Because I’m human, I’m arrogant and think to myself in these quiet moments before dawn that my waiting on God, my exercise of faith is admirable.
Because I’m human, I am expecting some kind of recognition. Some form of applause or validation. A shiny red apple as my reward, and like a child who discovers a funny face will make her mother laugh, repeats the gesture over and over again. She is so delighted by her control and newly discovered power, she forgets the original source that brought her delight.
I just want to sit with God. That’s the thing that’s so hard to understand about those moments before sunrise when we have poured out our fears and frustrations to our Lord and saviour. When we have revealed our loneliness, our concerns. When our strength has collapsed and without warning taken a spill down a flight of steps and landed at the bottom broken and scattered. There is no response. Nothing breaks the silence. Our tears fall down the drain. Nothing about our heartache is different. Then that ageless voice that is as ancient as the first words says, “Who are we praying to?”Who is it that is expected to respond to our confessions and why is this unconditional love so high up the tree it seems impossible to reach. Why would our salvation be so poorly placed?
This couldn’t possible be true. Our heads must be in the wrong direction. Looking up is maybe looking away. Maybe we are missing the mark looking up in the blue sky to far away from our hearts.
I know I’m heard when my chin touches my chest and my pain is so loud that my neighbor finds herself falling on her knees in prayer too. She begins her prayers, just as I have finished mine. Her heart felt words circling me with an additional layer of love that didn’t come from the clouds but was without question, a gift from God.
And when my life swings between extremes of delight or devastation, it’s the floor or ground that I spill myself onto in either humble gratitude or complete surrender.
I just recently called 911 to be taken to the hospital. I was having a bad reaction to new medication and didn’t think I should continue to remain at home alone. I had never in my life been so completely incapacitated and having to rely on others for basic functions.
All kinds of thoughts surfaced as I was being lifted onto the stretcher and than into the ambulance. When my thoughts of panic increased along with my breathing, and my head raised up in search of comfort, it was the EMT who brought me back down to earth with his warm smile and calm, friendly disposition. And when I was lifted off the stretcher and on to the hospital bed, once again it was a simple act of kindness that was my balm.
“Love thy neighbor.” Hand to hand and heart to heart. In the footsteps of this world. Looking down, being fully committed to this life, I have learned God is always closer than you think.
For tomorrow’s quiet moment before dawn, I will bow my head in prayer and touch my knees to the ground. I will listen within for Gods gentle voice and I won’t be as confused or impatient as I was before because I now realize the conversation has already begun and like the loving voice of reassurance that calmed and quieted my storm, he is always right by my side. Always.