In the chill of early summer air Saturday night, I slide my body in between our bedsheets and will my racing mind sleep simply so this week would end.
All of these end-beginnings and beginnings-ends filled with death and eternity and life and the delicate balance that spans the space between had left me saturated in a monsoon of emotions that run the gamut of sorrow and empathy and awe and grief and relief and gratitude and maybe even fear.
So when John whispers a simple question about which church service we would attend in the morning, I simply just refused even going at all.
I feel him suck in a large breath of air, and I think perhaps he might push me on the subject, but instead he exhales, kisses me cheek and lets me fall into sleep.
Sun streams in through the blinds of our bedroom, luring two little boys' eyelids open, both of whom had found their way into our room that night before.
We swing into our Sunday morning routine of breakfast and Veggie Tales and hot tea and showers, though my words from the night before are sloshing around in both mine and John's minds.
He asks again whether I'm coming along to church service.
And, again, I refuse. As though I were a teenager protesting against my mother's wishes to attend Sunday services, I dig my heels into the ground at his questioning.
And like a teenager, I can't really put it into words what I'm feeling, so I simply mutter I don't want to go and how no one can actually make me.
I quickly head back upstairs, my husband following at my heels.
I plant myself on our bed.
without the guilt trip
or the shame
or the judgement
he asks again what's going on.
And again, firmly, gently, what's going on?
I ponder -- saying I've been in some sort of funk for the past week would be the guilty confession of one whose probably already been figured out -- it all adds up but in order for it to be totally sold as truth, an admission needs to be uttered.
Bathed in the warmth of sunlight after days of rain and John's strength, his patient readiness to just love me where I was, I suck in air and spit out the words as we sit on the edge of our bed, my finger tracing the outlines of goldenrod flowers sewen into our sheets.
Where is He? I ask.
In this grief?
In this sadness?
In this pain and this tragedy?
And in my broken hopes and stalled out dreams and the stuckness, the mediocrity?
Where is He?
I can't hear Him for the life me, and if I'm going to be honest, I'm not sure I'm even listening anymore, right here.
We sit, soaked in words that have spilled over the floodgate, me in my own tears, John's hand sweeping up and down my back.
He doesn't offer many words, just his presence, his compassion, this understanding that this, too, shall pass.
And pass it does nearly half way through a message delivered directly to my heart by our pastor at the church service I so desperately wanted to skip.
We leave the sanctuary basking in truths about taking captive our thought lives and banishing thoughts that don't speak to His true nature of holiness and goodness and righteousness and love. The message was good -- so good, and it helped lift me out that deep funk by pouring the Truth of His Word back into my parched soul.
As we drive home beneath blue skies and sunshine, John grasps my hand while heavy realizations grip my mind -- I think about what it took to pull me out of bed and carry me into that place where I could be revived.
I eye him up --my husband, completely unaware-- as he drives, and I see that he is grace personified this morning.
And that while sermons are strong and necessary and so helpful, there is nothing that shows itself as powerful as grace wearing flesh.
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