Inspired by . . . a desolate place
The grasses crunch beneath my feet, dry and brittle. The sound reminds me of dry snow, but this air isn’t crisp and cold. Summer is no longer baking . . . it’s burning. The high heat index means the air I’m breathing wants to suffocate, rather than invigorate. I’m already weary, and fighting the oppressive air as I make the short trek across the field to my special place brings tears to my eyes.
“Lord, I’m so tired.”
The little fawn that comes to drink from my birdbath every afternoon was killed by the neighbors dog last night.
It was the first thing I saw when I looked out my kitchen window this morning.
It reminded me of a child laying face down on a beach on the other side of the world.
No, it’s not a just comparison. The boy’s life is infinitely more valuable. Don’t doubt that for a second, no matter what anyone tries to tell you.
But that sweet fawn was just the beginning of a day filled with things that broke my heart. The faces of children, of women and men. Hope-less, angry, dead. Whether in this country or in countries around the world. The places don’t matter.
I enter the shade of the trees, welcoming the relief. Giant metal stairs yawn before me.
“Lord, I’m weary of all the hate.”
The stairs creak and sway as I make my way upward, into the trees. There is a peacefulness here, despite the wind that always seems to be blowing. I’m reminded that the wind makes the trees stronger. A lesson from the Biosphere.
But there are plenty of days that I don’t feel strong, despite the winds of trial that come against me.
I know God allows these trials, I know He uses them to refine me. To make me more like Him. I know this is good and true and right.
But right now, I’m tired.
The field is below me now, laying in stark contrast to the peace of the tree tops.
Down there everything is dead.
Not even a hint of green, no cheery yellow faces. Nothing.
Desolate. Bleak. Dismal.
Like my spirit.
And then He reminds me.
Now when Jesus heard this,
He withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by Himself. Mat 14:13
“I am with you.”
He is here with me, even in the desolate places. He sees the way through.
He sees me.
So she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her,
"You are a God of seeing," for she said,
"Truly here I have seen Him who looks after me." Gen 16:13
He made the way through.
He made me.
And His heart breaks, too.
Footnote: Part of the purpose of this blog is to inspire. Knowing that, this post may seem a bit inconsistent. But I think we do ourselves a disservice when we seek only the happy things. The pretty things. Allowing ourselves to feel sorrow, to look tragedy in the face, and to feel pain is the catalyst that births in us true compassion. It reminds us how fragile life is, and how much it truly matters. Jesus wept. He mourned. What had Jesus heard in the above passage in Matthew? He had just been told of John’s death.
He was acquainted with grief. And so we are, too.
And, yes, He laughed. And so shall we.
Then, after writing all this, I read this.