been inseparable. There were no wild oats to be sown. No playing of the field. No testing of the waters. We have survived 5 years of poverty, four pregnancies, three totaled cars, two major hospitalizations, and a name like "Andrzejewski".
I still have friends from grade school. Good friends from seminary, two of which I, believe, would give an arm if asked. In just two years here at Historic Trinity, I have fallen in love with you people...and consider this my home. But there is nobody in this world who knows me more than Kristen, and nobody in this world who I know better than her.
But in spite of all of our history and all of our love...well...
They say the secret to understanding a woman is but two things, and that no man has ever been able to figure out even one of them. We shake our heads a lot, but we don't have a clue.
I realize, of course, that I am no Albert Einstein, much less an Uncle Stosh. In the strand of life, my bulb burns a little more slowly than most. So when my wife says "the small dog finds mud in the green forest", I believe there is a dog and a forest and mud, but what she really meant was "I'm tired and don't feel like making dinner".
Even after nearly 29 years of marriage, and 37 years after I first fell in love with her, even after realizing that there is nobody else in all the world I could possibly know more thoroughly, I will from time-to-time miss what she is trying to say.
My notes from seminars and classes suggest that only 7% of all communication is verbal. The vast majority of our ability to adequately deliver our thoughts to others comes non-verbally, through body language, tone, inflection, and general disposition. And this can even be true with those we know the most.
Samuel was in the temple when the Lord called his name (1 Samuel 3). He was living there, serving there, even sleeping there. In fact he was lying in the same room as the ark of the covenant. Yah, that ark. The most significant Old Testament figure representing not only God's promise, but God's presence.
When God called Samuel's name, he completely missed the caller. Not once. Not twice. Three times Samuel failed to recognize the voice of the One for whom the temple had been built, the God who Samuel worshiped day and night.
So the question begs to be asked, "how?"
How is it when we can be as closely and as intimately connected with someone who we love so deeply, and yet still miss a simple word communicating an even simpler thought? And more so, how can we miss that message from God?!
My inability to fully understand my wife is not only a product of my sinful nature, but a result of my genuine inadequacy to see the forest through the dog in the mud.
One of the few saving graces in my limited ability to understand Kristen is to recognize her facial expressions and come to some degree of discernment, but what of our relationship with the God who calls us by name? How are we to understand Him if all we have is His written Word and no evidence of His expression?
The Lord reveals Himself to us in surprising and often unexpected ways. Even though we mostly don't understand His ways, He is daily unveiling His grace... and His face.
God wants us to know who He is, and what He's like. And...yes...He will allow trouble and hardship and pain to flag down our attention, if He must. He wants to talk. He wants us to find security and hope and love through the means by which He comes and communicates.
This is a basic tenet of the Christian faith. God's real presence. As Lutherans, this is what perhaps distinguishes us from many other denominations- our dependence and trust and the source of our strength is in Immanuel- that God is with us. God's real presence...not His real absence. That he is among us now. Face and all.
There need be no guessing as to what he means:
When Jesus first laid eyes on you...which by the way, was before even the foundation of the earth...He fell in love. And when I say fall in love, I mean hard and fast. There is no denying His love. Every question we may have asked, every misunderstanding we may have cooked up, any second-guessing buried deep into our sub-conscience was answered and made crystal clear by Roman nails that pierced perfect flesh and holy blood that poured out onto defiled dirt. Jesus gave up His life for you, because of love. And today He says, in response, "Love the Lord your God...and love your neighbor".
These are not my words, but His. Holy words long preserved for our walk in this world that resound with God's own heart.
As often as we may miss the meaning of God's heart and the intent of His Word...may we never lose sight of the nearness of His face! - DLA
Historic Trinity Lutheran Church
1345 Gratiot Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48207
Phone: (313) 567-3100
Fax: (313) 567-3209