I'm feeling the temptation to turbear. Or burtle. I'm not sure which.
Has this ever happened to you?
You're sitting in the near-dark, nursing your son, and your eyes catch the corner of his rug that's been kicked up, and you take in the brown and blue polka dots and suddenly you want to be in that rug.
Well. It has to me. I was sitting in the near-dark, nursing my son, and my eyes caught the corner of his rug that had been kicked up, and I took in the brown and blue polka dots and suddenly I wanted to be in the rug.
I wanted to turbear and be in the rug.
Just so we're clear, a turbear is a rare breed of animal that's a cross between a turtle and a bear. In times of crisis or difficulty this animal pulls inside of itself and finds an isolated place and hibernates (i.e. stays away from others) for as long as it can.
Get my drift?
The last few months have been a tumultuous season for us within our church family. We've experienced every range of major and minor emotion. Disbelief. Anger. Frustration. Confusion. Unsettlement. Distrust. And sometimes in the seasons of big change, the small normal things suddenly mean so much more.
The rug did it for me the other night. The rug suddenly represented to me a world that was not full of those emotions that I mentioned before. The rug was evidence of my kids and their world, and their world as it connects to me, and it's a world that's happy and insulated, where people aren't mean and don't hurt my heart.
It wasn't really the rug. It was what it represented. Isn't that just like us?
People can be mean and do mean things. And because God has put his law on our hearts, everything in us cries "Foul!" and we set off searching for that one thing that takes us to a safe place. It's not just rugs for me. It's that recent book I read. It's that one chocolate shop on the corner in Chambery, France that had the most amazing truffles. It's that time we had dinner outside on cobbled streets in Athens as we gazed on the Parthenon and listened to live music. It's that night Matt and I sat on Baker's Bridge in the dark with a full moon and everything was so right. It's that time that Annie and I stayed up so late talking, telling secrets, until we couldn't keep our eyes open for one more second.
It's those times when everything is as it should be.
But here's the thing.
"I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul. You have not handed me over to my enemies but have set me in a safe place."
You, Lord, have set me in a safe place. You, Lord, have hidden me under the shadow of your wings. You, Lord, see every tear that falls and daily bear my burdens. You, Lord know exactly what I mean when I cry that things aren't as they should be and for some reason the image that springs to mind is a rug. You know it's really not the rug. You know it's so much deeper than that, but there just aren't words. You read the pictures that cross my mind and paint that story of longing. I know all of creation groans and waits for your return. When we no longer desire the rug because golden streets and paradise unspeakable replace it.
I know. Just sometimes I forget that I know.
I will be glad. I will rejoice. Your love never fails. You care about the anguish of my soul. You have not handed me over to my enemies. You have set me in a safe place. A safe place. You, Lord, are my safe place. And you, Lord, are always with me.