Wednesday, December 09, 2009

2nd Wednesday of Advent '09

"I am waiting for your rest, and for your strength. Come, Lord Jesus. Do not delay."

Today I got up from the bed. I pulled my sweats on over my long johns, put on my wool socks that Alana knitted, and braved the day. Thank God for friends. They sent the socks and long johns!

I bundled up in as much as I could against the cold, only to get outside and find it wasn't so bad out there. It felt like it was about 50 degrees, very pleasant when the wind wasn't blowing. Kind of cold when it was. The sky was both bright and sunny, and gun metal in parts. The wind was fierce, and sometimes still.

The weather mirrored my soul this morning: wild and paradoxical. I trust, and I doubt. I work, and berate myself for not working. I am sick, and I am well. I am tired, and I am on fire. And this great wind keeps gusting through my life, bending branches, lifting leaves, blowing away the garbage And Lord, there is so much garbage.

ZZ saw that there might be tornadoes in Atlanta. We do not live in Atlanta, yet she worried that we, too, would be devastated.

"Our house isn't very sturdy, Mama," she said. So earnest at ten.

And me: "Our house is old, baby. It's been around a lot longer than we have."

I had to remember I was talking to a child who was scared.

Softer now: "It'll be okay. We're just gonna pray, and trust God. What else can we do?"

Yes, I know. Not the wisdom of the ages, but it was all I had to offer at the time.

But seriously, sometimes it really is as simple as that. We drag ourselves out of bed. We soldier on. We walk the girl to school. We trust. The wind blows all around us. It looks like it's gonna storm, but the sun is shining at the same time. Don't bet on any of it. Not the sunshiny part of the sky, or the stormy part. It's all the same. We'll live through our joys and pains, our triumphs and our tragedies, our brutal failures, and our shining successes, and sometimes we'll do it simultaneously. I think it's best to see all of it from this place of humility and detachment. And great love. That detachment is hard! The humility and love aren't easy either, but what else can we do? I don't like any of the alternatives: arrogance, inordinate attachment, and apathy.

Part of the reading for today:

The Lord is an everlasting God,
he created the boundaries of the earth.
He does not grow tired or weary,
his understanding is beyond fathoming.
He gives strength to the wearied,
he strengthens the powerless.
Young men may grow tired and weary,
youths may stumble,
but those who hope in the Lord renew their strength,
they put out wings like eagles.
They run and do not grow weary,
walk and never tire.

and in the Gospels:

Jesus exclaimed, ‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.

I have no idea what either of them have to do with Advent, except that maybe on days when a soul is bone weary and can't seem to breath right in it's wretched body, and it feels like one's lungs are going to explode. When a person has no sense of bearings, and everything is fuzzy. When a soul is too tired to feel, it simply has to do what it's always done. Rest, then get that body out of bed. Take the girl to school. Know that it lives beneath the same wide expanse of sky that Jesus did. Soldier on. Rest again. Naps can be your friend.

Jesus rested. Then he got out of bed. He put on his tunic and his robe. He tied his sandals, and braved the day no matter what it brought. He too, was full of paradoxes but somehow he made sense of them. He was God and man. Fully. Truly. It's crazy.

And you? You are made in the image and likeness of God. Imagine that!

Rest. Get up. Rest again. Get up again.

You'll make it.

Stay alive.

mair francis.

3 comments:

MaryAnn M said...

i needed the comfort of your words today...there in the midst of your post describes so eloquently what i have been feeling...the ups and downs...ebb and flow...

"The weather mirrored my soul this morning: wild and paradoxical. I trust, and I doubt. I work, and berate myself for not working. I am sick, and I am well. I am tired, and I am on fire. And this great wind keeps gusting through my life, bending branches, lifting leaves, blowing away the garbage And Lord, there is so much garbage."
yes...exactly what this week felt like!!
thank you

GailNHB said...

And for me, the words that resonated most were closer to the end: Rest. Get up. Rest again. Get up again. Reminds me of a phrase I have been clinging to of late: We fall down. We get up. We fall down. We get up.

And ain't it grand that God is with us and beside us and above us and within us at each rest stop and each falling down place every single time???!!!

ragamuffin diva said...

Thank you, MaryAnn. Nice to hear from you! And thank you, my dear friend, Gail.