Original Post: 10/24/2008
Have you experienced a weariness of body, a heaviness of heart, or a discouraged soul?
Have you, like me, wondered about it all, why we are here, and how the relentless demands of work and family create a slavish sense of daily responsiblities broken only by a few snatches of sleep, replaying again in the morning?
My circumstances sometimes contribute to the dryness but often my heart attitude is just as much at fault. It’s in times like these, these dry places of the soul, that I find myself remembering my first experiences of care and comfort in the arms of God.
My first spiritual friend was Christy, my high school BFF. When we hit it off, we hit it off. We started laughing the first night we hung out and we’ve hardly stopped since. We would spend the night a lot at Christy’s (she had her own room and an older brother who played football), doing typical high school girl things…examining our blackheads and experimenting with makeup, dancing the Boot Scoot Boogy and singing with SWV “I’m so into youuuuu….I don’t know what I’m gonna doooo…..”
But under the cover of night and under the covers in her room, we would talk about other things too. We would talk boys and parents, hardships and heartbreaks. Christy was Catholic and I a mish-mash of Protestanism, and we would talk God. About communion and Jesus, about heaven and hell, about angels and prayer. We would talk about how we knew God, how we felt Him, and how we prayed. We would laugh so hard our sides would hurt, and we would laugh–and cry–our way through prayers together. I don’t know who came up with this in all that talk, but we had two images of God that we shared. The first was of whispering into his ear, pulling “His big ol’ ear” down to us, reaching up in the dark and grabbing on, Him leaning into us and us leaning into Him, telling him all those whispered secrets that need safe harbor outside of our own tentative souls.
The other was of flinging open my arms and receiving his love. Laying there in the bed, eyes fixed at the ceiling, head flung back, arms wide open, letting Him come in for the best hug, a hug big enough from arms strong enough to hold together all my broken pieces and make me whole again. I would close my arms around Him and I would almost expect to feel a physical presence as my arms squeezed around my back. He was that real. He was that close.
When I remember that, I’m reminded that in this time of spiritual dryness, perhaps the whispers in his ear and the surrender to his hug…arms wide open…fills me up in a way that transcends the mundane and gives me a glimpse of the depth and width and greatness of His love.