…to him who led his people through the wilderness;
His love endures forever. (Psalm 136: 16)
We read the Psalm last night- a slow history, a repetition of a True Thing: the world goes crazy, death and birth, but (and perhaps, always)- His love endures forever.
Like a heartbeat, it pulses softly- His love endures forever. Older editions read mercy: his mercy endures forever. Hebrew: Checed. Strong’s translates it as “goodness, kindness, faithfullness”.
He is here. Isn’t that it, distilled? He was here. He will be here. He is here. He is -Emmanuel- God with us. Here. Now.
I’ve thought about that a lot. Traced the days quietly. I confessed my rush last week. I’ve near drowned in the rushing river of busy to get- where? exactly? The question faces me, shards of hard truth. I’m not sure of the answer. Crawling out on the bank, away from the rushing water- it’s a bit like waking in an alien world. In some ways, I wonder how I ever functioned. It’s taken me nigh on two weeks to finally get rested- to wake without a crushing, sickening exhaustion burning behind my eyes. And even at that, I find I must curl up and sleep much sooner than I think; that my energy fails me before I am ready to end the day. It makes me wonder.
I suddenly realize how much stress my children have felt; how interconnected their behavior is to the choices I make. I am humbled. I find myself throwing myself on His mercy, every morning, sometimes every moment. And I wonder, why isn’t this posture my normal posture? Why isn’t trusting and praying in His grace my standard operating procedure, my daily to-do? I have friends that breathe this truth, live this grace. It’s palpable. You can near touch this place between you and they, where you know glory rests, where peace is true- even when they are frustrated, sad, distraught, they speak in Grace. It’s a balm to be around any of them. And me? I feel like I speak and glass-shards go ricocheting. That I tear down, not build up. I ponder that here, in the quiet. I realize it’s a heart condition. You can believe in Christ, believe in Grace, and yet, that never translates down to arterial song. You have to drink deep the Truth, and it sets the rhythm: His love endures forever. Because~ “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Luke 6:45)
I’ve been offered a second chance with this; rare is the time that I can stop and reconsider, evaluate. I’ve always rushed headlong into the next thing. I am doing my best to just stay- quiet- listening. Healing. Trying not to name the things, put them in boxes, label. Just living. And listening. Listening carefully to the pulse- His love endures forever. May I never let things get so loud again that I can’t hear that. I know I will, most likely, because I am a broken sinner- but I am trying to re-order my life so that this is the first sound I hear when I wake up, and the last when my eyes close. May my arterial song be Grace…
The hardest thing we have to learn, coming from where we come, is grace – for us, for everyone around us… We were never taught to grow in grace.