My insides are rustling in breezes making the scratching music of dry leaves on dead twigs.
It is a lonely, little song. Not much of a song at all. Just the skittering whispers of my spirit. The wind blowing through the holes, my experiences and knowledge and beliefs all scattered like garden detritus at my feet.
Barren. Bare twig. Dead leaf.
And I make a decision.
I’d rather the wind howl in my soul full of holes. At least the hollow moan is real. Undressed, unfilled, naked, waiting.
God sees you.
He is keeping track of the misery you endure.
Your very tears are catalogued and counted.
And God will rise up to help you.
Can we say with David: It is God’s word I praise and in Him I trust and I am not afraid? Can we say it, too? Even with quivering voice, a touch of fear, or a cloud of doubt, can we speak it out loud into the dark?
Every day since Lazarus walked, alive and whole, out of that tomb seemed like a new gift to unwrap. Everyone speaks of second chances, but when you really get one, the air around you is electric with possibility and hope. I learned something on that awful, wonderful day when Jesus came walking up our lane and we knew we’d have to tell him he was too late: Lazarus had succumbed to the sickness that had wasted his body. We’d washed his spare, slack limbs and rubbed the oils into his skin, wound the cloth around him and set him to rest in the family tomb. I’d fallen at Jesus’ feet, just crumpled with despair. I had so many questions but I just blurted out, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” We knew Jesus could have healed Lazarus. So lost I was. What would Martha and I do now? What were we supposed to even believe? And Jesus’ tears matched my own and his shoulders shook from the sobbing and …
This is a story about a king who would be born, raised up to power and chosen by God to free his people from captivity, to return them to their homeland and restore them. But it’s not a story about Jesus.
Come into the wonderful light in which you were called and live brave, big, quiet, joyous, different than you ever thought possible. Hold tight onto Jesus’ wounded hand, remembering this:
“If you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name (4:16).”