when you feel like you just keep blowing it

When I’m still brushing my teeth on a Sunday and the kids, all ironed and parted and combed and waiting, scuffle loud at the door, he pokes his head in near the mirror,  and he says it quiet.

That we are almost too late for church now anyways, that it’s nearly 10:30 already and there isn’t much point as we’ll be at least 15 minutes late now.

I huff ridiculous, snap sharp and say, fine then, you can well stay at home, the whole lot of you.

But I’ve got to go, my name typed out neat for this week’s nursery supervisor, and I slam the door on my way out.

The children all scatter.

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I drive to church alone and wildly sad.

The nursery is empty. The ache in me is emptier.

Sometimes the most impossible person to live with is yourself.

In the babyless nursery, I turn up the volume knob to hear the pastor. It’s the next chapter in our study of 1 Peter. I rock. A baby, then two, collect on my lap. I rock. I can hear the pastor reading this week’s text:

“In a similar way, you wives must submit yourselves to your husbands.”

I heave a sigh, close my eyes. Rock. One baby tugs at my beaded bracelet. I feel the Spirit’s tug. I’m undone.

I don’t know how I’ll go home.

He already has lunch on the table when I walk in awkward, slow. I don’t say anything. I’m always surprised at how hard it is to open the mouth and admit you’re a fool.

I go to change out of pinching black shoes. He slips in soundless, sits at the end of the bed, one foot resting easy across the other. I find Birkenstocks.

And I sit down beside him, uncomfortable, staring stock straight out the window. Two starlings flap about in the top of the cherry trees.

Why do I blow everything, again and again?

Will I ever be who I already am in Christ?

My chest hurts. I know what I have to say.

I turn towards him and my throat’s raw sore and our eyes meet and we search for a flicker. And in that moment, the Spirit flame descends and I feel its tug and it comes unexpected, a relief that he is too: we both smile sheepish.

Our eyes light.

And our lips both offer it in that same moment and we speak in one tongue speaking one word: “Sorry.”

We hold hands when we pray at lunch. We’ve been reading slow and repeatedly and deliberately from Acts through the season of Easter and today it’s the seventh chapter and The Farmer reads,

“You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!

I close my eyes, bow my head.

Grace rocks, comforts the impossible.

He lays his hand on my shoulder. We pray.

We submit to one another. We wash the dishes together.

After the last plate’s stacked, I go for a walk. Littlest One comes and she does a dandelion run. She laughs and the dog chases and they spin across the globed fields.

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She runs.

I watch and I ache.

I don’t know where time goes. Why do I obliviously slam the holy moments with frustration? Why resist the sacred beauty that falls unannounced?

I feel that pang in my chest again.

And when she lies right out in the grass and holds a whole orb close, I come close. And nearly step upon it.

A bird descended in the alfalfa, a starling stock still.

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I kneel.

We peer into the other’s eye.

I search for the flicker.

I feel the flame.

And then it flies.

I will blow it but to repent and return, turn to the Cross. To not resist the turning. To submit to the Spirit blowing in again and always again. This is the only way to take wing.

“Come?” she calls.

I find her and kneel in the green beside her and she waits, bated breath before the delicate sphere. And then her wind. 

She blows everything again and again… and…

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Worlds blow apart.

Mine opens.

And straight to His center.

No one ever blows it so badly that the Spirit can’t still blow in.

And no wind ever blows so hard that it doesn’t carry hope, that it doesn’t blow in blessings too.

To kneel and receive both, the impossible made possible by Grace.

When she moves and breathes, there is that and I watch it —  how dandelions take to the sky.

Is this how grace moves to the outer most ends of the earth? The moving and breathing in Him?

All God’s children letting Him blow through their world, letting everything become a seed, a wing, a prayer?



edited post from archives