It vibrates on the wood before the alarm sounds, and every day begins with a noise. The first movement of the day is brought about out of the sheer necessity to shut that thing up. The day dances in this way. A noise, a sound that alerts us to something. A movement. There is so much to be done in a day. Today. Tomorrow. And tell me, how many tomorrow’s do I have left to fall back on?
A simple snapshot (this filter? that filter?) and the things that need done daily etch grooves in the faces. This one has tired eyes from newborn cries but a full heart from the bundle held next to it, and she is finding more wonder and more joy in the days that keep going faster. That one has a deadline, a deadline, a dead line?, and when it’s e-mail pings and meetings and conference calls from the edge of cereal bowl to the edge of the bed, when do you have time to smile and laugh without a to-do list scrolling behind your eyes? She looks at one option after another, worries, and is there a right or wrong answer? He smiles encouragement, but the questions run over behind hiding eyes, and it’s only the whir of the ceiling fan that drowns them out so he can sleep. Dishes need to be washed. Bills need to be paid. Laundry needs to be folded. Jobs need to be worked. Meals need to be cooked. And always there is one more bullet on the list, one more sound to alert me to something, one more thing that needs my attention, one more option that needs thought through…
Be still and know that I am God.
God is not always in the earthquake or the wind or the fire. He is more often the whisper. He is the ripples on a pond when the sun dancing over the blues and grays like liquid gold. He is the first warm day after a snow when I still need a jacket but the is warmth on my face and light in my eyes. He is the hug that I can swear I feel when I sit with head in hands and finally admit that I have no idea what to do.
It’s become something of a platitude, words that I’ve spoken to hearts when they’re aching or minds when they’re troubled. Be still. Breathe. Remember that God is God. Let that be enough for your soul today, let that bring ease. But maybe it’s not two separate commands, to be still and to know. Maybe it’s more about causation. Be still and you will know Me. Silence your heart and find that I’m here. Quiet your mind and see Me.
I’ve been told since Jesus was a man with a blue sash on a coloring page that He is with me every moment of every day, that He will never leave me, and now that Jesus has lost the blue sash and become my living and breathing Savior, I know it to be true. But knowing and knowing are two different things, one in the head and one in the heart, and there’s all too often a disconnect. If God is everywhere, why don’t I feel Him? If God never leaves me, why do I feel overwhelmed? If He’s always with me, why is the day full of loneliness?
Because I won’t be still enough to know. I don’t silence my heart of its misgivings and fickleness, stop it from nursing its wounds. I don’t quiet my mind of the running tickertape of items that need addressed or from taking apart and second guessing every thing said by every person who said it. But on the occasion where my soul yells ENOUGH and tells my heart and mind to just shut up and go play quietly outside for a moment, I feel it.
I feel Him.
In those moments, so rare that it hurts that stupid pride of mine to admit, I wash the plates and forks with food clinging to them, and hear Him talk to me about the things clinging to me. Let them go. And I know Him. I wipe the dust away from the dark wood furnishings, and feel Him wipe away the dust covering the passions and dreams that He put in me but I had given up on. These are wonderful and good and I made them for you. And I know him. I fold shirt after shirt, the most mindless of tasks and with less in my mind, my soul can feel and listen and rest, and He reminds me of who He is, how merciful and gracious and life-giving and powerful and roaring-yet-gentle. And I know Him.
Be still and know that I am God. He formed my fibers and synapses out of dirt for that purpose – to know Him.
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