The road is long that leads me home tonight.
"don't give up on me" by andrew peterson [who i will continue to quote without regret]
I write this in a dim dining room. The blinds are open and the streetlights lend enough company so I feel comfortably solitary and not lonely. I feel the need to write words, honest words, so I'm typing with the faint hope that my brain will not lag too far behind my fingers. It's been happening too often lately.
Can I say something?
I'm not polished.
No, I mean it. Not in a I'm-raw-and-gritty-and-natural way. Not in a I'm-quirky-and-lovable-and-too-unique-to-be-mainstream way. I have so many rough edges that have yet to be sanded and rubbed smooth by the Carpenter that sometimes I can't write an honest post. And I don't want to write a dishonest post. So I don't write at all, and my shelves gather dust, and the pages of my Bible go unturned because I am too small and lowly to face the holiness of God.
Which is ironic, considering He knows my sins better than I ever will or could (an abundant grace, that) and tasted their bitterness on the cross.
But I forget. I am Mona Melendy, so very confident in my own "abilities" and various "talents" (air quotes are not a plea for compliments but an honest depiction of my own dusty state) that I miss the dip in the road that throws me to my knees. I scrape, I bleed, and I wonder what could have brought me low.
Sin. A desperate need for an almighty God.
I feel closest to You in tempests, Lord. They toss me on the Rock of Ages until Your glory is all I see, all I hear, all I taste. I cannot forget You then. Yes, even a valley can be as glorious as a mountaintop.
But what about the midlands, Lord? What about the rows and rows of golden corn — more than a planting, not yet a harvest — and the thickening weeds that must be yanked out by the roots every hour of every day? I balk at the little ones until they are big ones, and then I balk all the more. Is there a holiness, a sacred redemption in that stage as well? Can we be saved through our long summer weeding as we are fulfilled in the spring planting and the autumn harvest? Is there beauty to be found even as our days are stamped by waiting, toil, failure, and hopeful expectation?
I jump from valley to highland and then back to valley again. I'm youthful zeal and calloused sin and tearful repentance and zeal again. Never moderate, never reasonable, never faithful: all hope and words with no action.
But Your mercies are new every morning and one of Your greatest mercies is a new morning. I'm still living and breathing. Forget the ugliness of yesterday — cast those chains aside, they will ensnare you no longer — and take a look at that horizon.
I am not great. I am not great. But mercy is great and You are greater. Pound that into my head, Lord, because it's unbearably thick.
"Dear God, I cannot love Thee the way I want to. You are the slim crescent of a moon that I see and my self is the earth's shadow that keeps me from seeing all the moon. The crescent is very beautiful and perhaps that is all one like I am should or could see; but what I am afraid of, dear God, is that my self shadow will grow so large that it blocks the whole moon, and that I will judge myself by the shadow that is nothing."
[a journal entry]