Thursday, October 31, 2013

Broken Hallelujah

He gives beauty for ashes...
for ashes.
Sometimes the ashes come first. Sometimes the mourning strips us bare...then the beauty comes, making something precious out of the pain. 
Sometimes our posture is changed, 
changed by circumstances,
bringing us to our knees, heads bowed - hung -
souls positioned for prayer. 

A few days ago as I was dropping my daughter off at school,
circumstances had changed her posture. 
She wasn't feeling well, was tired, and then on top of that, remembered that she'd forgotten to get to school early to lead a club she helps head up. 
As we pulled closer to the school, she dropped her head and began to sob - asking, no begging, me to let her go home.
I had to make a quick decision. I decided to take her home. On the way home, we talked about how life doesn't always allow us to run away from the day, even when we feel badly or things are going crummy. I warned her that next time, I would probably remind her of that and lead her to take on the day with God's grace. Sometimes we need to be totally dependent on his strength. 

Sometimes we need a different kind of grace. 

A rest. 

So, I took her home and put her to bed.
Her eleven - almost twelve - year old, worn soul.
Not cancer worn.
Not grief worn, and probably not worn enough for the world, or her school, to acknowledge her need for reprieve.
Just pre-teen, hormonal, under the weather worn. Legit in its own right. 
So, I took her home and joined her in her bed, breathing in her youth, her fleeting innocence. 
I drank her up and didn't care that she had other places she should have been, because she's mine and I had her to myself. 

I read to her from One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp. And though the elegant, poetic wording is not fully appreciated by her young mind, she understood. 

She understood the need to give thanks in all things. 

She listened to words of war torn souls grasping at an invisible God, needing a tangible touch. 
And it brought her perspective. It healed her heart -
and her mother’s heart.
My depression worn,
grief worn,
thirty-two year old, hormonal, under the weather heart. 
A heart that has seen death and suffering and grasped at an invisible God, needing his tangible touch. 
It healed me, whole, and I was grateful for the quick decision of mercy that I’d made minutes earlier. 
For now I was being shown mercy.
For that I was thankful as well. 

I thanked God for my child who was alive and well, lying next to me.
I thanked him for my two other children, and my family. 
I thanked him for my brother, who against my plan is gone now.
I thanked him that His plan was better,
and that all things from him are good - and that all things are from Him.
That He is in control,
and I can trust him - even in the pain. 
Even in this life where sorrow is inevitable. 
Those of us who have submitted our lives to God are commanded to give thanks in all things.
Obedience to that command brings about such sweet reward.
It is cathartic, soothing and reviving. 
My daughter voiced that she would like to journal her thanksgiving,
and I think it’s good, 
To list our blessings , whether by pen or mouth or song,
and send them up as a praise offering to the giver of all things good - to the giver of all things!  

Thanks for stopping by! With Love -Shara