It seems it's been a very big day. A launch back into the structured realm of ordinariness; shot henceforth from my vagabond travels of late. The tenor of suspended fears drifted into the office, as a tenuous day unfolded in realized loss and terminal layoff. I seemed to accomplish little, and at the close, I set for home and rest.
I pulled off to retrieve my mail and was greeted by much more than the common pile of bills and my resident spider. Three beautiful packets awaited me, and their contents have inspired me so: I've been blessed with incredible people in my short life, and tonight I am considerably galvanized by you all.
I was recently in Northern California for a wedding of a dear old soul. The events never unfold as one could imagine, and as I wheeled away from that place, I found it neither fruitful nor interesting to recall or arrange the recent past. My wheels turned the direction I love most, and as the northern hills rolled into mountains, so my soul was spread and pressed as the great agrarian landscapes draped before me.
Every burden fell to me, and in a desperate attempt to catalogue them all, I whispered my fears; cuddling them close enough to hear, and far enough that they might be heard. I dreaded a loss of my sanctity, a wretched departure from all that I've held close, and begged there that I might not be forgotten by this great God who had once called me to Himself.
By this time I've made a great many mistakes, and have weathered a fair enough share of disappointment and betrayal (whether perceived or real) to create a leathery sort of soul-skin. I've seen my greatest intentions whither in the light of my weaknesses, crippling failures bind up my words, and perceived disapproval lame my strongest allegiances. I haven't seen it all, and I certainly hope not to -- but I've seen enough, and enough to recognize the great grace that came my way this day.
A deep, thick, thread was laced in the words of my dear sisters, and as I sat pouring over their collective beauty, I couldn't shut out the whispers that had become shouts of my God's eternal covenant, and His sustaining force that draws and propels the hearts that have become His. Their words were as straws through which I was able to drink deeply of the diffused truths which had been distilled in the furnace of their souls through much trial and temptation.
I have doubted, despaired, and troubled myself countless times with this stubborn heart that lies tucked beneath the thick flesh of my person. Many times of late I've become convinced that He, like others will grow weary, faint, and irritated with my double-mindedness, my slips backwards, my hard heart... But today, afresh, and anew, I was profoundly reminded of the courageous love of my God, and the dear souls He has given me to love.
One of the packets of goodness that arrived came with a beautiful broken piece of painted clay. It was wrapped in a paper cloth with the words: "this represents that God makes beauty out of ashes; God takes our brokenness and glorifies Himself." This, my friends, is good news. 2 Corinthians 4:7 says, "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves." The glory was never to be possessed by the pot, but by that which fills it.
I've attempted to cloister myself much these past months, attempting always to hide until I'm back together again, and to shield others from my potential failings. I've been shaky and sullen, sore and afraid, and at once, in this foolish burst, I reenter your realm with an invitation for all. I hope not to endear souls to my own, but rather to commend any who will hear to the voice of their Maker. The invitation of the Eternal One is not to the righteous, polished one, but to the broken, tarnished vessel, who in his profound realism, acknowledges that his deepest need was, and is always to be filled with a substance wholly unlike anything he possesses, and therefore everything outside of himself. He needs the eternal Light of the world to fill him, and shine through all of his ingrained and straggling fissures; to take the broken heap back to the only grantor and Restorer of life to find that purpose for which he was made.