“As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;
when I awake I shall be satisfied, beholding your likeness.”
Chadwick here. A few weeks ago, in talking with my parents about their love for Andrea Bocelli, I asked my dad what one of his favorite songs was. Dad said he loved hearing the song “Nessun Dorma”. Being unfamiliar with the song, after the conversation ended I went and looked it up. It’s a beautiful song from the opera “Turandot” by Puccini. The character Calaf has answered the 3 riddles required by Princess Turandot in order to marry her, but she’s still reluctant. So he tells her, if she can guess his name before dawn – she doesn’t have to marry him.
She then goes out to declare to her people – no one can sleep until they work together to know his name. If they fail, they will all be killed. The song begins with Calaf echoing the words of her heralds, “Nessun Dorma! (None shall sleep!)”. He talks of the stars that tremble with Love and hope. He proudly declares that none will know his name until the dawn…”I will say it when the light shines!” “My kiss will dissolve the silence that makes you mine!”
I’ll be honest, when I listened to the words – especially in this past week as my dad was in his final moments, it brought tears to my eyes. Not for the sadness, although there is mourning. But for the joy of how the song resolves, and the ways I saw my dad living within a similar story.
There is a way of knowing God, and knowing the “name” of our Lord here in this humble way of existing. But we are limited in our knowledge and our understanding. We join with the people globally, sometimes restlessly awake in our pursuit of who God is. Even in our greatest moments of understanding just how much He loves us and pursues us in return – there is a limit to our understanding that cannot come until “the dawn” of a new day. His loving desire, literally the ache of His heart, meanwhile, is that we would know His name fully.
Yesterday, our dad reached such a dawn, as he was set free from the long battle he’s fought with cancer. As he passed from this life into the arms of the Father, I can only imagine the joy that came as he “learned the name” of God in a way we all look forward to knowing one day. Even as dad, with all the saints, continue to wait with us for the coming New Creation, it’s a blessing to know dad understands the Love of God in a way we’ve only begun to.
Which seems only right – as dad always seemed to understand all things. I’m pretty sure Google itself is now looking for a new source. 🙂
My prayer is that our lives can continue to help others understand who God is just a little better each day, in hopes that His Love will be known in ways that prepare us to know Him even more fully when a new dawn arrives. For now, the final words of Nessun Dorma:
“Vanish, O Night!
Fade, you stars!
Fade, you stars!
At dawn, I will win!
I will win! I will win!”