You know how God talks to you, if you’re listening, still enough and you turn your mind off for a bit, welcoming Truth into your heart. Yearning is the right word. I may have been desperate for Her voice lately, reading different texts, talking to people, welcoming Her presence wherever I can find Her. She illuminates hope and strength in adversity by reaching out in popcorn words. They just pop up and my brain is all, “Ha, you’re just fucking with me now, aren’t you?” And she says, “Yeah, I am because I’m here, and I love you.” And then I have to submit to the fact that that’s true, that God loves me, even in the brokenness that manifests in every tiresome aspect of life at times and exhausts you to a point you didn’t realize was humanly possible. She’s present. Watching Traci’s decline, leaving relationships that are abusive, investing in lives that I don’t understand and whose circumstances one can’t fathom, my soul is battered and bruised. I’m supposed to take comfort in the Cross, but I’m fickle. I am impatient and doubtful and full of sorrow. So She whispers and I strain to hear the message. Caterpillar. She’s fluent in the language of my soul, I get it. Nudging where I would shove, She nudges me towards complete submission, “I can’t offer you rebirth and transition if you don’t let me.” Will I? I tell Her yes, I will, in every moment, every decision. And then I wait. And I see death coming, but I’m not afraid. I’m peaceful, yet sad. I’m reminded of eternity. I see Stephen fulfilling a role that is unimaginable and doing it with grace, a living breathing example of grace. And where I was falling and grasping for air, I’m met by sweet release. She surrounds us with people that we need, if we pay attention and don’t act out of fear for ourselves, our circumstances, our shortsightedness. If we let go of controlling our vision; soak up Her protection and care, our footing is solid. I put my cold feet there, on that rock, and its warmth radiates into my being. I picked up a book in Savannah about the Psalms, it’s old and smells funky and was written by a man I know nothing about. She’s talking me through it, though. He speaks with such tenderness about life and our Creator, I’m reminded that this Creator will not abandon me, no matter what the circumstances are, that David was amazed and awed by the same stars that I am. David, who I view as a complete asshole, She loved him and his imperfect heart. She cared about every hair on his head and he placed his hope eternally in Her. I let this commonality bring empathy in my heart, forgiving those who have sinned against me, and hoping for forgiveness from those whom I have sinned against.
I have this friend who is kind of mystic, she’s a new friend with a lot of layers and a tremendous faith. And the Lord spoke to me through her last week, at lunch, we met, shared our stories and found peace and love and encouragement. Blindingly so. An encounter that cannot be chance and holds your heart for days afterwards. A nudge in the right direction. The Lord spoke to me through another friend this week, too, seeing her grace through sadness, her submission to the sadness of losing a loved one. It mirrored my emotions and the humility bound by faith that I hope to possess. We decided to meet together and worship, study the Word. Her depth amazes me, too. I imagine her story is one that is not mild, tame or indifferent. And I’m finding hope in being able to study with her. Anyhow, we chose to read Crazy Love, it was resounding to me because I’ve been trying to convince myself for some time that I’m not crazy. But just from the title, I found a little courage to think maybe I am, and maybe I’m supposed to be. I began reading the book, flippantly, kind of talking back to it at first. And then at the lunch-date this week with my mystic friend, she brought the book up, just out of the blue. Spoke with passion about it and the author. And then I took notice. Okay, I’m listening already. Fast-forward to Savannah, relaxing. Allowing thoughts to come and go and remove my emotional reaction to them. Not an easy task, but doable in the best circumstances. I’m having tea with Smith in our favorite tea room. It’s a surreal place. We’re both reading. I’m reading Crazy Love and Chan is gushing about our Creator and the brilliance and intention of each living thing. And there it is, his testimony about the caterpillar having some ridiculous amount of muscles in its head, like 25o or something. And I see with clarity that Traci is headed towards being a butterfly, and the transition from caterpillar to butterfly is an elaborate and intense experience, but it turns out beautiful in the end. And I put my hope there, that She’s leading me to have faith that these patterns I see, the good and the bad, are a part of my growth as a caterpillar, and we’ll all see the glory of this in the end and all of our fears will be dismissed and all of our questions will be answered. Amen.