Seeing another Mount Sinai moment, I seize it hopefully. My feet walk me through spiky fall grass to a bench perched alongside a lake. The lake is still, not even the sound of water licking the rocks. Just construction noise in the distance. I feel dew soak through my pants and shiver. Close my eyes, push in gently. Remind me who You are, God.
I reflect on my unusual morning. How a text from someone with heart problems had me sending wishes Heavenward before 5:00 a.m. How I usually fall right back to sleep but this morning had been a restless one. How I felt too closely connected to family members (by blood & otherwise) who are walking through darkness, through pain. How I tugged the blanket over my head & read 1 John because I ached to remember the goodness of the God who calls himself “compassion” [Isaiah 54:10]. How memories of my own sin & idolatry danced across my thoughts like autumn leaves on a busy street. How within I felt peace–not tranquility–but a peace that wrestles with pain & impatience & the blood of my soul that spills on everyone I come in contact with. How that peace has not always been there, but is a gift with no price tag, no return receipt. How I finally crawled out of my warm bed & decided to face the morning with a bike ride.
In those thoughts the Divine met me. The vision I had prayed for Sunday came. No trance, no goose bumps, but a simple picture. Images to help set me free again. A little girl; little me. Blonde, in a dress, dirt on her cheeks, standing at the end of a dock. The water was still like the water before me (in reality). I looked up, but as soon as I did I felt the burdens of those that I love & suffer with on both sides. They were there, breathing down my neck, keeping my eyes halfway between heaven & earth. But they don’t want to hold me down. Most of them love me. They want to see me fly.
Father, help me to let them go.
I stand and take one step at a time towards the lake. I want this moment to symbolize, in my heart, the moving away from idolatry. From earthly things. I feel the tension in my soul & step, step, step forward.
I believe that I can still be free, even as I walk with others through their pain. I don’t want to be anyone’s God. I don’t want to be anyone’s healer. I see in myself the desire to rule & submit that misplaced desire to the power greater than myself.
Relief doesn’t come immediately. Yet slowly I feel more grounded. Warmth like a coffee mug in hand starts to spread inside of me. I remember that this is God’s story, not mine.
As I ride my bike away from the lake I feel the freedom of knowing that he is healer. That he is God. The most beautiful news: I don’t have to be.
That’s the Message. I’m free from being God. My mistakes are part of a greater redemption story. Pressure is off. Love will bring me home. Love covers those I move away from sometimes; giving space so that we can all move closer towards heaven on earth. Those I move towards sometimes, because the pain is too deep to be plunged alone.
May your Kingdom come down, Jesus. Not mine.