These are the kinds of words that pull me from my bed at 11.49pm, asking to be written..beware – I am liberal with the “-” and the “,” – you’ve been warned, turn away now if you insist on traditional methods of punctuation.
“I first found you in the rustling of the leaves of my neighbour’s magnolia tree. Sitting in their swing, singing a one-time song to you with innocent tears and You in the wind, answering back – finding my soul beautiful.
This was our easy back and forth. You, a steady knowing in my heart I never doubted. You, an open hand in all the loss.
I don’t know how to teach this to my three, but I want them to have their own swing-song encounters with You. I want their knowing to be stunning and real-to-the-dirt and their very own.
I want them to know how to touch heaven and find it more real than the breath in their lungs…because one day, we won’t need breath any more, but You are always.
“Oooo baby, do you know what that’s worth
Ooo heaven is a place on Earth
They say in heaven, love comes first
Who made heaven a place on Earth
Ooo heaven is a place on Earth.”
God and love…and fear.
God is love, and perfect love drives out fear, but I had so much fear when I was little. Fear, and yet, always wanting to be good, to be free and safe. There was no imminent threat except the constant threat of not being included, chosen, saved… For too many years of my young life I was in a total quandary as to how to be free from the guilt that I wasn’t good enough and never would be.
So even Your wooing, constant presence, especially through music and words, wasn’t enough…I really didn’t get the revelation until much much later – of how You did it all on the cross – that it really WAS finished and we could truly move on – and quit getting saved and quit feeling so bad – and You and I could have our adventures…
Our relationship – I’ve always seen it more as walking and talking than anything else. It isn’t static, and there’s ebb and flow, give and take….It’s not prayer and penance or guilt and forgiveness. It is, of course, those things…but it’s also more mundane and sublime.
Because You are with me when I’m watching Dragon Riders. You are with me when I stare adoringly at my son. You are with me when I read a text and then don’t reply because a scream from the other room pulls me away.
You are unfathomable but want to be known. You are too big to be limited by my small life and it is such a relief. None of my ideas sound crazy to You. They are never too small, too overwhelmingly big to You.
You are huge. You are intimate.
To me, lately, you are quiet and soft.
I thought you were too quiet when we were planning to move to a very long way away and I was pregnant and some of us just weren’t too keen on the idea.
You didn’t seem to want to pick up the phone to me. I kept calling, and either I hung up just when You picked up, or you let it ring, like, forever. Whatever.
And we never really talked about this huge life change. You asked me to do something I thought I had done before. But only really You and I know just how uncomfortable it was. And painful…and regrettable, at times, not now, thankfully.
That’s about all I heard. Like the echo of a whisper. Like it was really just my heart telling me to do it because there was no other way to stay afloat. Only you and I know how close I came to losing my shit…and maybe the Hubs…a lot.
You and I though…there is still that. Thank you.
And that is what I want them to know. My three. And the other kids I’m getting to know. And also just about every other little pair of wide eyes I see.
“You and Him – Him and You – You’re never alone, His love, His love…” That’s what I carry around in my heart for those little eyes. That’s what I want to be found full of…the togetherness you have and the love, always the love that listens and heals.
I found You again here. Easily. Much easier than in England. I find you easily in love, of course, but in hate you are steadfast – not driven away, but strong and present.
We need You in fear and hate, panic and deceit. We need Your incorruptible truth to shine through the muck. We so easily forget Your goodness when this world shows us its ugly underbelly. But the hate doesn’t make You any less good.
I regularly go on news-fasts cause I need Your untainted kindness and it’s hard to remember that’s possible when I get too filled with the thoughts that pervade down here.
Not that I am down and You are up. You are here, always, with me, with us, among and beside. Forever. Amen.”