I'm in a season of life where I don't feel like I have words anymore. Maybe they'll come back sometime, maybe not. But for now they are gone. Poof. As in disappeared. For someone who loves words, that's sort of unfortunate. :) But I'm learning to listen instead of talk. I'm learning to be silent and be okay when I don't hear anything back. I'm learning stillness even when everything in me wants to keep busy. We get real in the stillness. If we let ourselves, that is. Quiet is scary. Truth lives in the quiet and there's a lot of truth that's hard to face, isn't there? It's hard to bravely enter into that space... the one where there are no distractions, no things we are throwing ourselves into to avoid what we fear might be fighting its way to the surface. That still place where we turn the mirror around and take a long, hard look inward to whatever is lurking there.
So, while I spend the next little while stumbling through this wilderness, learning stillness and begging for truth, I'm just going to share things here on my blog that others have written and journeyed through. It's mostly for me to come back to in those moments where I need a dose of reassurance or encouragement or courage, but maybe you'll find something in here too that feels like it's just for you. One thing I do know... we all go through a wilderness of sorts. To believe we are the only ones is a lie. I'm learning not to fight it but to let it happen, because in the wilderness we find ourselves. There's a tiny verse of scripture in Jeremiah 31:2 that says "The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness." That is what I'm banking on. Grace in this wilderness. And lots of it. There are times when this business of living brings with it a storm of questions and doubts. And that's good. Fyodor Dostoevsky once said “It’s not as a child that I believe and confess Jesus Christ. My hosanna is born out of a furnace of doubt.” I love that. I'm praying it's so.
In the meantime, here's what's been speaking to my soul today...
Maybe only the saints are strong enough to look into the abyss - but it leads something deep in me to call out in Job's words "Oh, that I knew where I might find Him!" Oh, that we, all of us, knew were we might find the One who beyond any world we can imagine, wipes every tear from our eyes and death from our hearts and creates all things new. Job and Paul both found Him before they were through. I believe, that what Job was really after was not God's answer, but God's presence. And of course that was what Job finally found because the way God entered the world without destroying it, was to enter Job's heart even as from the depths of his heart Job cried out to Him. And that is the way He makes Himself present to all of us. In the greatest aria that God sings in the entire Bible, he sets forth in gorgeous poetry all the mystery and grandeur of creation as a way of showing Job that the mystery is ultimately unfathomable, and it is then that Job finally says, "I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eyes see you." And that was what Job needed above all else - not an explanation of suffering, but the revelation that even in the midst of suffering there is a God who is with us and for us and will never let us go. Turn around and believe that the good news that we are loved is gooder than we ever dared hope, and that to believe in that good news, to live out of it and toward it, to be in love with that good news, is of all glad things in this world the gladdest thing of all. Amen and come, Lord Jesus. - Frederick Buechner