My tongue is in my hand…

Sabbatical

Posted on: November 24, 2008

By Your Side: Tenth Avenue North

Why are you striving these days
Why are you trying to earn grace
Why are you crying
Let me lift up your face
Just don’t turn away

Why are you looking for love
Why are you still searching as if I’m not enough
To where will you go child
Tell me where will you run
To where will you run

And I’ll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don’t fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you

Look at these hands and my side
They swallowed the grave on that night
When I drank the world’s sin
So I could carry you in
And give you life
I want to give you life

Chorus 2x

Cause I, I love you
I want you to know
That I, I love you
I’ll never let you go

Chorus 2x

Natalie wakes up around 4 sometimes and wants me to sleep on the floor beside her bed, and I oblige. She listens to the radio when she sleeps and it’s usually on 91.9 the Christian Station, or 89.9 the Classical Station because I feel like those are probably the best to sleep to.  One night, on 91.9 I heard this song and it grabbed me (honestly doesn’t happen too much on that station).

It echoed and once I looked it up and listened to it again I just cried.  It was like altar call time at summer camp.  It was like small group.  It was like a lock in.  Regardless of how I feel or what I think about organized religion, the state of the church, or anything along those lines, there are some intense and pure experiences I’ve had as a result of being part of church, of Dulin’s Grove, of the Advent Christian General Conference, as a member of Alpha Omega, a participant in Hiyoca, Camp Dixie, and G.A. There’s an honesty and brokeness that children, teens, and adults ministering these youths allow themselves that people don’t often give way to on Sunday mornings.  And music moved through most of those expereiences.

I want, so much, for people to see me.  For people to allow me in their life, for people to accept me and fold me in.  This was never a worry in these places.  I have never once felt I didn’t have full acceptance and love.  I never once felt I would be pushed away. And not because I hid anything, or only acted or dressed a certain way, not at all. The suffocation, the weight, the ill fit was not in these places, it was not in these things.  And I know that one of the most important developments in my faith was stepping away.  But that fellowship, that friendship, that burning honest allowance has no doubt been another.  And I think I almost forgot that and that those people, those places are right there.  I am decisively and eternally grateful for those people and places and experiences.  I crave them again.  I am possibly close to full circle?  Odysseus or Dorothy or Alice?

If my depth or intricasies are glossed over or put in a box by anyone, it’s neither my fault nor responsibility.  I don’t need to cater my image so I can be accepted.  If there’s anything I feel I do well, it’s that I do my very best to live authentically and if you want to know me, if you want to see me, if you want to identify with me, then you will talk to me and look at me and ask me and learn me. I am here, I am open, I am willing.

There’s a bravery in doing or saying anything that will get you pigeonholed.  Strength of character is not needing to be a different person anywhere. I am a lot of things and generally apply to a situation or context the most applicable part of me.  This is not a statement that this is the only part of me, just that this is the part of me that works best here, now.  Labels can be useful(and are inevitable), as long as we know how many labels we all hold and how many nuances each label contains.

The other thing is realizing and accepting all the aspects of our selves.  All of them.  The girl who looked so forward to camp that she measured years by camp and retreats and wrote poetry on the on the message walls after night service. The girl who debated and questioned and otherwise argued any point she could with anything in Alpha Omega (bible verses, dress codes for mission trips, if V8 was allowed during fasting…). The girl who held hands and prayed with people she saw a few times a year, praying sincerely for grandmas and boyfriends and dogs and bad decisions and sick cousins and whatever else we brought to the circle.  The girl who sang in the choir and taught Sunday School (the word taught being used very loosely here), who looked forward to Christmas plays and Easter Egg hunts and Cantatas, who sang in the choir, sang trios and solos, who knows that church inside out, who knows that Blowing Rock campground up and down, The girl who attended countless fundraising famines, lock ins, and VBS’s, corralling friends to come whenever she could.  The girl who hauled old wood out of the basement till she was spitting dust to make the Solid Rock out of the old church. The girl who helped with BBQ’s and dinner theaters and murder mystery lock ins, who played ridiculous games like shooting fruit loops out of your nose or reenacting the laser sequence from Entrapment with elaborate string maze, Mission Impossible, Batman.  The girl who took more trips in that church van than I have probably ever taken personal or family trips. The girl who really felt loved and accepted and connected within this web of people and God.  That girl is still this girl.  And everything else I am.

I sincerely love all of the people part of these expereiences.  Where ever they are now, because I know, with a sureness that they love me right now, where ever I am.  I guess, just like with so many other things, it’s really not so much what it is you’re part of, but how you’re part of it.  Not so much what you’re looking at, but how you’re looking at it.

I’m hopeful about this development and the possibilities just in my acknowledgment of it and interest in further delving into this.  I’ve been seeking flesh and blood embodiments. We find what we seek.

God is good all the time. All the time, God is good.

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2 Responses to "Sabbatical"

Just found your blog and had to say you sound like a lovely person. One of God’s remarkable daughters. He did a good job.

God bless you!
I also heard this song on the radio and fell in love with it. I started
searching for it and thats how I found this blog. Good job…

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