I hear an echo in the hearts of the others. The ones that I know a little and the ones that I know well. Something tells me. Or they have told me. I would say maybe it is just me, but I think it is not. There is a wave of fatigue through the hearts of many. Maybe it is just me and one other. I know the dog is tired. That makes three of us.
Listening and engaging and bending in with most of the fibers of your being (some are reserved for survival) can wear a soul down to the nub. Being alive, fully, not just existing, is not for the faint of heart. And for those of us who feel deeply, overly-sensitive, deep feelers, sensitized to all the things, we wear down and we wear out. We invest deeply and retreat to refuel. We love and listen and then seek time alone to find the strength to turn around and do it again.
I went to the mountains. Like John Muir and so many others, I had to. We all have a soul place. That place where we anchor. I anchor my soul by the water. The salt has its way with me most of my days. It washes into the folds of my skin, a welcome balm. My senses know salty. It is their normal. A needed, vital, constant element in my life
But the mountains are my gear-shift. The sensuous rounding of the hills, changes the landscape literally and figuratively. My breathes are deeper, subterranean below the water line. Everything is a rush of change to my senses. And I can see again. Smell again. Hear again. We anchor in and know we are home. Exhales give way to rest.
I am certain I did not hear it wrong. In fact. I am confident in these whispers. They are white noise to my soul, in their constant tickling, stimulating my creativity. Which tells my brain which tells my heart. The message is clear. Although they often come in another form, as hard taps on my shoulders like God needs to step it up a notch with me to get my attention. Whispers work for some people, but frankly, I am not some people. Neither are you. We are fully human who we are. As we are. I need to be shaken, gently, sometimes. He always shakes me gently. Like a father pushes his child on a tree swing, gently.
I hear this banner over my life and it is trying to make its way into a bound spine. A pair of front and back covers. It is not as easy as it may have first appeared. I think the dog is tired of reading my body english. And there are thought bubbles over my head that only God can read. They say a lot. He knows, He’s read them. We both wait for the response. Most people just see a burned out writer. But the dog and God know me well. Ragged in the wanting. Worn down in the bending in to hear and wait and hear some more.
It comes in an unfurling. Messages from Him. Is it that way with you? I am waiting on more of what He calls me to. That is okay. It is just part of my humanity. I am seeking with all of myself. And trying to get out of the way. I am like a a human speed bump. I don’t know why i keep slowing myself down. But I do. I am going so slowly that I may not even be moving.
But He measures time and space and speed and productivity. I leave that to Him. I just know that I am ready to both work and rest. Listen and stop listening. Bend in and hear. And cover my ears to block the loud. And be quiet. And go about the work.
The world is a loud place. And I don’t want to miss a word of it. But this is my time to briefly step aside. Maybe for like 12 hours. Maybe a little longer. To savor the quiet. While I listen.
The speed bumps help me to notice. And that I know is most of what He wants me to pour into the space between the covers of this bound project. Noticing and living aware and alive and awake in the now, require more than being. They require rest too.
We must take deep breathes of rest, to turn around and notice all the microscopic wonderful of His creation. Rest. Pause. Restore. And seek a recharging of our very souls. To re-enter. Without ever leaving. He provides our rest. He opens spaces and places for deep soul rest. He offers respite and Sabbath and an invitation into solitude and communion with Himself.
The dog is with me in the mountains. We are both tired. But He promises rest. Even to those He is still asking to write out a message of hope and love and beauty and grace. To the people. To His people. He is preaching to the choir. I am preaching to myself. It may turn out that the book was meant for me to write, so that I would read it.
I don’t know. Maybe two or three other people might need it too.
I know the dog is not one of the two, in this particular case. But he is a good companion and he seems to be cheering me on. In his own, tired way.