My brain wants and wills that change would happen in a straightforward fashion, every moment and movement calculated so that I could be prepared and ready for when that next step comes. Life is, however, not made up of these giant epochs occurring daily, the shifting and sandpaper smoothing happening stroke after mundane stroke. As we lay down ebenezers that mark these new gateways of understanding, what christianese would translate as those “mountain-top moments,” the fallout in the ebbs and flows of what our hours hold is less euphoric, but nonetheless shaping. Our tendency is to value ignoring the importance of the small, seemingly meaningless decisions over the hope of another ascent, another high.
I don’t say all this to be damning. I say this because after another day went not as planned by some random arbitrary agenda I have in my head, my first inclination was to beg God for a surplus of overwhelmingly “spiritual” emotions, not only to be able to say and believe all the right things amidst my frustration, but to compensate for the many difficult things I was battling through internally.
The hilarity is that if you asked how we were doing, or what was new, we wouldn’t really have much to say. Although there is battle, or deconstruction as we’ve been calling it between the two of us, we feel healthy. The change that is happening certainly doesn’t feel linear, which might make more sense and be most logical, but there is more of a digging up of presumptions once held that laid bare a framework of fear and shame that dictated every action, every thought. That scaffolding of disease and disaster must go; it cannot hold a lasting foundation, and it is not the gospel.
While I breathe in the hot bean steam that is my coffee, reading and writing for my PhD being a full two cup kind of day, I pray things not yet rote: “Let me recieve your daily bread today. Fill me with your Spirit. Let my work be worship to you.” These parts that hold on to me only long to protect me, control my favorite weapon for any and all things that might find their way in my path. I must look for ways to make those words not lip service, but too often cling to ways known to bring about the fix yet unseen. This place is uncomfortable, slowing down unnatural to listen, to wait.
This place is holy. It feels like I am learning to walk again—crawling, bowing was what I was told was most righteous, most pleasing, but it was always without Christ, eyes darting every which way to see who might see my goodness. Man does not need and should not be feared. I am more human, open enough to see where bitterness clings to cold bones, the facade of myself I created to be more liked a mask I finally feel free enough to shed. The parts that surprise you were always there, just slightly veiled by your unapproval.
The image of wrestling has never been a metaphor I’m too keen on using, the stories of fellow cheerleaders contracting ringworm from our shared, uncleaned mats; but I do have memories of wrestling with my brothers when I was younger, of wrestling with my love, of Jacob wrestling with a/an angel/God. The two former are pictures of joy, of laughter, and it makes me wonder that before the audible squeals turned into a hip being forever out of socket, that this wrestle has a solid rock foundation of faith. It changes you. The twisting and contorting and fighting has uncovered the false idols I have held on to so dearly to define a god that is not who God truly is. There was always belief, but misplaced beliefs.
Show me your glory. I won’t let go until you bless me.