I feel a grief waiting. But this time, I have time to grieve. This time, I choose to make time to grieve. To lean into limits. My limits, my families limits, my church’s limits, my relationship limits…so that I can open the door to His knocking. I feel a grief waiting. A welling that can only be truly felt when one stops to breath it all in and breath it all out. Until the pace returns to the rhythm of my heart…the place where You are.
There are days when the space between everyday life and heaven seem less mysterious. The days when no amount of pinching or denial can make the reality of the world stop feeling so real. The days when I can either let the ache put me deeper in the cave between my sheets, or deeper in the truth that pierces between soul and spirit and joint and marrow (Hew. 4:12).
In one 24 hour period of a few weeks ago, I found out about:
And the cap remains.
The Silencer becomes the silence
The fizz settles into muted nothingness.
I am aware of my nothingness. I am aware of the distance that remains between where I once stood and now sit. And what remains after the settling is just not enough to keep up the routine. I don’t have the energy to try and shake my bottle again.
There are so many questions left unanswered. Will my son truly ever recover from these “episodes”? Will I find those vacant stares in other ways as he grows older? Will he ever drive a car? Will he be “that kid”? Will he stop dreaming as the fuzzy parts of his brain cannot differentiate between fog and freedom? Am I losing him? And these are merely the questions that I have allowed to drift to shore. I fear the other issues would bring a tsunami.
What happens when the questions of my life take more of my thoughts captive than the answers that speak the truth of God’s character? What happens when the Silencer has his way with me, and like Zechariah I lose my voice because of my disbelief. Because when it came time, I chose not to speak truth despite what my eyes saw and my emotions felt (Luke 1:20). What happens when the fizz begins to settle and the overflow of my heart becomes a well too dry to draw forth His living water. And we all know how this could end…the silence…stays silent.
God speaks so clearly about the power of our words. James 3 talks about how the tongue is like the bit in a horse’s mouth or the rudder of a ship. It “boasts of great things” and will turn the body in whichever direction it speaks. “Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). “The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the wellspring of wisdom is a flowing brook” (Proverbs 18: 4). “A fools lips enter into contention; and his mouth calls for blows. A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul” (Proverbs 18:7). “Death and life are in the power of the tongue. And those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18: 21).
Is it a wonder why we are attacked in this area? Why the evil one who kills, steals, and destroys (John 10:10) would do so by taking away our very words, our very voice. So here I sit in the moment between longing for my sheets and longing for something more.
Here I am Lord in the midst of this awaited grief. And even though I am curled in a ball in the middle of my unvacuumed floor, I am boldly at the feet of your throne. For it is time. It is time to answer the questions like Peter did. Do I know You? Do I love You? (John 21) How do I grieve my limits Lord? How do I rest in the stillness of my own hollowness? Is this the part that You ask me to count all joy (James 1: 2)? Is my very grief what allows You to show me my great need for You? Like Much Afraid from Hinds Feet On High Places, is the way to the “high places” reached only when I travel with Sorrow and Suffering as my companions? The knowing You and the “power of your resurrection and the fellowship of Your sufferings” (Phil. 3:10). Your sufferings. To not just know about Your sufferings, to not simply empathize with them, or to have courage to glance at them from time to time. No. You say to know You I have to fellowship with You in Your sufferings. To sit at the table, to pray in the wee hours of the morning, to cry, to morn, to pursue…pursue…pursue relationship in the midst of suffering. To find peace, joy, contentment in the midst of suffering. To find You in the midst of suffering.
Your word says that that You do not want us to be ignorant, “lest we sorrow as those who have no hope” (1Thes. 4:13). I can either grieve with hope with You, or turn yet another blind eye to grief for the sake of waiting for a “better time”. To grieve without You is as painful as not grieving at all. A different mask to the same emptiness. But to grieve with You, with hope, that is a promise of Your very character.
I feel a grief waiting. Not just my own, but of a people. A non-generational, non-cultural, non-gender specific grief. A grief that will know much and little, joy and sorrow, feasting and hunger, freedom and pain. A grief that if focused on myself, as my culture directs, will surely consume and mute me. But You alone are a consuming fire (Hew. 12:29). Am I ready to keep reading that verse and receive Your kingdom that cannot be shaken? If I focus my eyes on You, my grief catapults me to boldly knock on the gates of this unshakable kingdom, entering Your very courts. Your presence demands that I enter with thanksgiving and praise (Psalms 100:4). It demands a yielding of myself with bowed humility and lifted hands. And with this spoken grief, I can stand sobered to the reality that my life is IN YOU (Col. 3:3). I can hear its beckoning to awaken my sleeping soul and carry my cross. OH LORD, I long to know You in Your sufferings so like Peter I can answer the questions and say that I KNOW YOU and I LOVE YOU.
So I will make time to grieve this time. I will lean into my limits and deny myself. I will allow grief to be my companion and hold its hand. I will choose to silence the Silencer with Your truths and carry this cross. With this spoken grief, would your words of life bring back the fizz that overflows. And this time Holy Spirit, I feel you removing the cap. For your spoken word can only bring life. It is just what it does. It can be no other way.