I stare into my heart,
And wish it were true.
(What is wrong with me?)
I see only closed doors,
You will beat your fists against these doors, desperate to understand. This ignorance will turn you into a madwoman crouching in the hallway to read the shadows on the floor, pressing your ear against the wood, whispering to yourself. You will sleep with it against your back but you will not really sleep. In the morning you will search again, looking for a loose knot, a crack, willing some draft of suggestion to chill the tops of your feet.
But mostly you will throw yourself against it, with all the strength that you contain, bruising your body until you cannot continue. You are stubborn. You think you know what you're meant to have. You will be relentless until you realize that you cannot change it and all your attempts will only increase your pain.
I say, I need a new word
For all of this. One less
tired and pale
This narrow passage of life, that right now seems narrower than ever, this peculiar journey to Moriah, will someday achieve meaning. You do not know today, but perhaps you will tomorrow. Or perhaps not.
When will you realize that this door is a door of Mercy, stronger than your volatile passion, stronger than your self destruction, more tangible than the nightmares that stir your discontent? When that day comes, you will see this door as a shield and silence as a blessing. At last you will sink to the floor and get down to the actual work of trust and surrender.
I say, Here's the deal: I'm going
To get in the car and drive.
I'm sick of my own cruel
Self-pity and chronic indecision.
I'm going out to find the rhythm
Of the ocean.
You have been hungry in the midst of abundance, restless when your gift is stillness and rest. You have been tormented even by your hopes, perhaps when you begin to hope in the Lord alone your torment will pass. You have ideas that are hard to break and desires that do not die. Your confusion is legitimate. But God is much bigger than even the biggest things He's shown you in the past. He is forcing you beyond them. If you believe Him you know that there are no more mere incidents. All things happen with good reason. Your life is not shaped by thwarted dreams or by meaningless denials. Nothing is merely fortune, all events are significant.
“Once you have accepted an omniscient & providential God, the distinction you used to draw between the significant and the fortuitous must either break down or be restated in some very subtler form. If an event coming about in the ordinary event of nature becomes to you the occasion of hope and faith and love or increased efforts after virtue, do you suppose that this result was unforeseen by, or is indifferent to, God? Obviously not. What you should have called its fortuitous effects must have been present to Him for all eternity” (Vanauken, A Severe Mercy).
But you do not know the thoughts of the Lord;
You do not understand His plan,
He who gathers you like sheaves to the threshing floor.
Poem by Linford Detweiler