Construction companies are generally named like law firms.
Hensel Phelps Construction.
But I didn’t know that as a little girl.
My dad had bucked the trend and instead of naming his company something like Penner Construction, he opted for Maranatha Construction (translated for me as a child as “Lord come quickly”). Thus I grew up thinking that a company’s name reflected what the owner believed in.
From preschool through high school, I must have heard “Maranatha” at least ten thousand times. The summer I worked in Dad’s office I must have seen it, answered phones saying it, typed it, faxed it, and copied it at least five hundred times alone.
For my dad, the repetition must have been closer to a million times. “Maranatha” in the office, in his plane, in his green Ranchero or blue Bronco, on the job sites, at home, and printed on everything from business cards, to hats, to trailers, and even belt buckles.
Every day was a Maranatha day until Maranatha become the phrase to which his heart beat.
And every day of his was full to a good measure until it became a pressed down, shaken together, and running over life. He embraced it all knowing that to live is Christ, but should the Lord come quickly for him, then to die would be gain.
Maranatha Construction Company only last 15 years before God answered Dad’s repeated petition. The Lord came quickly and carried him home.
I must have heard it over ten thousand times.
I saw it answered in one thousandth of a second.
When Dad’s heart stopped beating with it, mine picked it up. Over and over my heart beats a Maranatha rhythm.
In the same way that the phrase “I love you” is shorthand for a more rich and intricate expression of love, “Maranatha” to me is shorthand for a deeper and more intricate prayer of ache.
What follows is the long version of my Marantha prayer. May it be of encouragement when you find yourself longing for Him to come, quickly.
Come to us
Come down from heaven to us
Without a moment of delay
Or a millisecond of hesitation
When, O Lord, will Your justice roll like a mighty river
carrying away all evil, apathy, and selfishness?
How long until the endless stream of all things broken
becomes a mighty current of all things made right?
Earthquakes that topple and bury
those who danced upon the earth.
Hurricanes that flood and carry away
those not in a hurry to die.
Famines that dry up and snatch
those not looking for fame,
only the bread of life.
How long, O Lord, until you give ear and hear
the misery and heaven-help-us cries of the slaves?
The number in bondage:
No century holds more human-trafficking.
More than ever before
we know how to exploit.
In our “civilized” age,
the lies and false promises of work pile high.
enslaving the minds, bodies, lives
of those formed free in your image.
All the daughters
How long, O Lord, until you open your eyes and see
the bloodshed and dust-to-dust bodies of the dead?
The number perished:
No century knows more violent conflict.
More than ever before
we know how to exterminate.
In our “modern” age,
the wars and tweets of war pile high.
talk of ending families, generations, lives
of those made alive in your image.
you already know
No, my child,
I have enough fine linen.
My sheep know my voice.
No, my beloved,
all those rooms
my hand has already made.
Do you need more rich foods or cuts of meat
for the wedding supper?
Call upon my beloveds, those who came to You before me,
Grandma Lois, HP, my abba father.
They will prepare and set a feast for your name
because of your love and faithfulness.
No, hungry and thirsty soul,
that is not why you must wait.
You know why I hold back the four winds.
Yes Lord, I know why,
although I do not understand how
it will all work out.
Yes Lord, patience you had with me,
so I will not begrudge Your patience with
every friend of mine and every foe,
every neighbor of mine and every kin,
every tribe upon the earth and every language,
every person upon the planet and every nation,
wishing not that any should perish,
but that all have the opportunity to
turn their thinking and change their acting.
But how long, O Lord,
will it take?
These things I plan won’t happen right away.
Slowly, steadily, surely
the time approaches
when the vision will be fulfilled.
If it seems slow,
do not despair,
for these things will surely come to pass.
Just be patient.
They will not be overdue a single day.
Then each day Lord, keep watch
so that You may be ready
to ride out at the signal
from the faithful and wise Father.
Each day my child, keep watch.
Be faithful and wise
that your life may be a signal
of My Father’s presence in you.
Each day Lord, open the Book of Life
and write in new names
so that You may be ready to
justly and mercifully judge.
Each day Lord, polish the pearls
so that You may be ready to
construct the gates of Your Holy City
and draw us near.
Each day my child, seek the fields
of the Scriptures
so as to draw near
to the Pearl of great price.
Some days Lord, it does not feel
like there is enough armor
to heal our brokenness underneath
or free us from that which so easily entangles.
Yahweh, come quickly to us
to remake our hearts.
My Lord Jehovah,
when it is Thy time,
My Lord Yahweh,
when it is Thy will,
then come quickly to us.
Do not delay even one second,
come down from heaven for us.
Yes my child, I am coming soon!
Through all time and eternity,
I am already on my way to you.
Amen! O Lord, amen.