Skip to content

how you can live free in this raging world

When I roll back the curtains covering this one little slice of earth, I see her, the fog, how she came in the night, how she crept beneath bushes and over barbed wire fences making her way to our house. She is tranquility exposed, peace visible and I want to stand there, sipping my coffee and watch her, the way she waltzes with such grace, so effortlessly in and amongst and around.

How you can live free in this raging world photo

I reach out my hand, rest it against the cold glass, these fingers smudging, pressing, reaching for so much peace, and I wonder if maybe God Himself isn’t tired too? If perhaps He doesn’t wish to spend a little more time in the snow-crusted fields of Northern Iowa this morning instead of on the raging streets of Washington D.C.

Maybe you’ve been reading the news, too. Perhaps you heard about the marches, the fight against misogyny and bigotry, the flags being lit up, this tiny spark of rage becoming this uncontrolled wildfire. Maybe you’ve also read about the foreign affairs, how relationships are changing, and nuclear warfare, and its all just one tricky line to walk because no matter how much you trust, no matter how much you guard against fear, it slips unnoticed sometimes into your heart.

I turn from the window, sit next to the dog snoring softly, head on the pillow, and I pull the Book toward me, this life-raft in this raging world.

Maybe it’s the coffee, lackluster in its bravado. Maybe it’s the snores of Ervin. Maybe it’s the fog floating across the river, but the Book slips, falls with my eyelids.

A scream. A yell of triumph. Pain. Maybe fear. I cannot tell.
A battle cry, this time, I’m sure.

I search madly, run down the streets, and turn to see the masses walking along this street. It’s paved with the gold and glimmer of broken souls, these souls once meant to be free but now shackled, splintered – all this shimmering brokenness being trodden on by boots, marching, polished, a rivalry of soldiers yelling, “Hail, Trump. Hail to the Führer.”

And the church doors swing open. Loud, they bang like a cannon fired. The people spill into the street, fists raised and signs high for human rights. Their voices get louder. Their leader is a lady yelling about her God-given rights, and it’s the only time God is ever mentioned, there at the top of their screaming, teeming madness.

And then I see her, this veil of white rolling in and I think maybe it’s tear gas, desperate attempts to control the riot, but then I watch as she tumbles in and around and among the people, how she cloaks them in peacefulness, waltzing this way, waltzing that way. And she wears a coat of many colors, of every race and gender and personality, how she is one being, but so many of everything put together in this beautiful, messy existence of perfection. She tosses her hair, then, laughs, places her hand against her heart, and I see it then, this trail of blood-red she drips wherever she walks.

And the people are confused, the church-goers and the liberals, the politicians and the self-righteous and one small child breaks free from the jostling throng, falls, touching his lips to the trail of blood and then, he too stands and starts to dance.

Only a few follow the boy.
Only a few shimmer in white.
Only a few dance free.

Only a few, there in the middle of that street paved with gold.

I wake slow, unsure of reality, my heart thrumming wild against my ribs. The fog has left for the day. She has slipped silently toward the horizon while I slept. My coffee is now cold. The Bible has fallen.

I sit up.
I shake my head, dizzy.

Oh, how I wish to dance free.

“For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

2 Corinthians 3:17 NLT

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”

Matthew 5:9 KJV

Photo courtesy of Licensed under CC0.

What I’m Reading This Week

To The Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey