Little Girl, Wake Up! Talitha Koum!

When I read Anne Lamott, the realization that I have been living at half soul for a long time awakens my heart like settling into a warm jacuzzi and feeling relaxation come to muscles you didn’t even realize were tight as rocks.  Her words, so honest and true, thoughts relayed with humor and without filter, awaken life in me that has been anesthetized by my submission to the disappointments of life.  The problem with the events that callous my heart is that much like walking barefooted in the summer time, the toughening happens subtly over unremarkable terrain, unacknowledged because its often in the midst of a sunny day.

The consistent conflict that seems to be a daily part of parenting, in response to such things as being asked to clean a room, or take a shower, or what’s for dinner, or “play with your own imagination not someone else’s on a screen”, erodes a mother’s peace, patience and playfulness.  Cleaning up the mess of a dog who regularly surprises us with new objects for destruction, from bananas in reach on the counter to toilet paper still in the grocery bag on a chair, and then having to clean it up again when she expels it from her body in the grossest way possible a day later, robs me not only of those items I just purchased for a purpose, but also of the dream of having an inviting home that is not constantly under assault from bad smells and vile filth.  When yet another light comes on the car’s dashboard, indicating something inevitably very expensive needs to be repaired under the hood, our financial freedom is taken captive to an emptying bank account.  These are some of the experiences that create the low level stress, the concrete on bare feet, rubbing raw first to create the eventual callous.

I am more cautious about friendships now, more reserved about entering into the job of world changing and deeply resistant to any notion of “fixing” people.  While we all hope to advance our positive attributes, mature well, minimize our off-putting qualities and generally be better tomorrow than we were yesterday, none of us wants to be “fixed” by another.  One man’s trash is God’s treasure after all, and I would do well to remember that myself.

I don’t think Scripture should be wielded like a sword but rather is described as one because it penetrates without people needing to assault one another with it.  It shouldn’t be slapped on life’s darkest moments like southerners add sugar even to vegetables.  God’s truth can sit with despair even when His people can’t.  God sometimes chooses to heal our hearts but not our bodies and not always our relationships, not yet at least.  I think God being bigger and more powerful doesn’t mean our faith has to be in order for Him to act.  That is what it means that He is bigger than our hearts, stronger than our unbelief.  Ask Saul.  Ask Jonah.  Ask Peter.  Ask Rahab.  Ask…

Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them.  I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’  Ezekial 37:12-14