Friday, March 1, 2019

dear tired heart, it's ok to rest

My hair's the size of a house and I keep sitting on my gold couch. 

Man there’s a lot to do. But when the God with skin sat in a living room and told his hard-working host that there’s only one thing in life that’s important? To sit still, right in front of Him.*
 Oh my. Why have we gotten so busy? And what are we doing? 

I have tried to get it all done. All of it. The loving, the be-friending, the going, the doing, the entertaining, the impressing-then to sleep only to start over again at the alarm’s cry in the morning.

But I’m tired. 

And what about all the places that should be together but are broken? 

Jesus, what are You saying? 
I’m leaning in and it’s finally gettin quiet enough to hear Him in the deeper places I’d been ignoring with loud busy noise. 

“I love you. Rest.”

Eye contact is a slow activity. And warming up by a fire when you’re freezing takes time. Moments pass—you’re not sure when it happened exactly but now your toes are thawed and the warm you feel is friendly. 

The eyes I'm looking into—the time it takes to settle in and see them—they are like fire.* Jesus is God and He wants us to look at Him. And we can. 

The no’s I need to say to the millions of distractions, the time alone I’ll fight for—of course. Anything for this eye contact with fire. With desire I was made for. Looking at Him lets the bogged down heart feel light again. 

Am I nice enough? Generous enough? Holy enough? Clever enough? Good enough? And do I have enough friends? 

God’s asking me to slow down, and I’m asking Him to help. Looking away from my phone: Oh God, I’d rather see You. The silence starts to come and my mind starts to clear: He pulls me closer and my heart rests and hears—love that’s jealous. And He's made me good enough.  

My time, attention, affections: I’ll stop all I’m doing in the middle of my life, curl up next to God and breathe. The fire thaws me out and the warmth is friendly. 

My time, attention, affections: You can have me, Maker Savior Lover Friend. All of me. 

More than He wants me to work hard, He wants my company. 

It’s ok if no one is impressed. I’ll lay here happy and warm. Fire eyes lookin into mine. What if I weren’t in a hurry to leave? What if this moment of stillness with Him mattered more than all my to-do lists? It does. 

I don’t like counting. But I looked through the past decade and I counted—how many times have I moved? 

Age 21: from the dorm room with my Japanese roommate into my sister’s basement with the washer and dryer 
Age 22: from my sister’s basement to my grandma’s rent house in the middle of my hometown 
Age 23: a 2-month stay in those cabins in Michigan at a camp for kids from the inner city 
Age 24: a 2-month stay in a children’s home in southern India, surrounded by 70 kids, a mile from the Indian Ocean 
Age 24: a 3-week stay in the hospital in Bangkok, Thailand as God healed my injured head (not exactly a move but...)
Age 24 (it was a full year): with a confused memory and too skinny but recovering body-from my grandma’s rent house to my parent's basement 
Age 25: a 2-month stay with my friends in India
Age 25: a 2-month stay with people helping kids in northern Thailand, with a couple of those weeks spent with kids in Mynamar
Age 26: from my parents basement to my other sister’s basement 
Age 27: from my other sister’s basement to Hong Kong- into my boss’ 75-story apartment complex for six months
Age 27: from Hong Kong back into my parent’s basement  
Age 28: from my parent’s basement to Pemba, Mozambique—a house with 12 ladies from England, Germany, South Africa, Hong Kong, India, Brazil, and America 
Age 28: from Pemba, Mozambique to a safe house in Hong Kong
Age 29: from a safe house in Hong Kong with our African roommates, to a bigger safe house —it was raining hard on moving day
Age 30: from that Hong Kong safe house to my parent’s basement 
Age 31: from my parent’s basement to my sister’s spare bedroom-across the hall from her kids 

16. Including the head injury hospital visit. Braided into the 16 moves were flights to many countries with the Gospel and a jillion new friends. 

It’s been a wild wonderful decade. To see what the next one holds...I’m excited...

But I want to hold still for a little bit. 

He likes us when we rest the same amount as when we work hard. I'm learning to believe that.  

Are you tired? You can talk to Him about it, and you can accept His invitation to rest. 

*His eyes are like blazing fire, and on His head are many crowns
-Revelation 19:12

*"But only one thing is needed, Mary has chosen what is better. And it will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:42