I sit on the porch, in a singularly durable rocking chair,
and listen to the cool South Carolina summer shiver with the singing of cicadas as God is silent.
His silence is a singular silence,
A silence that IS,
Rather than a silence that is an absence.
I still can’t hear it well. My ears have been filled with screaming for a very long time.
“Jesus,” I say, “I don’t know how to talk to women. I’m a moron.”
That’s the issue of my day, the problem I keep coming back to.
His response is to be still, to be there.
God is near.
I remember nights like these three years ago, or was it four? Summer storms and conversations with Erinn.
I loved that woman. I thought I loved that woman.
What is the difference? I want to find that out. Perhaps it was a mix of real and hoped for that got lost in all the flaming wreck that became.
I can’t go back to those conversations that I miss, no matter how much I want to. They held something, whispered something, spoke of something, gave something…
My heart wants that something more than my lungs want oxygen.
Substitutions simmer across my brain nonstop. Look hear, look there.
Find it somewhere and take it.
God says, “I Am that something.”
But He doesn’t say it. He just IS it, and everything speaks that truth in a way I can’t understand. I would like to stop forgetting that He is…
Enough. More than enough. That something that my heart desires more than oxygen.
Patience is an act of faith.
Did you know that?
Everything is an act of faith.
Breathing is an act of faith. The body does that one automatically, though, so I’ll ignore it.
More importantly, getting up in the morning is an act of faith. You get up because you trust that somehow, that will make your life better.
At least, better than it would be if you didn’t get up.
You have faith.
And if you don’t, you don’t get up.
I have lived a life of not getting up, and learning the faith to get up is not easy. He says “Come without money and buy,” but that does not mean that getting it is easy.
Being burned alive is never easy.
I have been burning alive for three years.
Or perhaps I was NOT (but almost) drowning, and then being set free, and THEN burning, which puts the burning at more like two years.
And before that I was a living man stuck in a grave somewhere, not getting up for nine years, because unlike the rest of the zombies I had actually acted like a dead thing for a significant portion of the time before I was made alive.
Lazarus, waking up in the tomb and daydreaming for nine years about how nice it would be to do the “coming out” part of Jesus’ command.
I have no point to all this. I have spent most of my life thinking I had all the answers because I usually had more than anyone else, and now I know I don’t have any.
At least, not any of the ones I want.
Did I mention I don’t know how to talk to women?
I also don’t know how to save my dad, or anyone else’s, or heal the broken marriages of my friends, or revive a church that so many people seem to be running away from.
What I do have is silence, a growing silence, spreading through my whole being as the dross burns out, and the sense that somewhere, in the depths of that silence, I will hear a voice that speaks peace.
The summer stillness is a sign of that, a silence that is not a silence, still without being still.
A respite from the loud day and its confusion, despite the mosquitoes.
Thank you, Jesus, that you are near.