The Gravity

This life is merely the blink of an eye, but the gravity of the blink is far greater than the blink itself. 

I believe the eye is in the moment before it will open; we are in darkness. What will the eye open to: light—or a deeper darkness than it knew before?

In this moment, we are given the opportunity to choose what we will see: our King in his glory or existence bereft of Him. We are given the opportunity to pass through the door of Mercy, to return to Him on our knees. But if we do not seek Him in this moment, if we do not humble ourselves, fall to our knees, and confess that we need Him, we will have chosen to open the door of Justice.

If we truly enter into Lent, it will reveal to us the gravity of this life. It will reveal to us our attachments, our fears, and those desires that draw us away from Him toward a false light. How do we enter in? By embracing stillness and silence in prayer.

We are afraid to be still, because in the stillness we would realize we are restless until we rest in Him. We are afraid to be silent, because in the silence we would hear the His voice, calling us to return to Him with our whole hearts. We are afraid because our hearts are fragmented, and we do not know how to begin picking up the pieces. And this is why we must be still and silent in prayer.

When we come to Him, He Himself will begin gathering the pieces, to restore the likeness in which we were made. Ultimately, I think we persist in our rebellion against a merciful God not so much in stubborn folly, but because we are daunted by what it would mean to repent. We believe it would demand too much, that it would require too much work to achieve the goal. Especially in a society that provides instant gratification through the Internet and consumerism, we haven’t the willpower (or the mental capacity) to amend what is broken, not when our lives can simply be bandaged—by pornography or Facebook or shopping. And if we find that the bandages do not work (as eventually we will), we simply buy new—we leave our spouse, we “change” our sex, and in the most tragic cases, we end our life. But these choices amend nothing, because we cannot amend ourselves.

God alone has the power to amend us. If only we truly believed this, we would be willing to fall to our knees—the one, simple act that grants God permission to begin gathering the pieces. I am too weak, this act cries out. I need you.

Falling to one’s knees is not easy, no, but it is easier than suffering with addiction, depression, hatred, with every other consequence birthed by sin. What makes humility harder to choose than sin is that the world tells us we are our own gods. We want to stand alone. But the truth (and the irony) is that it is God who sustains our every breath. Even the soul farthest from God is not untouched by Him, for no one can live without His life-breath.

During Lent, we must remember that we are dust—but dust infused with God’s life-breath. Humanity was never intended to remain in the dust, but to rise. Yes, if we pass through the door of Mercy, if we return to Him on our knees, He will reach to us, He will take our hand, and we will rise to dwell in the light that is waiting.

What will the eye open to?

Memories

Even when I was a child, I knew my childhood was good. A yellow farmhouse, forts, milking, horses, a cabin by the lake, traveling, imagination—I loved it in the moment. But now that I am an adult and memories surface daily, I find that I love my childhood more. How can I understand and appreciate its goodness more fully today, though I am no longer immersed in that goodness?

When on land, a man may love the color of the wheat field, the canopy of the tree, the fragrance of the garden, but not until he is at sea is he able to look back and see the landscape as a whole and feel drawn toward it in its absence from his life.

Memories ought not to be forgotten. I believe this is why Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart, because she knew that one day, Jesus would be far from her. And when goodness is distant, we often find ourselves in desolation. Memories are what help to draw us through the darkness to the light, like a compass pointing from sea to land, for every sailor must eventually come home. When I remember what it was like to be a child, I am drawn to the care-free simplicity that was and can be again. Mary treasured and pondered living life with the Child Jesus in the hope that, despite the sword that would piece her heart, she and humanity would eventually know eternal life with Jesus.

Yes, memories are for hope.