and down will come baby, cradle and all
One of my most amazing girlfriends has been spending this week with me. Nicole has been a high-school English teacher in Portland, and when she and her hubby come to visit his family, Nicole will spend a few extra days around here. It’s amazing because we always look the same – same haircut and general taste in most everything. She’s a younger, smarter, more beautiful version of me, and having her here is one long, good conversation – like the kind you have over coffee or cigars – and we haven’t had either of those things.
One silly thing we’ve discussed is Word Jail. This is something we’ve both used with our students to keep them from being vague and abstract, and I’ve been thinking about how funny it is that I would always put the word LOVE in Word Jail so my students wouldn’t use it, but I use it all the time in my own writing.
Truth is that LOVE just sometimes is vague and abstract, and there’s nothing else to render out of it but a sharp pain in your chest and worrisome triggers to the imagination.
I have these friends who are in deep hurt – two of them, and I love them so big and bad that I can’t even think of them except to cry, and I think of them too often. I saw one at church on Sunday, and I sat at my seat and wept, and I begged God to tell me what to do to make everything better for him, and I got nothing. When I got up to go to the restroom, one of my dear friends grabbed my shoulders and asked if she could pray for me, and for the second time in prayer, someone asked me to repeat the words in repentance.
This wasn’t exactly it, but she asked me to say something like this to God: I repent of carrying a burden that is not mine to carry, and I confess that You love my friends more than I ever could. I can lay their burdens at Your feet, and I can trust You.
Fwew! I can’t explain how it has changed my life to think that all the loving and good wishing in this world toward my friends will never change God’s intentions and perfect love for them.
It is hard to learn to rest with a hurt heart. Imagine the boat in the storm where the disciples were freaking out in fear, and Jesus had been just lying there asleep in the knowledge of God’s plan, and from this scene, remove the disciples, wake Jesus up to man the storm, and you lie down and rest. It’s still raining. The boat still seems to nearly tip over. But we have to rest. He’s got it under control.
I’ll be out for a few more days. Have fun in blogland without me, and write amazing stuff for when I come back to ignore my filthy house and children, so I can spend yummy hours in everybody else’s business. Oh how I LOVE your business.