Sunday, April 16, 2017

Setting the table upright again (conclusion)

After a long and difficult season, Grace bends over and helps me pick up my overturned table and offers me a seat.  Grace knows me so well and sits down with me as a trusted friend.  It might be Easter, but it still feels a little like Good Friday in my soul.  Hard, scary, frustrating, angry, messy, worry, and confusion.  

I set my many bags and burdens down and try to remember the last time I was able to just stop and be still.  It's a luxury I rarely enjoy, and it's usually interrupted by a small person needing some assistance.  I'm trying my best to smile and be present, but there's a million mile to-do list that is going to need some attention sooner than later.  I work hard to keep all the irons in the fire, and I have learned that putting them off only creates a bigger list.

I'm also slightly afraid of the quiet.  Stillness invites anxiety, and I try to avoid being alone in my thoughts for too long because they tend to lie and remind me of all the ways I'm letting the world down these days (and all the times I've let it down in the past).  And when they tire of same old, same old worries, they are creative and discover new ways to torment me.

But Grace allows me to be hollow and empty and exhausted by my troubles because it takes me as I am.  It doesn't rank me on the ways I'm measuring up and falling short because it knows me better than I know myself.  Grace covers my hand with its own and lets me feel the expanse of all the emotions, rather than shaming me for all the ways I could have made it better.  And when I'm done spilling out, it gently reassures me that all will be well eventually.

Grace knows all the times I've failed and sinned and does not hold it against me.  I am deeply forgiven and loved and made new again by this gift of Grace.  Grace also knows that as much as I want to breathe it in, I have a difficult time sharing my table with those who have deeply wounded me and let me down.  I want to put those people at the kids' table of Justice and leave them there until they feel the sting of my hurt.  But Grace reminds me over and over again that there is room at the Table for everyone, including me and those people, too.

Grace wipes my tears and helps me to stand up again.  Grace offers to keep my extra bags and burdens and promises that even though I've become accustomed to carrying them with me at all times, I don't (and won't) need them every single day.  It's time to press forward and continue on the journey, knowing that Grace always keeps the door open.

And as I walk out the door, Grace reminds me that He will be with me until the very end.

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