Sometimes I am asleep, sometimes I am dreaming and sometimes I am in the inner place, breathing with Him. My dreams are like memories; yellow walls, a wooden floor, a chest of drawers looming out of proportion. Some feeling of dread filled me as I sank further into sleep, into the memory; I am propelled away from the dream by my fear. I go inward, where it seems I just was, before sleep overtook me.
"I don't want to!" I whispered to Jesus, alarmed, "I don't want to remember." Whatever it is, I don't want to fall any further into it. Memories are embedded in me like shrapnel, but on the edge of sleep, sometimes I roll into the hard edge of one, previously undiscovered.
Get up, He says kindly, get up and make yourself some tea.
So I throw the covers back and get up, leave the feeling of being smothered. I wish I could throw the windows open, I wish I could sit and write for hours, but I go downstairs. The shadows of the trees are cast against the bright white stones of the landscaping, moving in the wind.
The downstairs is quiet and sterile, the green everywhere outside trapped behind the window glass. I take Merissa outside as much as possible, in the morning to water the flowers and in the early afternoon to play in her swing and in the late afternoon to sit in the open garage to wait for Keith.
Still, I feel trapped in the house, closed down for the summer. I sit down at the computer and I wait for the water to heat. Sometimes in the afternoon, I turn on the television to see how the world sees itself, but what I want is to write and write and write, with the windows open.
At my desk, the verse on my flip calendar says,
"I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the Lord. With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the Living God." Psalm 84:3NT
I feel that kind of dull, throbbing hunger in me and I try to push it away. I have too much to do to get caught up in that ache that can leave each day burst open and empty, my heart bruised, even when I'm in His arms in the inner place.
I've spent the morning writing about Jesus and it's not enough. It's glorious at first and intoxicating, to write and then all at once, it is not enough. Seeing Him through the writing becomes flat, a dead end. I knew this would happen. Still, each time I can't help the swell of joy as I am caught up in a creation born of love, and then the collapse later, when it falls short of the living thing.
Seeing through the veil is not enough. I throw myself into HIs arms and breathe, but it falls short of pure sight. I feel guilty about this, this insatiable hunger that waits in me. "Search my heart and know all my thoughts," I whisper to Him, laying my soul, my heart, open, wanting to be sorted through, sorted out and put right.
Jenny, I know your heart, He assures me.
He knows my heart and He loves me; I hear it all through His voice. He knows I'm the field sown with wheat and yet heavy with tares all tangled up in it, waiting, waiting, to be sorted out and lifted free, all that chaff shaken off and blown away by the wind.
But now I'm sunk down into the tangle of this present life, the pain sown into it. Right now, if I am to regain my peace, I must take up again my practice of the presence of God here and now, and do the one thing that I must do, with love for Him, with Him, and then the next thing and the next thing and let the longing fall back deep within me.
This longing is stretching me out thin and fine, it's burnishing me to a heavy gloss. It reaches so far that it stretches my faith out by necessity. I can try and escape the pressure of this burnishing, but in the end, I don't have the strength for it. I must wait and yield the moment over, where He is with me.
the west reaches for clothes of new colours
it passes to a row of ancient trees.
look, and soon these two worlds both leave you,
part climbs toward heaven, one sinks to earth,
you, not really belonging to either,
so helplessly dark as that house that is silent,
so unswervingly given to the eternal as that thing
turns to a star each night and climbs —-
you (it is impossible to untangle the threads)
own life, timid and standing high and growing,
that, sometimes blocked in, sometimes reaching out,
moment your life is a stone in you, and the next, a star.
Sunset, by Rainer Maria Rilke
English version by Robert Bly
Original Language German