Showing Up and Nothing Else

I haven’t done this in a really long time. There was a season of life in which it wasn’t at all unusual to sit at a computer screen with my eyes staring beyond the pixels into something else entirely. My fingers would fly across the keyboard, and strings of thought would get plucked and pulled until I had something raw and almost tangible. Often those words felt like more than me; they felt like the voice of me plus someone else. They became my prayers, my petitions and travails. They were good. I still have most of them on my computer, but I can barely stand to go back and read them… It’s like reading that ratty journal of poetry you wrote… in the seventh grade. A little embarrassing, largely irrelevant… But maybe a little novel. I can’t help but feel that maybe there’s something there worth going back to.
God, I’m coming into this right now with zero expectations. I’m not sure if that’s healthy or the result of being broken for so long… Back in the old days, I could feel a little twinge in my spirit and I knew it was time to write. I’d sit down and start typing and you’d meet me. I guess I still feel a little gun shy. I’m afraid of what it means if I really put myself out there and  come back empty handed.

I know things are at least a little better… But I still feel broken so much of the time. I feel like I’ve got my life in such a place that I can see your goodness pretty frequently… But I’m not sure that’s good enough anymore. I’ve spent quite a while trying to learn to recognize you in ways and means outside of what used to come so naturally… Does the fact that I still LONG to relate to you that same old way mean I haven’t really grown?

Alright, look… I get it. You’re god. You can do whatever the hell you want and I’m lucky if I get to be even remotely involved or close to you. I get that. But… I miss words. I miss our conversations. I miss feeling like you were an active voice that held sway and stock on even the most minuscule of decisions… and then you would dare me to do something irresponsible so you could show me just how much you could take care of me.

I can’t hear you. There are two options. Either you’re not speaking, or I’m not listening. It’s way easier to say that you’re not talking, but I’m not so sure that’s the case. And honestly, if I had a /clue/ how to listen harder, I would. As it stands, I feel stuck. I don’t know how to do anything differently from what I’m doing right now.

God I love you. I’m willing to fight if that’s what it takes. I just don’t know who or what it is I’m supposed to be attacking. I don’t know what’s causing this problem, and I don’t know how to fix it. I’m not even positive this is something I’M supposed to fix, or if this is on you.

Have… Have we moved on? Is this something new? Have you brought me to the River Jabok? Is this broken and arid landscape going to be the site of our wrestling match? If all it would take is one night of wrestling, I’d do it.

I guess… All of that to say, I’m still feeling pretty solitary over here. These words seem to be soundly my own. But if all you’re looking for is a wrestling match, I’m in. I feel like there is nothing else I can do except show you that I can wait. I will stand on your porch until you let me in.

Ridiculously offensive language ahead.


2 responses to “Showing Up and Nothing Else

  1. I’ve been where you are…it’s miserable. It what St. John of the Cross called “the dark night of the soul.” And so I guess you’ll find out…if the old addage is true: “God doesn’t want ability but AVAILability.” So you’re available. To Him. For whatever He wishes. That’s gotta count for something…at least, *I* think it should.

    I’m holding an all night prayer vigil tomorrow evening at the church…mostly it’s about doing exactly what youre talking about here…just SHOWING UP. I have only candlelight, and so, in the darkness I wait. The theme of the vigil is “anticipation” (it’s in regard to Advent and the anticipation of our coming King…appropos, don’t you think?) Like you, I have ditched all expectation in hope that…well…that I’ll discover reason to continue to hope.

    Keep showing up. Oh, and for the record, I don’t think God will tell you to get off His ‘f’ing porch. If anything, I think the Gospel message is more like that on Motel 6 fame Tom Bodett…”He’ll leave the Light on for ya…”

    • Admittedly, I wouldn’t assume God would be so militaristic. Still, there is a significant distinction between leaving the light on and opening the door.

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