Tossed in huge, roiling waves, sucked down under water, struggling back to the surface for for a breath only to be hit by debris from the ship that ought to have been sturdy enough for the voyage: I know what it is to be naked in an angry sea. I do love a good storm, when I’m safely inside with a good book or Bugs Bunny or the film Serenity (which isn’t serene) and a cup of hot chocolate or peppermint tea. I even love walking in the rain when it’s hot outside. Love squooshing my way home and then peeling off wet garments as I head to the shower. And once, God gave me a lightening bolt. It was glorious. I’ll write more on that later.
Today, I’m cheating a bit on my five minute time limit. I’ve not written in a while and there is that which must get out: I’m a strong swimmer but I hate swimming in the sea. It’s too rough. I hunger for safety, to be on a sound ship, for the comfort of knowing everything is alright. And yet, in my life, the ships have never been safe. They are so easily and quickly torn apart. Family. Relationships. Finances. Health. There is a simple stress test: how is your family, work, relationships, and home. If two are off, life is stressful. If three or more are off, life is overwhelming. Having one in place is a good year for me. Storms rage through my life. Once, I begged for Halcyon days. Even now, I long for it just to finish, to be over. But it’s about time I admit, I’m glad for the storms.
Every storm chips away at my heart which can be so stony. Sometimes I think it must be diamond. Not a gorgeous Harry Winston diamond. But a rough, hard, hunk of stone. I’ve experienced a lot of chipping away and see no end in sight. the storms can all be summed up in one word, suffering. If someone would pay me for suffering, I’d be extremely wealthy. But I am being paid. Each storm chips away at my heart, makes it a heart of flesh, a heart that can love, a heart that is more attuned to the the truly safe place. My wage is life, real life.
Earth isn’t my home. I used to joke, “I’m waiting for the space ship that left me here to return and take me away.” But it’s not a space ship I await. It’s heaven. I hunger for heaven though my stony heart longs to remain attached to earth. But earth has always been a pass-through, a temporary place. We’re destined for greater stuff.
What does it take to raise dust to divinity? What is required to make fallen humans like Christ? God knows. And, when I’m honest, I know the chipping away is part of it. The suffering must go on. It can’t finish this side of heaven. Not because God is cruel but because this is what it takes. My stony heart is being made into something no jeweler could ever imagine. My very flesh is being raised up, bit by bit. God is kind. He doesn’t ask me to do all the suffering from Thursday night through Friday morning. There are breaks. And though I want to hide at times, and though I do hide at times, I know the commitment I’ve made. I’ve committed to becoming everything God has created me to be. That means storms. That means suffering. That means glory.
(15 minutes – so that’s 3 weeks rolled in one.)
Every Friday,100s of bloggers set a timer, write for 5 minutes, and then publish the results. We don’t edit or engulf ourselves in concerns about whether our writing is worthy to be seen. We expose our incomplete, unpolished words to each other and our readers. Lisa Jo Baker provides a prompt on her blog and we all link our posts there and tweet them with the hashtag #FMFParty. Join us.