2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-13, 17 [The prophet Nathan approved King David’s desire to build the Temple.] But that same night the Lord said to Nathan, “Go and tell my servant David . . . I will raise up one of your descendants, your own offspring . . . He is the one who will build a temple for my name.” . . . So Nathan went back to David and told him everything the Lord had said.
Have you ever had to go back and say, “Oops—I was wrong. The truth is . . .” One thing that impresses me about this story is God’s gentleness with both Nathan and David. Both of them had their hearts in the right place—both of them wanted to honor the Lord. God just needed to tell both of them that he had a different plan, a different way to achieve what was in David’s heart. The evidence of David’s sincerity is the beautiful prayer with which he responds to Nathan’s second visit. “How great you are, O Sovereign Lord! . . . May your name be honored forever . . . Your words are truth . . . For you have spoken, and when you grant a blessing to your servant, O Sovereign Lord, it is an eternal blessing!” (from 2 Samuel 7:22-29).
The spirit of this story makes me think of Karis writing in the hospital on Oct 22, 2002 (age nineteen), “I want to be an agent for the healing and purification and preparation of Your Bride, Lord. Your Church, Your Temple.” This theme comes up over and over again in Karis’s journals over the next ten years as she prayed, passionately, for the worldwide body of Christ.
Was Karis able to fulfill all that was in her heart? She certainly didn’t think so. Near the end of her life, on Nov 22, 2013, she wrote, “My dreams—should I abandon them? I am like Frodo the Hobbit coming to the moment of today with no glory of my own, stretched thin, not beginning to comprehend, rummaging in the dark for Your voice, for the next step. When Abraham or Moses tried to make the promises happen, they failed to please You: hitting the rock, fathering Ishmael. Could I have misinterpreted what You spoke to me, Father?”
Thinking about this today, in the light of 2 Samuel 7, through my tears I remember the challenge my son Dan shared with us after Karis died: that each of us carry forward in our own lives the legacy Karis left for us, especially the legacy of deep and profound love for other people. And I think of “Anthony,” whom you will meet in All I See Is Grace, living out in his life so many of Karis’s dreams. And I wonder how many of us are meant to be what Karis so longed for, agents for the healing and purification and preparation of the Temple to be the Bride of Christ.
As I write this I am listening to an incredibly lovely CD, sung by Joni Eareckson Tada, one of Karis’s kindred spirits. Here it is on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFz9I1Ordto. One of Joni’s songs speaks directly to the theme of this post. Let me know when you hear it!