Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Breaking the Silence
For me, embracing quiet seasons can not be hinged on remaining quiet. If I do that, I resist change. Writing changes me. I process. I admit. I explore. I confess. In ways I don't in everyday life. In ways I can't. I was made to be a writer. I can't really do much with a blank page if I leave it blank. I have to keep writing the story even when it seems like the plot is thinning.
I think I thought if I was just silent, I would come to a point of clarity. I thought I would find a secret spiritual superhighway and afterwards I could come back to my writing ready to impart something of worth. But I am not like a paleontologist who has been dredging the Egyptian desert poised to unpack rare and one-of-a-kind truths about the nature of God: I just know what I have always known.
I am so glad I am not God.
One of my New Year goals was to make this year a wisdom warpath for me.
My quest looked a lot different. Epiphanies didn't abound. I have the same struggles. I have the same hesitancy's, tendencies and inclinations.
I set out to seek him out. I dove into the Old Testament, Psalms, James and Revelation. And I have found wisdom, but not in the way I envisioned. I thought it would come easier, like skipping in a field laden with golden nuggets ready to drop into a deep velvet sack. I thought if I just "knocked" that my world would then be rained down with enlightenment from heaven, but it feels more like I've been chipping away at the same rock and discovered I am sitting on a pile of man made rubble.
I've been trying to fit God into my story, instead of giving God my story.
You guys, there are so many days where I don't get it. I look around this world and I can't see past my own ideas. Some days I have drastically missed the memo. I have looked for God in super structured Bible studies, small groups, one on one vulnerable conversations, serving meals to the sick and giving my time away generously to those who ask. Not bad things, but I don't need to look for him anywhere. He is already here. He is already doing his work. I can choose to be an active part of that or not.
There are periods of time where I've just opted out. When motherhood wears me to a nub. When my dreams feel as if they belonged to someone else and I see them like little hollowed out plums, shruken and soft.
I still feel the same way: I want Jesus. I want the man who said he wanted me. And yet I dance around his presence on the daily like I shadow I refuse to give skin to.
I want to unearth the character of God. Not a big picture character diagram where I dissect words in the Greek or Latin and study intricate subtexts. Sound theology is necessary, but life is often lived between the places of longing and apathy. I want to be an addict for the word, to cling in my storms to the small, minutiae Jesus where in every breath I feel him and I listen to him.
This is what I have learned about obedience: it breeds patches of quiet. It isn't followed by fanfare. It doesn't get applause. It gets slow and steady movement towards the heart of Jesus. It's ditch digging work, where we just keep going. I wish it would feel more magical. I wish I could say that I discovered that I am in fact a unique and favored snowflake that God is crazy about no matter how much I don't obey or don't give him any real skin in my game.
He calls us to be obedient servants. To stop numbing out. To stop judging. To stop the sideways glances. To stop pretending.
You know why?
The joy. The joy that is found. And this joy isn't the disingenuous brand that most church institutions propagate. It isn't silly, happy faces and jubilant handshakes. Joy is looking truthfully at the broken pieces of who you are and crying thankful tears into the stiches sewn by blood rusted nails.
I'm thankful. I'm thankful I believe in something as crazy as Jesus Christ. I can't imagine the mess I would be in if all I had at the end of the day was this pile of man made rubble. Keep digging.
We're in this together,