Help in small spaces
I talk to a friend who leads a rather jet-set life who has rubbed shoulders with well-known politicos, heiresses, and even the token rock star (she would never drop names, but I would, and she literally had dinner with Bono).
She wants same-ness — to be in her house and not in some five-star hotel for months on end where she is transported to and fro by a driver. She wants to make eggs in the morning for breakfast and to feed the fish in her backyard pond instead of living away, where there is no kitchen and no chores to do. We in many ways live polar opposite lives but find commonality in our friendship and desire for contentment that’s not dependent on circumstance.
I want a little bit of what she has as I slog through days filled with sameness of housekeeping and children (at times happy and crying), among other tasks and routines.
She asks me when we talk, “What are you waiting for?”
“Nothing,” I answer because I know that I am simply called to be where I am; to sit in this life, this lot, this divinely appointed provision which leads me to be both filled and wanting, and to find comfort there.
I may sound downcast, and I am, but I am also thankful a million times over.
I have looked in other places at other times in my life for the escape route. And I have found that escaping is no answer. My best line these days is, “There’s no answer” because even in Jesus, where I hope to abide, trouble or sorrow or difficulty is not taken away.
It occurs to me that many of the references to rock in the Bible (as in the Lord is my rock) denote not some massive boulder that you have to throw yourself upon to cling to, but a crag, which offers a narrower point of entry. Think rock climbing and how you must find safety in an inch(es)-wide outcropping for your hands to grab or feet to land on.
I tried rock climbing once long before marriage and children, and though I climbed up a rock face that was no more than thirty or forty feet high, finding the right crag or crevice was everything. I bordered on being afraid of the height, and climbing, for me then, was slow going.
This is the kind of protection or provision that God provides: incremental and at times moment-by-moment. And in this context, Psalm 61 makes more sense, as it petitions, “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
A freedom-loving friend has encouraged me to see that I don’t have to DO anything but receive the gift of God that has already been given. What mercy and what grace, especially when I feel so bound to circumstances.
I remember all this in the many imperfect moments. I find a crag through some kind of arrow-like prayer that sustains me (this, even though I may find myself in tears). But good things are coming too. Mathilde turning four in just a few days. End of school and more free time for summer. It’s joy and sorrow both. Help and mercy.
And all of it, small.