Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness. It strikes us when we walk through the dark valley of a meaningless and empty life... It strikes us when, year after year, the longed-for perfection does not appear, when the old compulsions reign within us as they have for decades, when despair destroys all joy and courage.

Sometimes at that moment a wave of light breaks into our darkness, and it is as though a voice were saying: 'You are accepted. You are accepted, accepted by that which is greater than you, and the name of which you do not know. Do not ask for the name now; perhaps you will find it later. Do not try to do anything now; perhaps later you will do much. Do not seek for anything, do not perform anything, do not intend anything. Simply accept the fact that you are accepted.'

If that happens to us, we experience grace."

-Paul Tillich, The Shaking Of The Foundations

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

on chaos and rest

I could explain to you why I haven't been blogging lately, or how busy we've been, but I will not. I'm sure you can guess. You are probably very busy. Your friends and family, too. So you know. We have all been so busy.

In January a friend said during small group, "Sometimes the Lord says: There will be a time for rest, but that time isn't now." I closed my eyes as he spoke; the words were for me, I knew, and maybe others too, but my heart received them directly.

Two truths: There will be a time for rest. That time isn't now.

Weeks of chaos passed, and I found myself in the backyard with an armful of laundry, my mind wandering into a pool of vacation dreams. I imagined a weekend with sun and sweet breezes and sand and my husband and nothing else, and my hope lounged there, drunk on the glimmer of peace and rest. My mind, not resting at all, began to spin and contrive, asking where, when, how, which beach; this must happen, get me to the seashore. I need this. I am tired.

and Rest Himself came

and caused the spinning to cease

and set this before my eyes:

"Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever." Revelation 22:1-5

Paradise itself.

There will be a time for rest. Total and full and complete rest. Eternal. Perfect, permanent peace. What incredible grace it is that keeps that in store for my soul.

And I can't even begin to comprehend the Grace that gives rest now, too. That sees my armful of laundry and wistful vacation dreams; my anxious, tired heart, my weary feet. Sees my scheduled days and to-do list. The mental tally of all that's contained within "busy"; He sees it.

And He meets it with grace. How much must He love me to come-- when I hadn't even thought to ask Him to-- and make everything quiet, still, sweet, light.

So much. It's so, so, so much.
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