The 12th Day

We’ve been here 12 days.

12 days, and I’m already running the tallies in my head. The guilt is sinking in, that guilt that siezes me and instantly builds a wall up around me.

This guilt, instead of drawing me into the arms of forgiveness, pulls me to the darkness of apathy and avoidance.

Today I come to the quiet and wait for God to speak–

Because of the move and transition, we haven’t been to church in over a month, and that means that I can almost feel the physical ache in my soul.

We drive by a particular church in town and my heart bursts with expectation.

Tomorrow is Sunday, and we will worship with other long-standing believers.

We will stand in one room to acknowledge all that God is and all the ways He’s for us.

United.

The apartment is coming together, and my joy of decorating is being satisfied daily. It’s a beautiful process to take an empty space and fill it with all the things we are.

We’ve gone swimming and made play dough.

We’ve built a tent and had a picnic.

We’ve shared meals at our tiny table and we’ve snuggled in our beds.

We’ve enjoyed rainstorms that give us relief from the Georgia heat.

We’ve had lots of coffee and some wine, lots of cheese and more yogurt.

We’ve watched movies and read books, colored pictures and cut with scissors.

And some moments I look at my boys and see all that I have, and I’m thankful.

And then I am tugged into darkness, where shame reminds me that I’ve enjoyed one too many movies,

that my kitchen is still a mess,

that there’s more decorating to be done,

that the boys’ toys are scattered,

that Isaiah cries too much

and Eliot’s whines too often..

Oh, exhaustion.

And I’m left feeling lost and sad, and it’s not the way God intended it to be.

I long for unity. Unity with my family, with my God.

The reality is that we can get lost going in any direction–

We can retreat to our movies and food, books and relationships,

or we can destroy ourselves with the tangling ropes of over-work and no rest, of a checklist that proves no relief in the end.

And the reality is that Jesus is in the midst of all of it, and we must tune our hearts to recognize Him.

Thomas Brodie said:

Oneness with ultimate reality is not an abstract idea; it is a spiritual experience of knowing that the timeless God is at the door inviting you to full union. It is an attentiveness to the present, a readiness, at every moment, to receive reality, to enjoy deeply even the simplest things.

The simple things have been flooding our days, the simple realities of grace. I look at my boys and remember how absolutely blessed I’ve been, how blessed this reality and life is.

This morning I join the mystics of yesterday and today and I claim rest from the checklists and pressures.

I rest.

I look around.

I give thanks.

And I enjoy the unity that is given always.

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