Trusting the Match Maker
Fiddler on the Roof is one of my favorite movies. I have yet to see it on the stage, but hope to someday. In this story, a devout Jewish man, Tevye, is faced with many choices that require him to step further and further away from what is known and familiar – from what is “TRADITION!” Throughout the story, we see Tevye wrestle with God, speaking openly and honestly with God about his confusions, his desires, his hopes and fears. Amidst the wrestling, though, he always expresses love and devotion to God, and he chooses to act in faith, believing that God is the ultimate authority and has a plan that Tevye himself may not fully understand. These themes are demonstrated throughout the process of Tevye marrying off three of his daughters, who all go against the tradition of having an arranged marriage to spouses who would have been chosen for them by either their parents or Yente, the “match-maker.” God instead led each of the three daughters to untraditional partners, much to the dismay of the community, and even to some of the family. Each girl recognized these as divine matches, with God Himself being the Match Maker. They each had courage enough to ask their father for his permission, blessing, and acceptance of the relationships. And their father had faith enough to send them, trusting that God would keep them in His care.
I have described this move to East Boston many times as feeling like a marriage arranged by God. We don’t know Boston well yet (in fact, we have only met her twice thus far), and she does not know us. We could tell from the first encounter, though, that there was something special about her and the people who make up her character and identity. We felt drawn to her. The more time we spent visiting her and praying over her, the more we began to see that God has been preparing us for her. Because we trust the Match Maker, we are ready and willing to commit to this relationship with Boston, believing our love for each other will grow as we get to know each other better and better.
Acts chapter 17 tells us that God marked out each of our appointed times in history and the lands in which we would dwell. “God did this so that people would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from any one of us.” We recognize the purpose of this divine match is for God to use us in drawing people to Himself – and for us to grow in our own understanding of and faith in Him. We are not the first to be matched with Boston, and will not be the last. The LORD has always been present there and his kingdom is ever growing. However, we do believe that if God is calling us to uproot and re-plant our family, He must have specific individuals prepared for us to encounter. We are excited about developing new relationships and seeing what God has in store, both for them and for us.
This move is certainly a non-traditional choice for our family, and it will require not only our faith but the faith of those “sending” us. If you are reading this, it most likely means you are someone who has prayed for us and who has impacted our lives for the better. Thank you. Thank you for choosing to support us in this adventure. As we say “yes” to Boston, we vow to love and serve her people, to learn from them and to share our lives with them, and to be living vessels of Jesus Christ. There will definitely be times of sickness and health, sorrow and joy, but we fully believe it will be worth it.
I love the song in Fiddler where Tevye is with his daughter Hodel, waiting for the train to come and take her to another country. She sings about the love she has of home, but the certainty she feels about where she is going. I have felt that way every time I’ve moved – It is always painful to leave people and places that are precious and even sacred to me. But God is always faithful and His calling is never wrong. He is continually shifting my dreams and desires to look more and more like His. He is my first and greatest Love. And therefore, I will follow Him wherever He leads me. “There with my Love, I’m home.”
You can listen to the beautiful song here: There With My Love I'm Home