Monday, September 26, 2011

Here I Am


Here I am.  Today.  Not yesterday, not tomorrow, yet here I am.  I feel constrained, yet that is exactly what I don’t want.  I don’t want to be tied to anything, I want to be alone, and free, and motion-full, not distracted by other stories that invade my mind.  I wish I wish.  That seems to be my life song.  Regret.  Yet I don’t want it.  Remorse.  Yet not over sin, just over decisions, decisions that are neither good nor bad, but simply are.  I am.  He is.  They are.  It is.  And so we exist.

I began, 20 plus years ago, I barely was.  I try to invade the space where that occurred, the time when that occurred, the it that that occurred.  I barely was, yet I grew, unnoticed, unknown, unfelt, unheard, unseen.  My heart was formed.  And then my heart beat its first beat.  My face was formed—unique—my fingers and their fingerprints, my eyes, and their first glimmer of light, so faint through the darkness in my cocoon.  Yet it was not mine.  Already the world did not belong to me.  It was hers.  It was his.  It was His. 

I was born, and chaos began.  Not my chaos, but chaos that would change my life before most of it began.  And so I drank another child’s drink, and waited, cared for by foreign hands, the first words I heard with clarity not being uttered in the language I would learn to speak first, but in the gentle sing-song of my first country.  Time slowed, then, my little fingers grasping for what wasn’t, my tiny mind completely unaware of the prayers cast frantically at the feet of the Father.  My mother lives today.  He saved her.  And He would save me.

I don’t know what happened those first few years.  Those memories will have to wait until further revelation.  Until then, I rely on second-hand information, but these are my words.  Relating unnecessary foolishness can wait for other epics.  I was 2, it was my birthday, the carpet was red, and there was a closet.  That is my earliest recognizable memory, though I have no idea why.  And then I was 3, and the carpet was mint green (except it wasn’t).  There were stairs, and a balcony, and I was born in the kitchen (except I wasn’t).  Ice cream cake.  Granny in the living room—or is that a photograph?  Feeding the ducks—or is that a photograph too?  Dancing in the isle, swinging on the swings, exploring the shed, listening for cougars; now the memories begin to trickle more freely.  My blue flowered coat, standing on the grass, and then my tree.  Now the recollections flow abundantly; my imagination was unleashed.  I could create.

My childhood was beautiful, I danced, I lived, I was.  We played together, we lived together.  My big self is simply an echo of my small self.  At first I thought it was the other way ‘round, but it’s not, at least I don’t think so.  I was so aware of life, so aware of the earth’s spinning, and of the ever-changing stability of green-ness and wind.  I played with imagination, I lived in it, and I revelled in it, drinking in the possibilities like elixir that my life depended on.  Truly immersing myself in the realm of the unknown was my daily sup.  I was fulfilled in my life, for it existed within the One in whom my life began—a pattern that breaks all too quickly for many people.  But this is my story—His story in me.  I could list many little regrets, of the kind that seem so monumental as a child.  Sometimes, when I soak my soul in the fabric of my childhood, they still feel huge, untameable, unconquerable, and my heart cries a little.  Then slowly, my heart’s grubby little fist releases its hold: “Take it, God, it never was mine”. 

Choir.  Capture the flag.  Schoolwork.  Nonsense.  My tree.  Oh, to twist among its branches again—and yet somehow there is incredible comfort in the fact that because it was good and it happened, it will always exist.  There is nothing about those moments that need ever be snuffed out; I can return to that occurrence any time I please.  What a beautiful thought!

And then childhood began to wane, and so did I.  Isn’t that what happens to most of us?  When childhood dies, so does a big piece of our souls.  Mine was slower to be crushed, and solid food has reconstructed much of the repairable parts, yet I still grow worried about the areas that seem irretrievable, unattainable.  Perhaps one day, or one something else.

Regrets really began.  The leadings were inaudible, the directions unclear.  I ploughed forward, unable to make out faces in my soul.  And then, just as I was no longer able to be me, all hell broke loose, because I did.  I wanted so desperately to be me, for that tiny 2-celled organism I had been some 16 years before to come back to life in my heart.  I tried.  I tried.  I tried so hard.  Trying doesn’t work.  And I wasn’t.

I dabbled, I twirled, I drank in the wind, running amuck in chaos of my own, revelling in the wonders that God has rightly placed in this world, from willow, to blood, to body.  I slowly soaked my soul in shame, though I was performing this un-sacred act unaware.  It would take God to resurrect my heart, for it was no longer human, but ghoulish, though its emitting of faerie projections and faux-truth un-realities remained consistent with my deeper yearnings.  Yet the cries of my very being were being slowly stifled too, and so I longed with all that I am for Truth.  Searching frantically with grace became my bread and water, no longer satisfied with the first fruits, drinking un-filled of another one’s drink.  My pudding was swirled.  My vanilla was tainted.  My blood was given up.  I was all but dead. 

And I did not know it.

Deeper rumblings were roaring forth, covering the very existence of life itself with vitality.  He is alone so that I am not.  He was, so that I can be.  I am, because He always has been.  The Lion’s Song has been sung—is singing.  Creation arose from its grotesque slumber.  Salvation is.

And I existed.  The darkness, with its snaky fingers and shadowy penetrations, was torn excruciatingly from my heart, as I writhed in terror and regret, weeping and falling in repentance before the Lamb who is a Lion.  Perhaps one time I shall comprehend the magnitude of that occasion, but today, I can only say that it was the most violent experience of my life to date.  My life was torn from me, reformed, un-violated, grace poured out, and faith appropriated.  My death was undone. 

Yet am I who I was?  I am who I can be, somewhere, yet I don’t even know me.  I followed the will of God, I went where I was supposed to go, and then all of a sudden silent disruptions began to cloud my clear horizon.  Uncontrollable fog began to cover my paths, and fear began to creep its crawly little noses into my peaceful heart.  It was different this time, for I was covered differently, my two-cell self far better preserved, but it hurts.  To this moment, there remains some of that terror, that fright, that distrust that is so shameful to one who names the Name of the Most High.  If He can tear the shroud of night from the blackest of blood-pumping organs, He can be trusted.  Yet the future scares me. 

The future is no less real than the past, I realize that, but its un-reality is unnerving.  My calm has been lost, is lost, yet it is.  He can restore it, as He has restored all else and can and will.  Time is irrelevant, if I am surrendered, submitted, cured, healed, not in control.  Restrained in freedom to the King: That is Life.  That is Truth. 

I have found Truth.  I am afraid of the future, and the past, and the present.  I am afraid of life.  I am not afraid of Life.  Life abundantly, that is what I am promised.  I am promised, for I exist within The Promise.  I am redeemed.  I must walk.  I walk. 

A conclusion cannot be come to, for time is irrelevant, and there is no conclusion for irrelevancy of being, and so all that I can say is this: I am in Him who is I AM.

1 comment:

Sarah B. said...

Very well written Sheila! ...and capture the flag, doesn't that bring back so many floods of memories?
I love you!
Sarah B