Updated: Sep 21, 2020
In this season, many have a legitimate reason to be angry, hurt, sad, and confused by the loss of income, career, and loved ones (to name a few). I would never dream of diminishing the heartache of so many people around the world right now. I cannot fathom how I would act if a husband or son or close relative passed at the hands of this virus or if I was a paycheck or stimulus check away from losing my car or house. I know the terror that can ensue from the threat of having your lights, or gas, or water, or phone cut off. My heart hurts for those whose lives have turned into something absolutely unrecognizable. Loss of any kind, while inevitable, will never feel normal.
But there is this other majority that appear to be circumstantially comfortable but situationally upended. It’s wild to see people who are gainfully employed and have an abundant access to food, clothing, and shelter flip out or just generally wrestle with staying at home. It’s like this virus has exposed this little and pervasive lie many of us were telling ourselves. You know the lie- “ If I just had a little more time I would........” Time, is as close a friend as it will ever be right now but still many of us are actin’ a dang-gone fool.
Time- the lack or abundance of, was never the culprit. We don’t know how to be still. We don’t know how to rest. My boys are 12 and 9 years old and I’m so happy that they still want me to come upstairs and tuck them in at bedtime. On a good night, in between jokes and tickles and dodging nurf bullets either one or both will ask me to show them how I used to put them to sleep. It really was a simple trick I employed in both their infancies- the eyebrow rub. I would take my pointer finger and thumb and start in the center of their brow and gently brush their brow bone as my fingers moved farther away from each other. I kid you not, they’d be out in less than a minute.
Somewhere in their nine and twelve year old minds they realized they aged out of this practice. So they’ve devised a ruse. In order to save face from the ridicule of who knows who (it’s just us three in their bedroom) they ask for a demonstration and I oblige. I feign reluctance but every momma bone in my body LOVES that they still love this just as much as I love their unsatisfied sque
als when I only do the eyebrow rub for a few fleeting seconds. They would have me there for an hour if I obliged.
As I move my fingers across their brows, I study their faces- the only time I get to do so without them uncomfortably darting their eyes back and forth or nervously asking “Whaaaaaat?” or simply (and the one I hate the most) running away, out of my sight. I count moles and freckles. I marvel at how smooth and unblemished their faces are. I see a thicker hair pressing through my oldest son’s upper lip and I know my time with them as boys is escaping. It is only in this stillness that I get to see the full beauty of them; when they are only inches away. This is when I whisper affirmations to them and tell them in no uncertain terms “I love you.”. In these moments my profession of love is not a salutation but more a declaration of my deep deep affection for and devotion to them.
We are living in a time when the entire world has been sat down. All humanity has a choice in how they use this abundance of new found time. While sleep and Netflix and baking endless loaves of banana bread and yard projects are plentiful, rest (a refreshing and recharging of you mind, body, spirit, soul) seems fleeting. I can not tell you how to seek rest in your personal circumstance. Spiritualists might tell you to meditate. A motivational speaker might spur you on to be purposeful. Mystics might tell you to rub a crystal 🤷🏽♀️ A social influencer might entice you with a tea, lotion, or potion to chill you out. A good book might do it for ya. The answer might lie in a soaking bath scented with lavender and rosemary. Rest for us humans is quite subjective.
But a Jesus-follower like me.......Ima tell you to go to your quiet place, be still enough for God to get close, (like feel-his-breath-on-your-face close) and allow Him to whisper words of loving correction and affirmation to you. When I’ve stilled my body, and sought to meet with God, my encounters have always silenced the racing thoughts and rising fears. My moments with God have drowned out desires to hurt and disfigure (if only with my words). My time with Jesus has been a thick goopy healing salve on wounds caused by others. The more time I spend with God, the more rested I am. And when you’re rested, you’re sooooooooo much better prepared for what life hurls at you (even in the midst of a pandemic). You’re now ready to be less reactionary and more gracious to the woman in her car flicking you off and cursing you out. You’re more loving toward your kid/dog/partner/houseplant that’s been getting on your last ever loving nerve. You’re more patient in the long grocery line. You’re slower to speak unkindly to the person who is not social distancing or not wearing a mask in public. Time with the Father, in my experience, always leaves me better, never worse.
If you ever find yourself in the situation where the meditation becomes mundane or there is no more Netflix to watch; or you’ve rubbed your crystals and drank until your tea cup is empty, and you‘ve arrived at the final page of that book or soaked in your tub to prune status......maybe just maybe if none of that quenched that restlessness, give being still with God a try. And no, God is not a means to our selfish ends but sometimes when we’re at our end, one encounter changes everything.
If you’re curious to know what the Bible says about resting in God, John 15:1-17
is a good place to start.