The following is a brief and quickly written post in response to Barbara Brown Taylor’s question, “What is saving your life right now?” Explore other bloggers’ answers to the same question at Sarah Bessey ‘s blog. For me, this was a good prayer experience. What would your answer be? Consider commenting, journaling, or posting the question on your facebook page. Here’s my response:
All I can say is that we are in transition again. It’s presence hangs like a heavy cloud just over the horizon. The twins turning one in two weeks. School starting, a first grader and a four year old gone three mornings a week now. And me, on a precipice again, or at least it feels that way. Barreling down a river toward a waterfall, I can feel the current gaining speed and we’re not ready, I’m not ready. So I am lashing things down to our little raft, holding us all too tight and making everyone miserable in the anticipation and not knowing.
A friend stopped by this morning and pushed it all back for a few minutes, spoke over the roar of the waters, made space for the flood I was holding back.
After she leaves and I am standing doing last night’s dirty dishes an old verse comes to mind:
Do not remember the former things,
or consider the things of old.
I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19
Maybe. Maybe this is what’s saving me in the wilderness and desert of my unknowing and fear. The promise that God is always, always, always doing a new thing, that there’s no turning back with God, that what lies beyond the fall is better than what came before. And that maybe the ride is for enjoying. This, saves me.
But then, when I forget again and fight and struggle and cling to my raft counting down the minutes to my own sure demise, there’s another voice that saves me. This one whispers beneath the roar of the waters, “Be gentle with yourself. Be gentle. As gentle as you are with your shaking son who’s dreamed a dinosaur in his room at four am. Gentle as you are when you lay down the other two who’re dancing and jumping and yelling in their cribs. Gentle because you know they’ve simply forgotten how to let go and stop fighting the steep fall into sleep. Be as gentle with yourself as I am with you.”
I write these words that are saving me in black ink, going over it three or four times so it stands out bold and place them in the center of my refrigerator,
“Be gentle (for love and for joy).”