This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang, but with a whimper.
This line from the poem Hollow Men by T.S. Elliot is probably the most accurate description of where I have been since I last wrote.
When this season of Lent began, I sat at my Lord's feet...hopeful and ready for the journey that would be mine for the next 40 days and beyond. I was ready - but so naive to think that this Father of all creation would work within the scope of what I knew or expected.
The first morning of this year's Lent found me seated in my Pastor's office with questions bigger than I knew how to express. Afraid he would find me crazy, I was instead met with an answer so deeply startling that I found myself, an hour later, sitting in my car...hugging my steering wheel as my entire body weeped in mourning for what I knew I had to leave behind in order to move forward.
But I placed my "backpack" down with great care and trust in the One who called...and move forward I did, even as my heart still ached in a way I can't put into words. I confess I looked back once or twice in the first days of my journey...my eyes searching in a silent hope of restoration to that which I had known all my life...my heart knowing full well that what was laid behind was not going to be found ever again the same.
But I moved on...in silence.
A few days later, I found myself hit with another call to let go. This time, He didn't use my Pastor's voice to speak, but rather allowed the sharp lightening of asthma to freeze me up enough to hear His heart. I confess, this time...my response was immediate, but was neither trusting or careful. I rebelled...openly and honestly...I pushed Him away and pulled tight into a corner, comforted by the old friends named Denial and Anger. There I sat as He stood back...waiting. Five days came and went...wasted in reality...before I realized my mistake: I had forgotten to worship, even tho I walked thru the Valley of I-Don't-Like-This.
So once again, I laid down my "backpack"...this time, sorrow and confession the gifts that covered it at the altar of His will, even as my heart still aches over the loss of what I have always held dear...over what I have tried to always use for Him, even tho I am aware enough to see that it was often distorted. Even as His promises rolled over the land around me, I confess that I looked back so many times that I lost count, in the hope that I can once again have that expression...only to know that He is Sovereign and that whatever I have is from Him...for Him...and free for Him to take back.
So I moved on...in silence made heavier.
Then a few days later, I sat down at this very computer, ready to lay out my heart in a post...only to find that writing had become, to my mind, like a fog, heavy and thick, as a language never heard by my ears but demanded from my lips. I sat for an eternity...working hard to force something, anything from my fingertips. Denial once again came, ready with its cold comfort...and instead of asking Him, pleading with Him, trying to understand it or see it clearly...I avoided it. I confess...I haven't visited the Blogger since my last post, with one exception. The mere thought of the site froze my heart...the realization of my lack of expression crippling my heart as the tears filled my eyes.
It wasn't until this morning, when I tried to write an email...putting into words all that I have "lost" since Day 1 of Lent...
It wasn't until all my heartache sat in black and white...the cursor blinking steadily at the end of the last word that I realized once again, His Sovereignty...His right to remove anything that He feels too heavy for the journey He has place me on.
It wasn't until I realized how heavy the weight of silence that is twisted by my enemy...
I don't understand...
even as I write this...
even as I realize that this is the first thing I have written with fluid motion since my last post...
even as my mouth now works into a smile as I once again feel His Spirit alive within me and His comfort wrapped around me in a full embrace...
even as I wonder "Why now????"....
I can't even begin to try to wrap my mind around the One who gives and takes away...the One who loves me with such a passion that I can't fathom even the first drop of it...
Even now, as I smile and my heart rises in praise of the One who grants me the words to once again express my heart, I have to shake my head in wonder at His will...and His purposes.
But only now...
...as I can only sit here staring at my fingers that race around the keyboard as if they had never left
...only now can I raise my heart in praise of the One and Only
...the Holy and Tender
...the Beginning and the End.
Only now can I see Him again, more clearly than I have since I began Day 1, nervous and shaking...
Only now, am I able to embrace the path that has been mine these almost 40 days.
"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you:
I will remove from you your heart of stone
and give you a heart of flesh.
And I will put my Spirit in you and move you
to follow my decrees and be careful to follow my laws."