I can’t explain a blessed thing
Not a fallen star nor a feathered wing
How a man in chains has the strength to sing
Just one thing is clear to me
There’s always more than what appears to be
When the light’s just right I swear I see
Man, it’s poetry
Sometimes the big old Mystery
Just leans right in on me
Says that I am home and I am free
And I’ll take that any day
~ Pat Green, Poetry
We haven’t been to God’s house all summer.
Life gets in the way.
Besides, they don’t really expect us there. They shut down the children’s programs after Memorial Day and our already sleepy little congregation dwindles as the restless New Englanders spread out in search of sand and sun and open spaces.
There will be a re-gathering celebration in a couple of weeks. The kids look forward to the annual ice cream social followed by the re-commencement of the children’s school and choir and all of the hustle and bustle that accompanies the autumn season.
But God decided to come over to our place yesterday. I guess He figured that since we hadn’t made it to His house in a while, He’d stop by ours.
I was sitting on the couch between my two girls, who were watching an episode of Blues Clues. Luau was sleeping in.
Brooke had abducted my left arm. She wound her little body around it and made it pretty clear that she had no intention of giving it back. If I had plans to use it, I had better rethink them. She twisted her little legs around my wrist and hand and clutched my upper arm and shoulder with her own tiny arms. With her head nestled into my shoulder, she squealed softly in my ear, her warm breath sweet and heavy on my neck.
Katie was sprawled across the couch on my right side. She snuggled under a soft blanket, the fringed edges of which tickled my legs. She spread herself out without a hint of self consciousness. Her legs were splayed across mine, their weight and warmth finding their way directly to my heart.
For me, this is where God lives. In these small, perfect moments. In the spaces between us. In the warmth. In the literally overpowering love that I feel for my girls. In my home. In my heart. In the quiet.
In something that is so obviously bigger than than the three of us.
I welcomed Him in.
On the television a chorus of children’s voices cried out to Joe, “A clue! A clue!”
A few months ago, Katie and I were discussing a conversation that she had had with our dear friend (and guru, reverend, rabbi, spiritual guide and pastor) Karla. Yeah, it’s a mouthful, but trust me, she defies a simpler description. Besides, I once promised her that I’d call her that.
Karla had asked a group of children to think about why God is often referred to as a rock. She asked them to list some of the attributes of a rock. She passed one around. “Heavy, gray, hard, from nature” were some of the descriptions the children gave.
Katie and I continued to talk about it later in the car. I asked her how she thought that God might be like a rock. “Well, Mama,” she said, “You know how when you see a rock split open sometimes and it’s really beautiful inside? There’s crystals and colors and all kinds of stuff in the middle?”
I nodded, wondering where she might be taking this.
“Well,” she continued, “It’s just like that with God.”
She seemed perfectly satisfied with this, but she could see that I needed a little further explanation so she continued on. I sometimes wonder if she thinks, “Poor, Mama. She’s a little slow, isn’t she?” But if she does, she never shows it.
“You see, Mama, when you look at a rock you have to BELIEVE that it has all that beautiful stuff inside. You can’t see it, but you just KNOW that it’s there. Just like you know that God is there, INSIDE.”
How on earth did I give birth to this miracle?
How is that this little tiny person could know that when things feel gray and rough and hard, we just have to HAVE FAITH that there is beauty within? That we just have to BELIEVE that under the heavy layers of rock, there is light?
That God is always there, and even if you don’t make it to His house, you just have to look for Him and you will see Him in yours.