From an article originally posted December 2, 2013…
I decided to spend one cd this morning cleaning. After the carnage of the week, I knew I could get buried in the heaps and mounds of fun that were had by all. The Nerf gun bullets strewn, the towels soiled, the fridge filled with joyful cooking that has slowly passed its prime. I clean through the gifted EP from Tim Timmons. It reminds me of truth and is brief; I’m not up for a long morning of cleaning. It’s just not in me today. I decided to catch up on the memories of the week past. So much living done in such a short time, and I don’t want it forgotten. So I sit, I remember, I feel thankful and filled.
I haven’t been great at remembering this little treasured book, but the morning was right, the coffee was hot and I wanted to get on paper the fondness for my people, my tribe, and the sweet moments we shared. Not enough moments, I’m always hungry for more time, but is it quiet and thankfulness is ready to be squished the onto the few lines provided.
Life with family is beautiful and messy. It is a mix of amazing and painful. The distance is felt, the conversations never feel long enough, the fondness really never openly shared. I would be lying if I didn’t feel the counting of my days by all who were present. The quiet wondering if this was my last season of thanks. I see the freedom in the faces of my guests, they are blissfully unaware of the number of their days. I’m quietly jealous of their living without numbering moments, wondering if they are my last. Just like me, I don’t know, but the counting of days feels intense, overwhelming. Am I appreciating it? Am I savoring my now? Am I loving as big as I possibly can? Moments where my energy fails me leaves me edgy and frustrated. I want more left at the end of my day to give back to my guy. The quiet worker, the intentional lover, the silly/joy maker. I want to show him the appreciation of the sweet love he has extended my family. But alas, he finds me sleeping night after night, after night. Left to be content next to my warmth.
This morning as I was quietly remembering, writing thanks, resting from my short stint cleaning, I looked quickly at Facebook. I saw news of the sudden death of a husband of a high school friend. I lost my breath. I felt lame at my compliments of her beautiful furniture makeovers over the years, even a comment that I envy her beautiful top lip. Almost twenty years between us, I know her from the odd knowing that social media portrays. The connection made over her decorating gifts, but not really knowing her heart. I have imagined her reality for my husband. The day it’s all over. The telling of the children, the cold where there was once warmth. The inside jokes, the smells and wonders of the other suddenly gone. But, I cannot, cannot really imagine her pain. I am not her. I don’t know the quiet love they shared. I don’t know much about her at all. I do know that Saturday she had him and Sunday she didn’t. I am broken for her, for her sons, for her family. The living in this life can be so very painful.
So, what hope can that lowly baby offer us in the pain of the daily-ness of life? How can we know, sense, understand the Emanuel (God with us)? The first comfort to me is that he didn’t have to come. He didn’t have to come to the lowly state of needy, human, brought forth in the stench of this world. But he did. First smells or this life, acrid and painful, met by his babe of a mama. Did he long to go back in that moment? All I know is that He didn’t.
The comfort the incarnate Christ offers me today is his knowing. He has walked harder than I will ever walk or imagine. He faced utter rejection, pain, deception, and a death I could never die, and he did it all for me. And he did it all for you. To offer the broken hearted mama comfort in pain, comfort in desperate loss. To offer the weak rest, rest beyond this world. Your world is shattering? He understands. Your world hurts with each breath... He understands. He is WITH US!
Sometimes the incarnation, the God with us, it feels difficult to find the footing. I’m struggling to find my own bearings, struggling to find the peace I know Jesus has for me. With each pain, I feel my story returning to a new hard. With the silence of pain, I imagine cancer invading a new organ, a new place in my brain. The walking with God through this is daunting. Some days the fight back to peace feels like a lengthy trek I barely have the strength for. It is always a new remembering, new revelation, that it’s my weakness, my brokenness, my failure, my inability is the great pathway back to that lowly babe. I so often forget. I so often think it’s my mustering up of strength, pulling up of my bootstraps, the toughie girl fighting for each moment. I always forget it’s my broken places I’m so tenderly met. Why do I so often forget?
Friend, my heart is broken for you, dear one. I’m going to grab my coffee, sit in my plump chair, and cry for you. I’m going to talk to Jesus about you, your family, your boys. I’m going to pray that his peace invades the desperately painful places in your heart. I wish I were closer, but I’m loving you through my prayers this day. Who among us are struggling to find your way back to peace? How many of us are fighting our own strength to make our way back to the beautiful broken place where Jesus longs to meet us? How are you struggling to be honest in your weakness this day? I get it. I want so much to be strong.