I’m sorry I haven’t been here, for a while.
Well, I am. And I’m not.
You see, I’ve been resting and it seems the older I get, the more I need to rest, the more I need to slow, feel the weight of the days, feel the cool breeze, the hot breath, feel this rise and fall of life and all it has to offer.
I’m sitting on my front porch now. There’s a chipmunk
playing in a fallen rain gutter lying by the garage so I pause my fingers against
the keyboard and watch him. He makes me grin, the way he sasses Ervin lying at
my feet, the way he twitches his tail in complete annoyance that anyone dare
use his playground.
I think I love him, the way he teaches me to be playful.
I sneak a peek through the trees, see the north western sky ablaze with the day ending and I pause again, watch the way the colors float carried on clouds, how they retreat into darkness and I feel my soul being tugged along. Maybe I need a longish nap or two, I yawn.
I think I love the sunset, the way it teaches me to slow.
I feel a sting against my arm, glance down, watch the way the mosquito grows pregnant with my blood. I hold my breath, challenging its thirsty, thin body to tire from hurting me, willing it to stop and finally, it does, flying slow and heavy into the darkness.
I think I love the pain. Yes, even the pain. I love the way the hurt overtakes the moment, how it becomes a part of me, how it teaches me to simply accept there will be hard times. I think about where I’ve been and where I am now and I realize that hurting and healing are part of the human experience and that sometimes things get broken and sometimes they get repaired and it’s in the healing that life rearranges itself, sometimes miraculously, to compensate for one’s loss with more good than a person feels they deserve.
I stop here. Because I am here. I am the walking wounded, the man limping from his cot, the one desperately reaching for the hem of Jesus.
I sip my coffee, decaf and black and growing cold.
Yes, I realize. I have talked long and hard in this space
about brokenness and I realize, now, how often I have missed talking about the
I have missed talking about those moments in between when there’s an okayness to life. How there’s a daily dipping of a brush into the medium of days, these days of neither softness nor hardness, this mixing of so many graces and only a few hardships and I’m wondering, do we have to talk about the what ifs of when it might get hard again?
I have spent many good days, whole days, with bated breath, waiting for something sad, something hurtful, something damaging to happen because I am who I am and that means I don’t get to live in a space of simple grace, does it?
No, I realize, I’ve been living something I don’t believe.
Because I believe sometimes nice things happen to good people and that we needn’t worry; they don’t happen too often, not even as often as maybe they should, but when they do, it’s up to us to simply say thank you and move on. It’s up to us to not question whether or not we deserve them or whether or not this means something bad is coming but simply acknowledging there’s a really, really good God that gets a whole lot of joy out of giving someone He loves a good day, many good days… goodness even, can we say it, a good life?
And that’s not to say that life is perfect or easy or not even hard sometimes. It’s simply saying that maybe we need to accept that healing doesn’t always result in living free from adversity, but rather it means living freely redeemed. It means standing and holding our scars to the sky and saying, I am here. I am here if for no other reason but to praise the One who made it possible.
It is dark now. Southern Gal comes out with a blanket wrapped against the chilly evening, plops Mr. Watson on the chair next to me and says to herself, all joy and surprise… “A lightning bug!”
I think I love her, how she brings me back to myself, away from my thoughts tumbling deep.
The single light at the end of the street casts a halo beneath it and I am wrapping this day up, here, basking in the grace of a God who cares more about me than I even care about me and I’m sitting here just whispering, Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. – Jeremiah 29:11