Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ways We're Wired...

The physiological makeup of women often surprises me-how we can both weep and laugh hysterically, at the same time. The humor and creativity that our Creator used to form and shape us leaves so much room for discovery, often times leaving us with a sense of being completely befuddled, amazed, and without words.

There was a sadness that overwhelmed me today, and I could not quite put my finger on its source. After some time in silence and prayer, I realized that it was my heart grieving for a dear friend of mine who is going through an incredibly trying, heart-transforming time. Though i've never walked down the same exact path, i was able to, for a period of time, feel the weight of what she is feeling. This lent itself to true empathy. Though my experience was much more brief than hers, I have no doubt that she will come out of this stronger, fuller, even more capable of love (more so that she already is) and more like her Maker. I don't know know for certain why transformation and growth wear such an array of hats: exciting ones, difficult ones, excruciatingly painful ones, sad ones, joyful ones, etc... but it's through the hats of transformation, that the masks of our hearts are slowly stripped away--our defenses are let down one by one. As we come before Him, pure in heart (sometimes completely stripped raw of what we know), completely defenseless, all we know is to collapse into the arms of our Jesus and say, " I know i'm not strong enough for this. Even if i wasn't in this situation, even if my life was better, I would be in desperate need of you." It's bittersweet that we need those "Why the heck is this happening?" times for us to see how in need we actually are.

How personal our Savior is never ceases to baffle me. He knows the intricacies of me, and gives me gifts that I don't deserve but that are so according to my heart's desires, the things that set my spirit to flight. As I was in that place of grieving, I wept. Uncontrollably. And as one would expect, I was exhausted. It took so much out of me, but what I knew the whole time was that I wasn't alone in that. There are two stanzas in William Blake's Poem "On Another's Sorrow," that demonstrate this quite beautifully:

Think not thou canst sigh a sigh,
And thy maker is not by;
Think not thou canst weep a tear,
And thy maker is not near.

O! he gives to us his joy
That our grief he may destroy;
Till our grief is fled and gone
He doth sit by us and moan.

If anyone has experienced grief, pain, loss, humiliation, it's Him. He knows. The God of all comfort is all of that and more because he knows what it is to be there, to have walked through it, to have bared its weight and come out victorious. In light of that, we walk victoriously. It might take us a while to walk freely in that, but there is hope in that that is beyond anything we could conjure up for ourselves. I think struggling to finally experience his freedom is incomprehensibly more than experiencing momentary comfort from ourselves that eventually enslaves and catapults us back into the rut of our own, lacking knowledge.

If someone were to gift me with a large pad of paper and a package of smooth, writing bic pens in hopes that I could write down all that God has taught and revealed to me in all the years that I have sought to know Him (some more than others), I would laugh; the pad of paper would not suffice, I would run out of ink, and it would be near impossible to find the right words to use. I need not say "Let my words be few;" the grander He becomes, the more and more my words pale in comparison. The discovery of this phenomena was initially a bit frustrating. It was a matter of time until I realized that it was a gift: My Jesus is teaching me to gladly be in a posture of humility. It's the same feeling I have when i'm sitting by a massive ocean that seemingly goes on forever, or the feeling I have when there is a rich, deep, navy-hued-night sky full of stars overhead--that which causes me to be full of awe is HUGE. The expansive seas could easily swallow me whole, I could find myself completely engulfed by the grandeur of the skies; likewise, the Love of my Father overwhelms me, swaddles me with safety, and spurs me into the unimaginable. As far as life goes, there is uncertainty around every corner: "Where will I be in five year?" "What happens if I [insert any appropriate scenario here]?" I welcome the uncertainty in light of His faithfulness and His promises.

There was really no rhyme or strict structure to what i've written. It was all over the place. It was a response to many things that were going inside of my head and my heart. All of this to say, as I wept, I was also overwhelmed by His love. I was no longer just weeping. I was weeping and laughing. There is joy in the midst of grief. The truth is, we live in tension. There's no escaping it. It is best we embrace it as He embraces us.