Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Measure

On Friday morning, before the sun lifts itself from rest, headlights push through picture windows, casting shadows wide across walls and carpet, and I am caught up in their nets.

This is my commission to GO.

I scratch out a green felt pen I Love You! onto the back of an envelope and place it at the counter's hem, where I know it will be found, before rolling my carry-on luggage to the front door and stepping onto the stairs. On the threshold of what is and what will be, I turn my key in the lock and tuck my family, one more time, into the hush.

The world outside is Spring and we follow its song all the way to the airport, past check-ins and gates, up to the ramp where we pause long enough to capture a distorted image of our true selves.

I am anxious.

Even though the thing I that have been anticipating for months requires the journey, I feel the subtle call for safety tightening in my chest. I have had to silence the whispers in my head that want me to believe that this going is absurd; that a person in my circumstances should be more practical; maintain the status quo. All of this, but to actually step into that chapter without guarantee of outcome? This requires faith in the goodness of the story teller, and truthfully? Truthfully, these past few years have felt like wasteland, arid and unsatisfying, and myself a character set aside.

I want to believe. I believe. Help my disbelief.

The woman next to me in row A10 can't eat before 7:00. She instead asks the stewardess for coffee; the cup, insufficient, can she fill her thermos, please?  Feeling the twinges of hunger myself, I glance down at the snack tucked in the side pocket of my backpack and I obsess about how maybe peanuts were a poor choice for an airplane--always the worse case scenario with me. I leave them there and watch as the the Three Sisters tuck cloud covers under chins before disappearing from view altogether, and I'm still thinking about that cup.

It is when we land in the flat of those calico lands, threaded by the Platte and Missouri Rivers, that I begin to feel known.

My presence in this place is no mistake.

Seven of us pile into a mini-van headed for the retreat center, making introductions along the way.

They are here:

The longtime friend, one of those first few in my life who took part in the walk-along-side dance of truth and grace and the incarnate hashing out of true community.

The other. A sister of like-mind given at just the right time to make transitioning out of that community, for the next-good-thing, easier.

Alexandra, who I have been paralleling for years, in Tacoma and Portland, at Young Life camps and blogging conferences, but whom I have never met properly until this moment, sitting alongside each other in the back seat on freeway I-80.

And on her other side,  Kendra. I don't know that I know of her, but when we begin talking I realize that it was her website and radio show that I found, and began listening to, when round three of unemployment hit.

These are points in my life that have no business intersecting in this place, with these people, but they do.

We arrive at the retreat center and online friends made in the months prior to this moment linger in the entryway. Ones who have invited and encouraged; ones who do not recoil from the sight of life's jagged-edge rubbing; brave ones whose keystroke strides chase hard after integrity-- all are here, touchable.

I've set aside the noise for the weekend--no computer, no agenda, no need to produce anything--just listening, and already what I hear in the details is that He who began a good work is faithful.

And I wonder how different things might look if I did not just recognize it in this moment, but if I lived this one ordinary-extraordinary life of mine like I believed it to be true?

How do we hold fast when dreams are wisp-like and whispered? When the path forward and upward is anything but straight, but instead appears to jut off in wrong directions, away from what is hoped for?

How do we rest in understanding that He sees things differently? Trust that what we perceive as the walk of abandonment might actually be the guided but switch-backed route to goodness itself? To Him?

I hear it here, in echos of yesterdays and tomorrows, rolling over flaxen plains; that when we dare to dream, lend hope to places yet unseen, we are not inviting God into what we are doing, but He is inviting us, and that the true measure of success is our obedience.

And I am longing for yes— how I long for yes.

In tentative steps, Yes, Lord, I do believe.

Help me not to limit the measure, your cup.


How do you take the pen out of Fear's hands and let Perfect Love write your story? I would love to her how you step into courage and what you have learned from doing so.

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