She sits by the window and watches the little people go by, and the wind rustles the linen curtains. Some little child zooms by on his scooter and an old man does not zoom, but walks slowly with his erratic step. The sky is just starting to turn color. It is lavender, pastel blue, and rose pink, but the clouds have grown and she knows the sky will threaten rain eventually. What a beautiful evening. What a good God.
She has been struggling, she’ll admit that. She doesn’t know why. It’s that unexplainable struggle that comes some days and leaves other days. She just knows that it is there and she feels it more than anything. Today, she went to the office at 8:00am and worked on files. Paper, paper, paper. The black filing cabinet which was crammed full of files almost fell over on her.
It was quiet in the office today. That was unusual. Normally, there is the chatter of voices, the brewing of coffee, the loud phone ringing, and once and a while, her boss’ infrequent but distinct “dang!” when he realizes he has too much on his plate. If she is at her desk when that happens, she stops typing and sits still for a second. She wants to ask if he needs her to accomplish something, help with such and such, etc. But she doesn’t. And soon, she goes on typing.
But today was different. She liked that. The solace and solitude were broken only by the passionate voice of the preacher she listened to on her phone. She glanced up occasionally to look out the window and make sure no one would be entering her bubble. No, most of the world was still asleep on a Saturday morning at 8:00am.
She was sitting by a window, rummaging through a file, legs sprawled out on the floor when the voice of the speaker made her stop. He was saying about God, “He loves his children much more than He needs them, because He does not need them at all, but He loves them infinitely. In today’s age, men and women are measured by what they accomplish. But in the Bible, men and women are measured by what they’ve become.”
She started crying right there, in the middle of the office with the red folder in hand, her tears hitting and making aesthetic splotches on the red cover. She cried mostly because lately, the quiet and cold serpent of discontent and doubt slithered close to her ear, whispering, “oh, girl. You are alone. See? You, of all creatures in the world, are forgotten. Has not God forgotten you? Has not He gone deaf to your groans and struggles? Has not He turned His face away when you ask for that thing which you believe, in part, would be the fulfillment of your gifts and strengths and desires? You and your gifts and desires are all being wasted. He sees not nor hears. You deserve a fulfillment, and yet He has left you.”
She hears that voice far too often, and far too often she lets it keep talking; its honeyed words gliding into her ears and into her head and into her heart. Has she been left? Forgotten maybe?
Yet today was a reminder that God still saw her. He saw her in that message she listened to. She needed to hear that she was not measured by what she accomplished, and even if she were to go on without accomplishing, but BECOMING, that was enough.
He also was the one who gave her this beautiful day; the clear, crisp blue sky and the hot sun that baked her cold, Minnesota bones. Poor bones. They must be adequately thawed, and this thawing would likely take months. She drank in that sunshine though. She watched the peaceful world and forgot about the worries and cares. This was God’s best medicine for her.
She watched the little boy in the lake. He found a big rock and was determined to move it over so his friends could see, which he did. Inch by inch. She admired his determination. She may have looked at that same rock and considered it an unnecessary obstacle, not worth bothering with. Today she would bike, read, nap, organize, plan, eat chocolate cake, and sit down to write. She wanted God to change her heart. Too often she looked inward though, and she knew this would not help.
Her favorite Audrey came out with music today, music that spoke to this seeing. Audrey wrote:
“Beyond ideas, beyond the veil of time; beyond all color and bending of the light; beyond all concepts and movements of the mind; I will find you. As far as nowhere, as far as eye can see; from east to west there is no place you don’t breath; when all is laid bare at the bottom of my grief, I will find you.” [Audrey Assad, Find You]
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.