Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Showing Up

I am craving a God encounter.

Do you get that way? Do you sometimes feel a bit empty and think about deserts and droughts and empty wells?

I was feeling that way earlier this year when I penned these words as the start to a poem:

I'm terrified of living
in this desert.
I am cacti,
reaching my prickly arms
skyward, begging,
oh Jesus,
let it rain.

Months later, I am still sitting on the sand, struggling towards oasis. Sometimes, I’d be grateful for the shimmer of mirage.

So I am plotting. For now, short trips to walk the paths of labyrinths, and – for later – a few days in a monastery, where the walls breathe prayer and Facebook does not beckon from my phone, where there are no children needing my attention and no calendar insisting I be somewhere else. I am plotting to encounter God.

Because sometimes you have to plan these things.

I didn’t grow a relationship with Corey into a marriage by sitting at home, not answering my phone, expecting him to magically get to know me and fall in love with me and want to be with me forever. No. I made an effort. I called him. I wrote him letters and poetry. I hid love notes all over his apartment so he would find them at random times.

My best friend didn’t become my best friend without some work on both our parts. It took opening up and sharing the deep things, the things we feel shame over and the things that make us proud. It took hours spent doing what looks like nothing much from the outside but translates as quality time in our relationship. We live three hours apart, so we plan time together. We work it around her work schedule and my homeschooling and the various other activities that take up our time.

I encounter my husband when I choose to. I encounter my friend when I choose to.

That doesn’t mean every planned encounter will involve angels singing and God’s purpose for my life suddenly made clear, vivid before me like a vision. No, there’s no guarantee. But there sure is a better chance of a beautiful moment when I…

When I what?

When I show up.

I spread out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land. Psalm 143:6

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