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Monday
Dec212009

Room for More

The sky is crying today.

There are reasons aplenty for crying. When I walk down and up my street I see the sheltering homes of people dealing with lacks... lack of money, of meaningful work, of bodies that behave, of thriving relationships.

The sound of the rain is a muted one. It is like the exhausted sobbing of all those babies I held as they slipped into sleep, whose reasons for sadness don't fit easily into words, though they tried fiercely to explain it when they got older. I learned without faltering that I love them deeply, whether they are weeping or laughing. I didn't really know that a few years into the game, the kind of knowing that permeates your whole being like a thunderstorm drenches a garden.

Truth be told, I cherish some of the tears as tenderly as the joy. Like when my son cried because he did not have the right book for school, and I did what I needed to to get it for him. I realized that this was a fresh way to express my love for him. What a precious chance it was to serve... a way that would not have appeared if there had been no lack.

Where does all that rain go? Some of it is creeping into my basement where the angry shop vac will slurp it into its belly and my husband will dump it into a black and bubbling hole. But most of it disappears into the ground. The earth looks too solid for the sky's tears. How can there be cracks enough for all this water too?
Lately there have been too many feelings to fit. My heart is already occupied by gratitude, expectation, surprise, relief, to also make room for fear, distrust, sadness, anger. I notice too that they take more than their share of space.

I turned on some music. I love the wavering prayer of a song sent to me by a woman in California. How can her feelings of searching for faith so closely reflect my own? The room I am sitting in was already full before I turned on the ipod. So how is there room for a song too? Did something leave the air when her words came in? As I listen my anxiety seems to melt away like the frost when the sun comes up. Where does the frost go? Perhaps it graduates to being a nimbus cloud.

I suppose it is an illusion that there is no more room. No room for rainwater, no room for emotions, no room for hymns. Those appearances are based on a finite world, one where you need to count, and ration your resources.

God works differently than that. I have witnessed Him whooshing in to transform my scarcity into abundance. Like when I was trying to shush my twins into obedience at the over crowded Christmas eve service, irritated at the lack of time to do all the gnawing tasks between me and sleep. We all stood for the final song, Calm on the Listening Ear of Night, and my girls saw in the vacated pew a perfect runway for a dramatic interpretation of the crescendoing music. They danced, pirouetted and lifted their short arms to heaven, while my family and the one behind us giggled. Somehow, where there was annoyance, now there was enough joy to go around, with lots spilling over the edges.

I thought I was as hard as December sod, but here You are seeping in. I thought the silence could fill up my mind and muffle it, but still You find a way to inflate me with sounds and feelings.

Lack is an invitation. It means we have a hole that begs filling.

Thank you for the holes, Lord. Thank you for the emptiness that soaks You up like the thirsty ground absorbs the rain, and the silent room welcomes a prayerful voice. Thank you for the feelings that leave me wordlessly sobbing in Your arms, like a newborn.

I have room enough for You.