It was Saturday night. When Jerry and I went up to bed, Tim asked, “What time do you leave for church in the morning?”
That’s all he said but the following morning while we were eating breakfast, we heard the shower come on overhead. Later Tim appeared downstairs, newly wet and dressed, in time to ride to church with us. Afterwards we had lunch out and visited Marge, my former mother-in-law, in her nursing home. The three of us worked a crossword puzzle. We ate kettle corn.
Marge is 93 and she and Tim have a special friendship. She likes it that he doesn’t make all the proper, inoffensive, inane comments everyone else does. Once when Marge, Tim, and I were standing on the curb outside a church after a Christmas concert, waiting for Jerry to inch our car forward in the long slow line of cars to pick us up, Tim asked her, “Aren’t you cold, Marge?”
“No,” she said in her perpetually positive way. “I’m fine.”
He leaned in toward her, stooping slightly to accommodate her shrinkage from osteoporosis. “Marge,” he teased. “Someday someone will ask you how you are and you’ll say, ‘I’m tired and I’m hungry and I’m bored to death!’ ”
She laughed. He can always make her laugh.
Anyway, this Sunday two weeks ago when Tim came to church, the sermon was the last in a series on the Kingdom of God–the last, Pastor Jerry Rueb said, “because I’m running out of Bible!” He spoke about heaven and the throne of God from Revelation 22. One of the passages he quoted was Isaiah 6:1-4.
When we got home I asked Tim to walk me through that passage in Hebrew. He has done this for me before, leading me word-by-word, phrase-by-phrase through Genesis 1 and through Isaiah 53. We sat at the kitchen table with the Hebrew Scriptures open and our heads together and he explained the meaning of the words, with their roots and their nuances.
I came away awed again by Isaiah’s description of G-d “seated on a throne, high and exalted, His robes filling the temple.” Still ringing in my ears is Tim’s running translation, “and the seraphim called each to each and said, ‘Kadosh, kadosh, kadosh, HaShem, Lord of the army.’ And the fullness of the whole earth was the glory of Him. The doorposts of the thresholds shook at the voice of the one calling and the temple was filled with the smoke (of incense).”
Kadosh, kadosh, kadosh. Holy. HOLY. HOLY.