I read of longing and desire from bed, covered in the quilt I brought from home and a rightly heavy down comforter.
The walls are yellow like sun, and I am sick. Not the worst sick I’ve been in my life, but sick that looks weak and tired in the eye, feels the cold burning in lungs. The kind that is relieved that curtains are pulled shut.
I am here at this vacation house with my girlfriends who are going for walks and hikes and talking in the sunshine, and all I want to do is be still and read in this bed. This is not normal for me.
I do hope to be better before it’s time to go, so I can play with them, too. These women are some of my favorites, you know? And I look forward to these times all year. I really do.
I am sad about it, and I am content. I’ve read that you can’t experience gratitude and sadness at the same time (or something to that effect), but I’ve not found that to be true.
For a month on this blog, the words haven’t come – either for lack of time or energy, or just because the darned things wouldn’t shake free.
I know God is the God of infinite amounts, and I take in what I can of that gift – sometimes gulping, sometimes dainty sipping, and I am continually pouring from that supply, I know.
But sometimes it’s not words that come out in the pouring. Instead the thoughts and strings of prose swirl like leaves caught in a whirlpool, and I want them to swim free, and yet, all is well with my soul.
Sometimes the words aren’t viewable on a screen, but label rooms of memory marked summertime. Girls on the farm and girls on the soccer field, daughter reveling in watercolor and sketches of racunes (raccoons). Daughter at sleepaway camp for the first time. Another daughter swallows a baby tooth in her sleep. Is it just my kids who do this?
Sometimes the words paint the walls of our house, as sisters negotiate and argue and entertain each other with cups and balls and slight of hand tricks from the kit their Opa bought them.
As you can see… is the oldest’s most favorite line, hands atwirl to distract from the trick.
And I see.
God’s infinite flows through raucous singing from a church stage at Vacation Bible School, from new little friends who lay a head on my shoulder or sit close or share a pain or ask a question. God’s infinite flows through encouragement and “I love you” signs shaking on my 10-year-old’s hand until her mama is out of view.
God’s infinite flows through hands and smiles and sweat – serving, building up, helping. Together.
The supply is mixed color hydrangeas and surprising Saturday rain and laughter like baby bubbles, gurgling, gurgling.
And there’s so much more.
As I drove here to Central Oregon from Portland – the days of not writing publicly flew by in my mind like the time lapse fall of calendar pages and of faded barns at 55 mph.
I’ll be honest and tell you that I did pray again for the words to spring to life on the screen, knowing all the while that when I ask, God can answer that prayer or not, whenever or however God chooses.
Once, I told God that if my words dried up, if I never wrote another thing, I’d be okay with that. I meant it then, and still do. I don’t hold it out as a curse over my typing hands or writerly vision, but more like my own yet I will praise you.
I refuse to make the words my end, my prize.
That’s why sitting here, criss-cross on the borrowed bed, letters suddenly pouring off my fingertips, tissues at my side, I feel all the more grateful because I know once again in my empty places, it is all grace.
Grace to be filled. Grace to pour out.
An unexpected gurgling. Gurgling.