The Waiting Rock

I am a child.  It is one of my first memories.  I sit on a rock, the one I have named, the waiting rock.

Out in the country at my grandparents home, I am four waiting for my parents to pick me up after a visit.  It is fuzzy, but clear.  It is vague, but sharp.  It is a place I return to when I go back as far as I can. I am calm, expectant, a waiting child, knowing on this rock that my father will come.

A child like name, a simple place. A rock.

I am  on this massive stone which serves as a holding station for my expectant heart.  And I am collecting acorns which I will sell to my father when he arrives to pick me up.

I have busied my heart and my hands.  And dreamed up in my four year old mind, this acorn-selling venture.

A little distraction to ease the wait.

And now past the mid-century mark in years I struggle with waiting.  Sitting in a place of uncertainty, waiting for understanding.  Murky confusion settles in like dense fog on the mountain side where yellow blinking caution lights signal be alert.

I have been here many times before. It is familiar in its pain.  In my spirit I feel I should have earned knowledge, this waiting shouldn’t seem so challenging. I studied  like a student, text book in hand.  My teacher is Unknowing.  My lessons are tough but served in love.  Wait and see.  Be still and know.  Rest in confidence.  I should be further along when the waiting comes and lays heavy, rolls all cement mixer over my Hope and my dreamy childish plans.

I start over and over in a numbing place of pain, needing to re-learn and remediate the lesson, a big one to trust what will come.  To know it will be good.  To rest in the long corridors where the painful echo reverberates…..wait, child.  Wait. And wait some more.

These seasons marked with uncertainty about time-frames, periods of wonder  and questionning bear down hard on the heart.  This is a familiar place.  A seemingly endless black tunnel of dark wait during times of infertility when my lesson plan was Trust.  I learned. I saw the wait produces good. Shaping and molding and softening happen in these periods of unknowing.  A yellow light, not go green or stop red, but yellow signals me to calm down and behold the uncertainy.

The rock is not the waiting rock of my childhood.  It is not benign, offering a soft seat for a child.  The rock is hard and it hurts.  The waiting rock of today is a seat of confusion.

And the child, the one of God must lean on the Rock.  Must cry out to the Rock under which there is protection in the funnel cloud storm of wait.  The touchdown destructive storm of uncertainty that the flesh feels fiercy in the turmoil.  The rock of today is the Rock of Ages.

It is the one so sturdy and strong that nothing can tear it down and under which everyone can find protection.

But the heart and the hands look for acorns to gather. And a loving father to bend down and buy the trinkets that the child lays out in a row to offer.

He does this.  He offers to gather up the crumbs. He is willing  and even longing to wipe the tear. He seeks to  gather up the child in love and bring her to Himself. He gathers up the hurting waiting. He casts a shadow of protection and Security in the hurricane force winds of hurt.

Shelters in His embrace.  Extends a rock of certainty, his  very Love .Offers Hope even now, even here in unknowing.

His Love in the waiting is all that is needed. The weak, the meek and the broken find shelter in the storm of the wait.

And can stay hidden in His love until it passes, when it passes and after it passes.

The lessons of waiting.  They are hard.  I am weak.  But he is strong.

I am a child. Sitting on His lap. He is my waiting rock.  He is The Waiting Rock.

.

Advertisements

He Caught My Drooping Head

{Inspired by the 23rd Psalm, several translations}

Oh God, you are so good.  I see  you there.

I glance over to my left and to my right and feel your presence.

Oh how pleasing and comforting is the crook, the one you reserve for sheep.

It leads, it moves, it corrects, it straightens, it lovingly changes direction.

Grateful is this child of yours.

You let me catch my breath.

After I was weary with fatigue, weary with worry, with dread,

You held me in your arms and you said rest, be still, know.

I heard you there with words of comfort, words of peace.

My head and my heart were drooping.

But you knew that.

And you saw me and in love, picked up my face, all cupped in your hands.

And you revived my spirit with your love.

This furry child, dressed in sheep’s clothing says thank you for the rest and the comfort.

Oh, especially thank you for those green pastures.

They are cool on these dry bones.

The green smells of new, new hope,  are fragrant, they smell sweet, like restored strength.

Oh, your timing is perfect, God.

And oh your protection gives this weary soul comfort.

Thank you for drawing me near, and that my cup  is overflowing.

It overflows with answered prayer and extravagant surprises from you.

It overflows with your loving hand on this life, and that of my family.

I now feel brave, because of you.

I now feel safe, because of you.

You give me hope. And evil can not touch me.

And evil is held at bay, because you are strong.  You are protection.

My heart cries out gratitude for giving me a cool pool to lie beside.

Your timing is perfect.  Your gifts come at the exact right time.

I want to live under your shelter forever.

Your house is all I need.

Where you are is where I want to be.

This is where I am safe and sound and this is where

I feel most like your child.

Wishing His Grace… wynnegraceappears

Can’t Go Around It, Must Go Through It

Do you remember Red Rover. Did you play the game as a child where you called out “Red Rover, Red Rover….” to the opposing wall of linked-armed children? This is a game I remember well.

But what I remember most is the phraseology of the child’s game that went something like this– can’t go over it, can’t go around it, can’t go under it, must go through it. And so with steely eyes, and a huffing and puffing of all my might, and as much determination as a grade schooler can muster up, I would go running toward the chain link fence of gangly arms and attempt to break through. If you played this you remember the feeling of bouncing off the flesh and falling down on the ground, defeated and giggling if you failed. But if you won… well you were prideful, and pompous and celebrated the victory. You had smashed through the linked arms, broken the wall of defenses and crashed through the best efforts of your peers.

Dread has moved in, invaded my space, and is encroaching on my personal bubble. Do you know that space that is yours alone into which no one is allowed to enter? Dread is there. She is causing me to feel uncomfortable. She is robbing me of Peace. Dread steals Hope and belief in the best outcome. But what magnifies the discomfort is that I have given her space in my heart. Just handed it to to her. Dread, you may have a big chunk of me today. Take what you need.

So like the child whose turn it is to run the gauntlet of linked flesh and bone, I usher Dread out the front door, withdraw the invitation she sneakily stole to the party which is my life, and I run with Hope.

That which I dread, I have to run through. I can’t go over, around, or under. I will walk through it knowing that through Him all things are possible.

I may hurt. I may sting. I may feel disappointment. But I choose not to dread.

I choose Bold. I choose Courage. I choose God’s hand in mine, linked as I run into the wall, into the
obstacles.

I have over a half a century of life to look back on and see that He was there. Lifting me, encouraging me, carrying me, and teaching me.

With Him, we will toss Dread under the proverbial bus. We will take back that which she has stolen. We will set a place with fresh flowers and fine linens at the table of life for Hope. And open the books to learn all that He has for me from this chapter.

This is not a child’s game, this running the gauntlet of life. And I am not Brave, like a grown-up. I do not have Courage, like a mature adult facing the challenges of life. But rather,I am like a child nestled in my fear. I am vulnerable and scared. I long for someone else to take my turn. I wait until I have to go, to go and face the wall. I want to be last. Or worse, not go at all– into the wall.

But through Him all things are possible. in adversity and in challenge. So I grab the hand of the Friend of the Afraid and say, let’s run hard, this race together. I am white-knuckling the hand of The One Who Made Me and relying on His strength to knock down Dread.

And as I release Worry and release Distrust, I slowly gain Peace. And I gain the knowledge that right there in the bruised flesh from striving and straining against the wall, He sits with open arms. Right there as I tumble down, not laughing nor giggling in a pile of defeat, He is there to wipe the tear. He comforts me. He embraces me. He dusts me off so I can get back into the game with renewed Hope and renewed Courage.

And this time He has ushered the school-yard bully Dread, off the playground. I have called on His name. I have yielded my struggle to Him. I have sought help from The Advocate. And I am not afraid.

Can’t go around it, must go through it. Let’s Go God.