finding gold in those secret, mysterious places.
I often have revelations in the kitchen, where the windows are wide and the sun shines in. Where I dance on the creaky old linoleum, quite possibly the ugliest floor in the world.
Sometimes these revelations are so sweet, and there are tears and kisses all over Florence’s face. Sometimes she is still and quiet, while my heart is racing to be renewed.
But yesterday I was rocked to my core, fire ball in my stomach, laughter and tears so rich, that Florence began laughing with me, as I brushed the tips of my hair over her face.
Anointing oil, poured forth through freshly shampooed strands, still wet from the shower. Anointing oil, poured forth on that kitchen floor, knees red with the marks of crumbs.
The revelation was: He cares about us, like a tender friend, and He feels for us, and He keeps His eyes on us, following our hearts to all the deep places, into the valleys and into the places where we feel we don’t need him, where weeks go by and we don’t even say hello. But He’s still there.
If we don’t honour the vows of our youth, the wild dance in our hearts, the lament becomes our song, the lack becomes our truth. And we say: it’s too hard, and the desert is too dry, and I am stuck in this place. And you put me here.
But it’s not true. I don’t know why planes crash and children die, why young mothers get cancer and fathers abuse.
I don’t know why this is happening to us. To you.
God opened my heart. And he said loud and clear: He rejoices when we say yes, when against all the odds, in the thickets and brambles, in the throes of the battle, in the funeral home, in the hospice, in the ICU, in the divorce, in the gloom and depression, she said yes to me.
Yes to faith, to love and to hope.
Yes to being a pilgrim.
Yes to Jesus and to His truth.
Misty Edwards sings a song called “Do You Know the Way You Move Me?” from her album Only a Shadow (Live)
When everything inside of you was screaming…
You said no, I want to show love. And you fought the fight
and even when you cannot see, still you believe.
And I say: Angels, oh angels, look and see, in that dark night of faith, there’s still love in me.
He says: Angels, look and see, she said yes, he said yes, and He spins around wildly rejoicing like a bridegroom rejoicing over a bride. Can you hear the voice of the bridegroom, as He sings over you, rejoicing?
Do you know the way you move me?
Ravage my heart, with one glance of your eye. You move my heart.
This song was playing, while Florence and I were dancing in her standing frame. She was needing suction often, little face going red and bubbles erupting over her lips. This is happening more often these days, and yet my spirit is not troubled by it.
Motherhood was supposed to be like this: hard but expected, tiring but only because I would have my hands full with a little, running ball of energy. It was supposed to be what the world tells you it will be.
“That will never happen to me, I thought. Whatever “that” is. I am untouchable. Maybe those other people that had something terrible happen to their child, or to their spouse, maybe they had an inkling that it would come. I mean, they seem cut out for it. But I sure am not. I could never do that, okay God? Count me out.”
Aha. And yet it comes.
Why is that? I screamed, after the bomb went off.
I don’t understand. But it’s one of those deep mysteries that calls us to wild abandon, that calls us to give it all away. And in our nakedness, as we slough off the weights of this world, and catch the fragrance of heaven, we realize this life is but a vapour, so spend it well. Tuck into the bounty of the secret place. The Mother Teresa’s of the world and the Heidi Bakers, this is their song. And I’m learning to sing it too.
This is the nugget, hidden beneath the dark nights of pain, beneath the mud. This is the gold that sets us free.