The coffee shop isn't too full today, but rather a person here and a person there. The middle tables are emptied, no one filling them up as occupied. My side of the shop has two tables which are filled full, except they're not - my table could seat four but seats one, the other only holds two, but they are as inhabited as they will be until the current renters leave. The other side of the small room that has become a second home to me is two more tables, both with one person each, doing their own thing. Computers, devices, books.
David Crowder's voice plays and repeats through my ear buds, singing about how He loves us. About how beautiful He is, how great His affections are for me, how He loves me.
I type letters forming into words translating into sentences into my Word document, I process things that are painful to think about, but need to be put to words, need to be pulled out of my head and my heart so that they can be sorted out and understood or at least known in the small world that exists as me; emptied so that my head and heart have space for more of Him.
He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane, I am a tree, bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.
The words that forever altered my life four years ago while sitting on the sand dune that stands at Winema, a camp for students to meet Jesus face to face, repeat and replay, over and over again, and my heart is weaving them in and out and in and out of itself. My heart is grabbing ahold of these words again, like an outstretched hand. Isn't it so important to be honest with where we are, what our hearts are doing and what they are processing, so that we can move forward and find healing, becoming a whole person, so we can then launch into loving others well? The whole person that we are destined to be, the wonderfilled person of glory and grace, transforming into someone so much more beautiful than we would ever have planned out for ourself? The healing ladder, becoming the whole soul we are intended to be, may take a little longer for me than it does for you, and vice versa, and I believe that is okay. I believe that we can be patient with one another.
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory, and I realize just how beautiful You are, and how great Your affections are for me.
I type words rapidly, processing hurts and aches and bruises that have made their home in the whole that is me, and suddenly as his words pass through the tiny cord into the ear buds, traveling through the canals of my ears, penetrating my heart, I am right back at that place where I realize just how beautiful He is, how great His affections are for me. His glory, His beauty, His love for me eclipses and overshadows and dims the afflictions that nag at the soul of me.
How He loves us, so, oh How He loves us.
I think of those words, branded into my rib cage, forever and always inked into who I am.
And for a brief moment in time, I exist in the beautiful escape of His presence and His love, the grace that abounds amidst any afflictions that I may have. His glory and His all-encompassing loveliness that is so full of peace and delightful beauty, His affections and care and gentle touch, they dim and becloud, they surpass any grievance that prevail.
It is when I turn my gaze towards Him, to listen to words that will direct and guide me to Him, when we choose to choose Him, choose His presence despite or rather especially because of the affliction, the damage, the infirmity; it is when we choose to choose Him that we encounter the reality of joy amidst the pain. Peace surpassing the understanding.
I am His child learning to play with the chalk all over again, finding delight in the little things, climbing one rung of the healing-ladder at a time.