It’s been some time since I’ve written here.
Far too long.
But I’ve needed silence.
Instead of writing, I’ve been walking.
Walking in the beauty of God’s creation.
Walking among the trees and along the streams.
For now, that is what I need.
But, dear followers, I’ve started another blog for short, walking-inspired photography and poetry.
If you’d like to follow me there, you’ll find it here at Inspired by Walking.Wordpress.com
I’ve missed you all and appreciated the emails I’ve received from some of you reaching out.
–Godspeed, Elizabeth (aka Anne Elizabeth)
God has given me this abundant life. A family I love. Work that invigorates.
And yet I want. I want some parts of my life to be different. I think “what if. . .” and “If only. . .” My mind wanders and I think about my life and what it might look like “if only. . .”
And then I come back to the present. But I find I’m only partially here. I leave a small piece of me–part of my attention–in that place. In the “If only” place.
I’m like a puzzle with one missing piece. Set out on the table, put together, yet not complete. The puzzle makers search for the missing piece and come up short. Disappointment after all that work. And then the sigh, oh well.
When I live in the “If onlys” and “what ifs” I imagine God’s disappointment. After all, He has orchestrated this life. He knows my disappointment. My frustration. My expectations. My hopes.
He also knows how it impacts those around me. Those He gave me to love completely. Those who aren’t getting my full attention.
What would my life look like if I fully lived the life set before me? No “if onlys.” No “what ifs.” What if I just lived in the present moment and focused my full attention? What if I celebrated this life fully with thanksgiving? What if I just trusted God fully? Had faith?
Would this life begin to look like the life I dream about? Or perhaps, become more abundant than I could ever imagine. . .
I think of Christ and wonder whether he ever felt as I do. As He carried the cross, I wonder if He ever thought “if only. . .”
“let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” – Hebrews 12:1 ASV
I really don’t have time to write today. But I must. I feel compelled to write. A different place than I was a few days ago when I didn’t want to write, but forced myself to sit down at the keyboard and type out a brief poem.
I feel compelled today because I am grieving. Grieving over the reaction to the killing of Osama Bin Laden. The celebrating in the streets. The Facebook pictures of Bin Laden. The comments on twitter.
I’m grieving because, celebrating the death of one created by God–regardless of what we think of that person’s life–doesn’t seem like the right response. Ever. I know he orchestrated the deaths of many, including the attacks on 9/11/2001 and gloated with his despise of Americans. I know that he is credited as the leader of Al Qaeda, a terrorist organization. I know he plotted the killing of friends and family members of many.
I get the knee-jerk reaction. Of “finally.” And, “what a relief.” But, celebrating death by public gathering, flag-waving, and shouting in the streets is beyond my understanding.
I find myself searching God for an answer. A proper response. I turn inward. I look upward. I seek God’s face in silence. You know the righteous. You are the judge of all. Forgive us our transgressions.
The response I sense in those quiet moments with God are these. Just love. Love deeply. Leave the rest to Me.
I’m joining Lisa-Jo at Gypsy Mama again for 5 Minute Friday. Join us! Just write for 5 minutes–no edits, no extra time–just write and post. The theme today is “If I knew I could, I would. . .
If I knew I could find the words that would convince you that God loves you, I would drop everything and spill those words out for you to hear and watch your eyes and heart light up.
If I knew the acts in my life that would show you how much God loves you, and what peace you would find if you knew Him, I would stop everything else and just do those things that would show you.
If I knew I could find another person in this world who could help you to see God and have faith the way I do, I would push aside my introverted nature and introduce you to that person and serve you tea and cupcakes while you talked.
If I knew that I could point you to a passage in scripture that would speak to your heart and show you His, I would sit with you in silence as you read and pray for God’s presence at that moment.
If I knew that I could pray for God to pursue you and prepare your heart and that nothing I could do would help, I would pray anyway because I love you that much, and because I know God loves you that much, and because I know hope and faith and love prevail. . . .
Sometimes I just don’t want to write.
My mind just wants to be numb.
My heart just doesn’t want to feel.
I don’t want to pour out the heartaches and wounds of this tired soul.
I’d rather sit alone in silence.
Hold it in.
Pretend that life is perfect—or at least just fine–in these four walls.
Just not feel or even blink at the chaos that unravels around me and then lands in my lap a tattered mess.
But who would I be kidding?
I need to write.
It frees me from the loneliness of this life.
This broken, shattered life.
It gives me hope.
And in the distance, I hear an echo.
“That is my life too.”
I find community.
I find others with wounds like mine.
Others who know that life is not perfect within the four walls of our homes.
That we are not perfect wives or mothers or daughters or sisters or friends.
Others who know the heartache of loss and love and loneliness.
And in that community, I find hope.
I find renewal.
I find peace in the unraveling chaos.
Because, in the midst of community, I find Christ.
He draws close and He is in the midst of it all.
The healer of wounds.
The one who knits us together when the unraveling begins.
The one who holds fast to us when the world has emptied us of all hope.
The one who gives hope to the hopeless.