I’m almost compelled to ask you why are there some days I believe it and some that I don’t. I want to ask you how doubt seeps into my imprint, raising as the water has in this city for the past three weeks, because now it’s drowning me.I want to say ‘what the hell, God? Why don’t you build dams? What happened to your carpenter’s hands? Why us it that I face doubt more than I face you? Why do I see murky waters instead of your reflection?’ What the hell, what is this hell? This back and forth in the waves reminds me of myself and my capacity-as large as the ocean- to wave® back and forth. I hear “imprint” and I almost- I do- get furious because my life isn’t as wonderfully glorious as yours. And you tell me ‘to lead a life so glorious, one among the heavens, you must die first. It’s the upside down kingdom, darling.”
I wish I could write my prayers on my skin. They would appear on my forearms in lovely gray ink and be something that only I could see. Then I would remember in moments like these to rejoice for an answered prayer rather than believing that my good, good Father is holding out on me.
For this is an answered prayer: He is presenting opportunities in which he can break all of my paradigms of what his faithfulness looks like. He can’t show me how immeasurable his faithfulness is when I’m staying comfortable, for where would my need for him increase?
No one expects to get laid off at twenty, especially when it’s a job in the service industry. Especially, especially, especially. I can think of dozens of them, but the truth is, they don’t matter. If I learned one thing in the service industry, it’s that specialties never last. They are different from truth in that way, always changing.
This transition is only one in one million that I’m facing right now, but as my eucharisteo sings, I’m thankful I have a steadfast God because it gives me the freedom to change. So I’ll sing it as I walk from door to door in the rain, seeing which one opens next. I’ll sing it as I write my prayers on my forearm: “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord, be strong and let your heart take courage; and wait for the Lord.” I’ll sing to sleep the lies that tell me I’m forgotten, inadequate, and not good enough. And I’ll sing it all to the melody of selah and be forever amazed at a God who brings the greatest exhilaration from trusting in him because I have absolutely no idea what he is doing, but I know whatever it is, that it is good. It isn’t promised to be safe and secure or easy, but it is promised to be good. He is the King after all.
“And so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter, some roses blooming out like children in a play. My hope is your story will be about changing, about getting something beautiful born inside of you about learning to love a woman or a man, about learning to love a child, about moving yourself around water, around mountains, around friends, about learning to love others more than we love ourselves, about learning oneness as a way of understanding God. We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn’t it?
It might be time for you to go. It might be time to change, to shine out.
I want to repeat one word for you:
Roll the word around on your tongue for a bit. It is a beautiful word, isn’t it? So strong and forceful, the way you have always wanted to be. And you will not be alone. You have never been alone. Don’t worry. Everything will still be here when you get back. It is you who will have changed.” Donald Miller, Through Painted Deserts
My flesh feels left behind, body outside of mind. “In between” the pull of my finger on the trigger; the thumb of God and His finger; the walk from door to door.
My spirit fights a cough in my throat to sing- say “ahhhh.” I cough. When doors are closed, I want to dance to eucharisteo. But this paralysis is like this- this infection of excuses spreading throughout my body, the beep beep beep of the machine flat lining “lay down and rest, it’s so easy” despondency overcomes me. Pain paints the walls of my funeral home, over the lines remembering the days I would stand up straight and let Dad measure me, “beloved, you’re growing!” and I forget it’s even possible. I forget anything is possible with G- I cough.
Dear body, don’t listen to mind. Dear body, be free. Dear body, be somebody.
Dear God, I just want to be somebody.
Instead I cough; I sleep.
I dream of home sweet Jesus Christ made of windows.
I write my prayers on my skin so on nights like this, their light burning in the darkness keeps me awake instead of this-I cough. A scripted story of my scars meeting His.
When doors close your ears hear them sing or whisper or scream, but it all comes down to hearing His breath in the hinges. And I do- I hear it in the distance like my mother’s voice when it was time to come in.
Dear God, let me in.
I take another step in the between. I cough.
Dear God, let remember how to breathe.
All I want to do is sing sel-I cough. Sing sel- I cough… SING SELAH! I fight to sing because I fight to breathe and there isn’t a breath that doesn’t sing syllables of his name. I’ll keep singing because I will keep breathing until I die or I will die.
I hear him knocking. From behind a door a few fronts down the street.