For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel:
In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and in trust shall be your strength. Isaiah 30:15
I sat in the little house with the oil lamp lit, computer in place. Every coherent thought was echoed by an equally incoherent refrain of fatigue.
I’m so tired. I’m so tired. I’m so tired.
took on a rhythm, like breathing, while I struggled to work my way through Sunday’s
the dog, who technically isn’t allowed in my office, snoozed lightly on another chair. The black cat lay in the sunshine just
outside the office door, flirting with sleep, as cats do.
I have three
hours of childcare this week. Three
hours to throw together a sermon, build a power point, harvest the word. And I was only an hour in with nothing near
ten o’clock, instead of putting on a third pot of coffee, I pulled the cushion
off of yet another chair and threw it on the floor. A pillow followed, then a blanket and, with
gentleness, my own body curled like a dog in its bed.
whose eye’s slitted open at my commotion, hopped down, tail wagging. Curious, she ambled over, sniffing at my
back, as if to ask, “You ok?” Satisfied with what her nose replied, she hopped
back into her chair with ease.
asleep in under five and woke a half hour later.
friend of mine has operated a retreat house for the past twenty years. People often speak in hushed tones about the
holiness of that space, commenting in awe about its prayer-soaked walls. And that’s what I envisioned for this little
house of mine.
than writing, praying or listening, this room has been filled with rest.
I keep a
pillow in the cupboard, not a prayer book. Soft fleece blankets hang over the backs of my
chairs, enough cushion and comfort to make a bed for one.
If I can be
honest, perhaps I thought this house would be a place where I would build my
own kingdom out of words and prayers and God would bless it because of my effort.
opposite is true.
In my little
house, I cast my efforts aside.
down on a mat on the floor, like a child at nap time.
Here I’m vulnerable and weak, owning my
I rest in the grace of God who
doesn’t need my good deeds. God who
says, “Come you who are weary.” Here I
enter into the kingdom of God, where the last is first and a little child
leads the way.
With the hazy fog of sleep slowly dissipating around me, I
sat again in my curved black chair. The
passage was there still, waiting. But
the chant of my fatigue, the undertow of exhaustion, had lifted. The sermon came, slowly like a gift, like treasure
at the end of a hunt.
watched, unfazed by my strange human ways. When I left the little house to head inside again, the cat
followed, meowing, as if to say, “Well, I thought you needed a nap!”