Little Miss Sweetness climbed aboard the bus to greet a new-old friend, and the dog looked at me pitifully to ask if we could go for a ‘real’ walk. He waited patiently, good man, but his eyes begged. So head to the lake we did.
“Breathe, J, breathe. Breathe in the muffled quiet of the still dawning morn. Breathe in the fact that I, your God, am here. All through the toss-turn night. Keeping watch.”
I had awakened still carrying the angst of an ‘unfulfilled’ yesterday, and the questions of a lingering nightmare: I had to work hard at the unravelling to determine if it was real. In the dream, someone accused me of being promiscuous; and the day yesterday was ‘unfulfilled’ not because it didn’t have fellowship, and fun and hope wound through it, but because I refused to rest. And the ‘promiscuous’ became, “Jenny, you are chasing after everyone but me. Here I am.”
Here I am in the pre-dawn wispy splendor of the lake. Here I am in the shishing of the pebbles. Here I am in the burnt orange color of stone. Here I am in the direction of the neighbors who always have a cheerful word. Here I am in the laughter of this small child, you call burden…see me. Here I am in the criss-crossed veining of the stones – stripings that cut through, like sin cut through me. Like my blood runs in a cleansing stream through yesterday’s angst, and loss and sorrow and pain; not just rinsing mostly over the top, but running clean-through till it’s clear. The water of life running through you is clear. Rest in me.”
In his introduction to Hebrews in the Message, Eugene Peterson fronts the book of Hebrews as a caution against too much religiousity, to the loss of clear-visioned faith, faith unclouded by too much mirror-checking. In reading it last night, it was such a relief to be reminded that it’s not about me, or how my performance has generated “likes” or “dislikes” from those around me. It is about Jesus, and that slow, sometimes stumbling hike toward the cross-turned-throne, with my battered crown in hand. I hope it is battered: beaten-up almost beyond recognition, by service to the saints and saints to be; but today…my rest is in Him, and tomorrow’s outcomes lie in his gentle, all-engulfing hands.
One of the admitted challenges of caregiving of near any kind, is that it consumes time; time that one often thinks could be invested efficiently elsewhere. I am reminded that Jesus, though he remained on-call day and night, went away to quiet places, to rest, to be renewed in resolve, to pray. As a caregiver, it feels like grand theft to pluck those moments out of a day, or week, or even month (you know you are there, when dishwashing becomes your haven). I think of all you new-baby moms, living in the twilight zone of sweet baby cheeks, and deprived sleep. Breathe Jesus when and where you may, in the new…that scent that is woven of days-old skin, and hope and promise. And you weary companions to dementia’s slow waltz: hold the gnarled hands, and feel Jesus engrave thank-yous, and kisses of balm into your grieving heart. And you Gal-Fridays, who run the office, and the homestead, and the wife/helper depts.; hear Jesus say, “I know your secret longings, for love, and adventure, and significance. I know.” Rest in me.
I’m just going to let this one go, and hope that Jesus will keep speaking to you in a way that you can hear and treasure. Selah