Sunday, March 11, 2012

March 11th

I've been restless these days.

Maybe it's spring fever.

I've been keeping the house cleaner than I have in months; a dish barely touches the bottom of the sink before it gets washed and I've almost run out of wood cleaner for the floors.

I keep wanting to buy things- a patio set, with a rug and an umbrella, and plastic glasses with yellow lemons printed on them.

Instead, I gave Keith the green light to buy a new lawn mower; two minutes later his boots were on his feet and he was out the door, on his way to purchase one then and there.

It was the more practical purchase anyway. He had to start his old mower with a pair of pliers, and the lawn was already getting shaggy looking.

He returned with a Toro mower equipped with a Honda engine, which, I was informed, is the cream of the crop in terms of push mowers.

So as you can guess, the lawn looks very nice right now and all yesterday, I could faintly smell cut grass through the open window. I caught him lovingly polishing the engine with a rag.

At Wal Mart, they had a sale on baby items. I stood in front of the stand for the fliers and looked at the cribs and baby seats.

"Look! A sale on baby stuff!" I informed Keith, when he appeared with our cart.

"We don't even know the age of the kid we'll be matched with," Keith cautioned gently- still thinking in terms of international adoption.

"It'll be a newborn," I reminded him. "The birth mother will choose us while she's still pregnant."

When someone chooses us, which is months and months away. It's tempting to start slowly buying stuff for a nursery, just to have it ready- but it's too early to start that.

I can't do any work on Torii until it "settles down" after my last major revisions, so that's just waiting and I have no clear inspiration for another book.

I feel like I'm waiting on everything.

Despite my restlessness, it's clear to me that Jesus wants me to continue on in this quiet waiting place.

I've been in this quiet waiting place now for about a year- longer, if one considers my time in Kentucky to be waiting. I think it was, though I was just then entering into it kicking and wailing and angry.

At that time I could not know it, but God was pulling me into the quietness -that quietness that comes after grief- in order to meet with me in a deeper way than He had before.

I watched a sermon by Henry Nouwen and in it, he said that, like the bread Jesus held in His hands, we are taken, we are blessed, we are broken and we are given.

We are broken before we are given.

Last night, I think it was, I was caught by the line in the last chapter of Matthew: "He has gone ahead of you into Galilee."

I thought of Jesus on that solitary journey, newly resurrected. I wondered if He had been filled with joy at everything He saw as He walked along- freed from the burden of His passion, everything new and fresh and full of light. Almost as though everything that He had declared good at the beginning was so deliciously good all over again.

In that same gospel, the two women see Him and He says to them, "Rejoice!" (Though it's interesting to me that only in the New King James Version does His greeting get translated this way. Others have Him saying "Peace be with you," or simply "Hail!")

I had a dream like that a few days ago. I dreamed of His death and burial. In the dream, I found myself on a path, a grassy path on a hillside.

Earlier in the dream, I had been running down that path, full of shame, and finding torn pieces of my wedding gown along side it. I kept gathering them up in my arms, in horror, hoping against hope that I would still be acceptable, not for the gown, but for the sincerity of my heart.

Now in the dream, I found myself on the path again, only I didn't have time to worry about what I was wearing, because I saw Him, alive, walking down the path. I knew it was Jesus; I knew He had risen from the dead.

I went running to meet Him and He opened His arms to me. He was so full of joy. He knew me.

"Is this My little one?" Jesus said, laughing. It was as though my love of Him brought Him joy.

When I woke, I re-lived that moment in the dream over and over again- that moment of mutual recognition and joy.

It's an astonishing thought, isn't it, that we can bring Him pleasure of any kind? That it is possible for us, as C.S. Lewis puts it:

"To please God... to be a real ingredient in the divine happiness... to be loved by God, not merely pitied, but delighted in as an artist delights in his work or a father in his son- it seems impossible, a weight or burden of glory which our thoughts can hardly sustain. But so it is."
-The Weight of Glory

So it is.