Time to rest

I just turned off the stove and sat down; noticing it’s already 9:45 PM, cooking can wait until tomorrow. At 8 PM, I only meant to rest for 5 minutes, but instead I read for an hour, did a few things, and the evening evaporated. That’s fine; it was a productive day, and  an enjoyable evening.

That 5 minute rest took a while because I just bought my first Kindle book. I had to install the app, download the book, and test it on two devices. It’s workable on a PC, but elegant on an iPad. I love digital reading! You can highlight, cut, paste, share, and quote… In fact, I want to share a quote with you. The book I’m reading was recommended by the facilitators of a retreat I recently took, and it’s profound — “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voscamp. Here’s what struck me tonight:

“I wonder too … if the rent in the canvas of our life backdrop, the losses that puncture our world, our own emptiness, might actually become places to see. To see through to God. That that which tears open our souls, those holes that splatter our sight, may actually become the thin, open places to see through the mess of this place to the heart-aching beauty beyond. To Him. To the God whom we endlessly crave. Maybe so. But how?”

Voskamp, Ann (2011-01-04). One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are (p. 22). Zondervan. 

I appreciate Ann’s openness and honesty, her deep gaze into the brokenness of life. As I shared in a recent post, I’ve had crises in life, and crises of faith. One of them I could barely see God through for years, although slowly, light began filtering in through cracks. Another catastrophic crisis rent a hole so deep and sudden that the light poured in as I cried, “God, help me!” For years, although my heart-wound was still open, I always sensed the presence of God; in fact, I felt a deep link to Jesus’ suffering through my own. So I’ve personally experienced crises that drove out the light, and crises that drove me to it. Or, as Ann would say, I’ve chosen to ask “Why, God?,” in doubt and denial, and I’ve chosen to say “Help, God!,” and cling closer than ever. When not in crisis, I’ve had times of sharing frequent moments with God, and extended periods of spiritual drought. Times of choosing awareness, and times of losing awareness.

Right now, I’m seeking, and sensing, God, but I’m aware of a distance. Weariness dominates my experience; joy is a ray of sunshine granting respite. I want the reverse experience — to bask in the light, with occasional shadows. I’m seeking it, and my inability to create it myself is driving me to use it as a window to the other-world.

What about you — are you basking in the light, living with open hands, or have you clenched your fists, as Ann did after experiencing deep pain? Consider taking a walk this weekend to do a personal “systems check” and see where you are on the spectrum.

 

About Charis

Tech guru, multimedia enthusiast, and world traveler promoting storytelling for peace
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3 Responses to Time to rest

  1. Amy Joe says:

    And may you be richly blessed with His love and peace.

  2. Amy Joe says:

    Carole,

    This is absolutely beautiful:

    “Weariness dominates my experience; joy is a ray of sunshine granting respite. I want the reverse experience — to bask in the light, with occasional shadows. I’m seeking it, and my inability to create it myself is driving me to use it as a window to the other-world.”

    I understand your point quite readily. I too have been through incredible pain and suffering in my life. You are right; our feeble temporal minds are convinced that basking in the light would be far better than what the Lord has in mind through our suffering. It certainly would be more comfortable in the here and now.

    But it is in the crying out, the letting go, the abandonment of self to Christ’s unrelenting pursuit of our hearts that we do see a glimpse into Heaven and all He has for us there.

    You asked in your comment on my blog how I have the time to be so prolific. The honest answer is that, to me, writing is God’s therapy in my life. He uses it as a healing balm to comfort my soul. I hope and pray it minsters to someone out there.

    I am thankful you shared your blog with me. I enjoy your writing and I will be back here.

    God bless you as you share your heart,
    Amy Joe

    • Charis says:

      Thank you, Amy Joe. I also enjoy writing, and sharing thoughts publicly enable serendipitous connections with strangers that feel deeply personal. Blessings on your journey – may heaven’s light flood you on earth this Christmas.

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