Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Deep Down There

A couple of dear friends have already read what I'm posting today. Maybe this counts as cheating in the blog world, I'm not sure, since this was actually written a few months ago. But I want you to know where I have been, and in the moving forward, we will see his beauty. 

It's no secret to many of you that the past few months have been difficult, unbearably so at times. Praise God for his goodness, and for faithful friends willing to carry my burdens when my own arms felt far too weak.

In A Grief Observed, C.S. Lewis talks about the act of writing, how he doesn't know if all of the notebooks he has filled with his musings on grief have been worthwhile at all. But then he concludes that, if nothing else, writing has been "a defense against total collapse, a safety valve" and in that, it has served its purpose.

It has been the same with me. Really, truly, it has been exactly the same for me. And I'm so thankful for words, for a pen, and for the hope of God that reaches into the darkness and does not flinch.

So here is some of my journey, written in the midst of it all.

First Light
Image from here
Sometimes I think this in-between is a terrible place to be. It is not even tension, or time stretched out, an unraveled spool before me—it is just trapped. It is stuck. I am standing on this fault line, terrified to move, because what if my movement splits the earth wide open beneath me.

As much as I hate my present, it is the only place I can occupy without going insane. The past makes me want to disappear, and cry, and scream at the earth and everything on it. The future overwhelms me. It is daunting. I purse my lips against the hope, because hope is for the naïve, the foolish. So I am here, in this barren place, this in-between place, this wishing well, throwing in my pennies with the rest of them.

I keep hearing about glory, and I duck my head when they say the word, because dare I say it—if this is the glory of God, I want to hide from it. Not like Moses in the rock, because it is too great for me to behold, but like Jonah running from Nineveh, because surely there cannot be beauty, or even a hint of glory, in such a godless place.

He corrects me, though. He always does. I catch tremors of his beauty.

His breath in the trees, exhaling on me.

Chords, or words, that reach down and move me. I am a sucker for a well-turned phrase. Really,
I am. I find God there, in the words.

I read Wordsworth because he makes me cry, and he unties me.

I open the windows wide because I need the sun, I need the air—and maybe I was meant to be a fairy, living in the trees.

I turn Feist’s Let it Die up loud, really loud, because I swear she was sitting cross-legged on a rug in my head when she wrote that song.

I hold my daughter close, I watch her run, swinging her arms and shrieking with joy at the sight of a plane, a dog, that perfect little jagged rock she picks up to give me.

If anything is saving me right now, it is her.

I am Blake's hopeless man, closed up in my cavern, watching through those narrow chinks, catching glimpses of light. She is the one who draws me out, not because she is my God—but have you ever met a better ambassador of hope than a blooming child? If wonder is a virtue, and I believe it is, she possesses it in full measure, and I have much to learn.

Driving to work in the morning, it is always towards the hills, and I can't help but think thoughts of climbing, of overcoming, of standing. I can't help but want to reach the top of those hills, and look out over the expanse, declaring that I knew it all along—that of course it would work out for my good.

Of course, I haven't known it all along. I have my moments. Most of them are paralyzing. But some of them, when he presses his forehead to mine, catches the shimmer in my eyes, that is down there (deep down there), and declares promise over me—in those moments, I am a bird taking flight, and I close my eyes against the brilliance of sight.

I wish I could say there are more of those moments than there are. They sustain me. They keep me going. He knows how much I need.

I bow my head, I close my eyes, I fold my hands like a good Sunday school girl. I tell her we need to thank Jesus, even when we don’t want to thank him, even if it is just for each other, because everything else has crumbled, but I have you, sweet girl, I have you.

She runs away. She knows nothing of sitting still, of hand folding and head bowing. I ask her to sit beside me. She shakes her head—no—I don’t want to sit down. I want to keep moving. And if I am sitting there next to you, I cannot move.

She is revelation. If she moves, I must move. And if I move, he must move.

This is the moving forward. This is the wonder.


  1. I love your blog. I almost feel like I'm reading something far too intimate and yet it quickens me. Well done.

  2. Thank you, Michelle. That means a lot. I know it's intimate, and the only reason I can share it is because I feel like I have come through the other side in a lot of ways. I'm trying to figure out that line between vulnerability and over-share though! it's a tricky one.

    but thank you!!

  3. I am sorry for your grief, whatever it may be, but love your words. Blogging can be tricky but I think when you are vulnerable to a point, it keeps people reading. It helps them relate and can glorify the Lord greatly. Love that you are here writing. Can't wait to read more.


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