Would not God have discovered it,
since He knows the secrets of the heart?
I was getting out of the shower the other morning and grumbling a prayer. Really, I'm not so sure I like it here, God, I said as I grabbed a towel. The water whirled like a funnel cloud around the bathtub drain, then... silence. I bent over and roughed up my hair and thought: I still don't understand why I'm here. Why You wanted me here. This is stupid. ... Silence... Then, as I hung up the towel, I said aloud: I mean, it's hard here. There aren't many distractions here. No one's around. I'm having to think about things and remember things, Lord. Things that hurt. Things that make me cry. Things that make me angry. It isn't cool here. It's like a massive emptying of my heart and my head, God, and I'm surrounded. I don't want to be here. I'm having to deal with all this here.
Exactly, He said, and it felt like the word was pressed into my heart like two fingers press into play-doh. Exactly.
In the past ten months, my marriage ended, I got laid off, and my cat died. I've lost a love, a livelihood, and a friend. The future I thought I saw that moment, as my Mom adjusted my wedding veil and my face smushed up to cry, went crumbling through my fingers and I've stood as piece after piece of my heart has broken and blown away.
Trouble is, I'm not a deal-er of things. I'm just not. I'm a bury and run-er of things. I ignore fears and out-distance hurts and side-step sorrow. I don't want to deal with heartbreak. I don't have time. I don't want to face my feelings. It might take awhile, and it might not be fun. So before yesterday, I hadn't looked at my wedding pictures. Not really looked at them. Not since we got them. And before yesterday I hadn't allowed myself to look at my accounts and crunch numbers and figure out how much that summer lay-off set me back. And before yesterday I wouldn't sit still and remember little Maebelline. I wouldn't stop to acknowledge all the missing. Before yesterday, I hadn't laid in the bed and cried.
Isn't it funny how, once hurt finds us and life catches up with us, we want to hold it behind our backs and play good with God? We want to pray for soldiers in Iraq and Betty Jane's cancer and all the lost sinners of the world, yet we won't stop and examine our own hearts and hurts and turn and "look" God straight in the eye and say, "Hey, I'm hurting here. I need You here. I need Your help with this mess"? Why is it that we ask God for world peace but won't ask for His peace in our life? Why is it that we expect Him to intervene in others' circumstances but don't count on Him to move in ours? And how is it that we plead with Him to answer the hungry and the hurting but don't plead with Him to answer our own deepest hunger and hurt?
I'm glimpsing a side of my loving God that I hadn't eyewitnessed before. I'm seeing the side of a Savior that treads atop angry waters just so He can reach out His hand and clasp onto yours. (Matthew 14) I'm seeing the side of a God who weeps at the death in your life, and comes and calls out your name... calls you into a new set of days. (John 11) I'm watching as the hand of God leads to another place... a barren, empty land... just so He can sit awhile with you - in the quietest of quiet - and gather up your broken pieces and mend them as you cry.
We want, sometimes, to be so good before God, don't we? So brave and faithful and unemotional. Instead of showing Him our bruises, we put on long-sleeved shirts. Instead of owning up to our sin, we flush the toilet and ignore the stink. Instead of facing our problem, we take another drink. And instead of having our pain looked at, we busy ourselves with dark rooms and Advil. Ridiculous us. Would not God have discovered our bruises... our sin... our pain... since He already knows the secrets of our hearts?
So, here I am. Here in the middle of nowhere. Here in the town of let your "secrets" be made known unto God... the God who already knows. Here on the street of cast your cares upon the Lord, idiot, and quit trying to outrun them, because He cares for you. But -wow! - what a place to be. Amidst wedding pictures and dug-up, buried hurts, and side-stepped memories, I'm blown away by the depth of God's compassion in the depth of my crying. And I'm blown away by a God who would take the time and love enough to bring me to a place of dealing so that I can find His measure of healing....
We never know where He's leading. Sometimes, it's simply to a time of dealing and healing.
Exactly, He said.
Monday Moment is a little devotional to help greet your week. See you again next Monday!