Made for another world

"If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in the world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." C. S. Lewis

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Borrowed Bed

{Four months ago my husband and I left our last place of ministry, the move was due to many factors, some positive, some not. We stepped in faith with trust in the One who rescues and provides. We're living in the home of generous friends as we seek and wait. As you can imagine the financial and emotional strain is daily. My heart wrestles and I write.}

All that's left is a borrowed bed. A suitcase shoved full of dreams. Opened to the sun the dreams dissipate like a mist, and I wonder why I packed them in the first place. Maybe the faith that's been growing was plucked too green. It seemed bigger and firmer, ripe and full then, whenever then was.

When all that's left is waiting and wanting, I lay down in a borrowed bed. The ache so deep it feels eternal. The hunger of now bleeds into the hunger that's been. A soreness in the heart that came with every pack-up-and-move, all the what ifs. It's been around long enough, familiar but not like an old friend. Often it hides behind the busy moments of life, forgotten in the midst of living. In this quiet waiting it creeps back in to sit by the bed and keep watch.

For years, gaining experience, adding to a family, buying, learning and doing have felt like progress. But in the end the faith is still too green, the bed is still borrowed, and want is all too familiar. Isn't that what life is like, a borrowed bed? You come in bare and the bed you're laid in isn't one you bought. And the accumulation is an illusion. It's these moments, bereft, that the starkness stands out. Life is good and full of wonder, stars shine bright, hands hold, gifts are given. But when you stand face to face with a borrowed bed it all comes rushing back.

At least I have a bed to borrow, things to shove into a 10x10 unit, car to drive, food to eat, kids to hug, eyes to see. Why do I have this life? Why wasn't I born in the Sudan to usher innocence into pain and spend my days brushing the flies away. And yet I can't swallow the lump of loss down. The shiny dream of a work that mattered, vibrant as a rainbow, has shattered and lays as glass, only a broken jagged edged mirror of what it had been. Hope tries to float up like a bubble and I bat it away, not allowing it to form. I've been through that drill before and I flinch to go there again.

Could it be the pit of hunger I feel is the same soul hunger as the Sudanese mother, at least in origin if not in reality? I would never wish to trade places with her, ever. Yet, when stripped bare, is the ache of every heart not the same. Each soul a gaping hole of want, whether clothed in silk or in mud. And maybe the illusion of physical needs met only postpones the face to face of deep soul cry, “I want more”.

Laying on the borrowed bed I claw my way to obedience. I don't feel like worshiping, don't want to give thanks, but I do. Naming the gifts, reciting promises, asking for forgiveness, calling out in need, I flex spiritual muscles. I know I'll have to do it again and again and again. But obedience makes a way.

Later in the assembly, gathered to obey together, worship pours out. From pure lips, from scarred hearts, from dirty feet, from desperate hands, from joyful souls, all mingling together as perfume. It washes over me, that faithful sacrifice, and lifts up where my faith has faltered. Obedience has led me to a place where my ears can hear, the sound is sweet, it's life.

Light, a single ray, penetrates. Dispelling lies and sorrow and bitterness and self-pity. The cross is not for once, it's for every day. Eyes must see the gift, ears hear the call, heart know the words, again. The light of eternity falls across my borrowed bed dispelling self-pitying gloom. I come like the priests of old, into the Holy of Holy's, right up to the Mercy Seat, in the shadow of angel wings I bow.

In reality all beds are borrowed. All belongs to Him. I'm learning to grab hold of the golden moments, gifts every one, knowing one day all will be golden. A borrowed bed pushes me on to grab hold of more, more than what's seen. No golden moment is ever only that, nor the gray ones. Beauty and ugly, joy and pain mingle in this life. Only eternity justifies either. I'm living the hard worship, in the dark trust, until looking at his face faith becomes my sight.
Maybe you've had moments when nothing is enough. I think we were made that way, to be satisfied by nothing but Jesus. Even the satisfaction of good things in life is temporary. This world is not enough, because we were made for another one. Does your heart long for it's eternal home? How do you cling to hope in the hard times?

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