Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Wonder of It All

I spent time this week with dear friends, pondering the mystery of the universe.  Why is it in a universe so vast we all share that universal fear of being rejected?  That we fear being turned away?

I've been there.

Here is what I've learned after my turns of being turned away.  We survive.  In big ways and small ways.  Well, the small ways always come first.  For someone like me it is always devestating at first.  But then I still get up.  Brush my teeth.  Dress for the day.  And keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Eventually that gets you somewhere.  At least it did me.  I remember clearly one of those difficult times.  My safe world of love and acceptance had fractured.  It sent me into a tailspin.  There was no confidence left in me.  I felt so alone.  Because someone had looked away I thought everyone felt the same.

It happened years ago.  And I know it sounds crazy, but the only way I can tell the wonder of what happened is to tell the truth of what happened.  Again, it was years ago.  I was having one of those crazy moments in my head when perception skews reality.  I felt so alone.  So alone.  I remember going for that morning run, my mind running away from me, metering out the implications of aloneness.  For a split second I thought what if my foot slipped and disaster plastered itself all over my body and I was gone?  Who would miss me?  Would I miss me?

Ah the split-second is over and I continue running, and God help me, I find something better to think about.

Later on in the week I went to some dinner I had to attend.  And there was a friendly face--a genuinely friendly, I'm so glad you are here, kind, kind of face.  And the friendly face says, "I was thinking of you the other morning, on Wednesday about 8 a.m."  "Oh you were?" I reply.  "Yes, God brought you to mind, and I prayed for you."  I give my thanks, humbly.  This one does not know how humbly.  The Lord has just let me know how I am never out of His perview, and that there are always ones around who care.  My imaginations are not God.  Only God is God.  And God has said I matter enough to Him to bring another to their knees, on my behalf.

The small ways of surviving the hard thing is the most basic thing:  We simply keep going, putting one foot in front of the other.  Grace is undergirding every step.  And prayers.  Someone is always praying.  We rarely know who, or when, or where, or why, or how.  But they do.  And with all the prayers, and Grace, and keeping it going we eventually run into the big way of surviving the hard thing.  We come to recognize that above all else we would miss ourselves if the stuff of who we are were no longer around.

That is the greatest Grace of all.  That God would show this animated lump of clay the worth it has in His Hands, but would also place within it a fondness for the clay it is made of.  Oh such a miracle is this.  And honest to goodness it is the sweet miracle in my life that I just can't get over.  Today when I go running, I'm so thankful.  For the good, bad, and even the ugly.  I'm thankful for people who pray, and I'm thankful for shoes that don't wear out, and I'm thankful for Grace that keeps me going, and most of all I'm thankful that I'm finally fond of this clay that I am.  Oh the wonder of it all.  And sweet friends, I am so thankful for you too.  You will never know how fond I am of you, and the wonder each of you are to me.  When I think of you, you bring me to my knees.

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