Wednesday, February 18, 2015

When we hear Jesus at the corner of chaos...

There are some days where I would give just about anything for 10 minutes of silence.
No chatty-Kathy's chattering.
No inquisitive minds pondering the wonders of the universe.
No diva girl drama. Times three.
Just silence. Stillness.

Alas, it's a rare day when I get to sit and be still.
I'm sure you can relate.
There's not often time or space to be still.
be at peace.
maybe listen to Jesus.



And all this noise sometimes leaves quite a wake.
And so there's this mess, these crumbs and dishes and detritus from the last meal,
 overflowing from the counter to the table.
There's this mess, these thoughts and struggles and musings, overflowing from my head to my heart. 
Which makes the mess at my table seem, somehow, even more messy.
If that's even possible...

And there's not one, but three, baskets of spilling over laundry and a floor covered in remnants of some skyscraper they were building and my heart spills over with this need,
this desire for peace.
for contentment. 
for something elusive and hard to articulate.

And my heart's still a mess.
Which isn't really a surprise to me.
Cuz this passel of kids I've got is not quiet about, well, about anything.
They've got wars to fight and snacks to forage and worlds to build and dolls to dress.
And so in this world they've created, their mess also becomes my mess.
Because, wonderfully, someone has to play peacemaker and nursemaid and fashion coordinator and general contractor. And since I took on this once-in-a-lifetime-job a while ago, that someone is me.
And this glorious mess goes on...

 Then strangely, wonderfully, I find myself in this spot of space. 
And I sit.
And just breathe.
And I hear Him.

And granted, I'm not sure what He says is really what I want to hear--
Because it's a bit uncomfortable and it means I gotta clean out that metaphorical junk drawer...all of 'em.
And unfortunately for me, housecleaning has never been my favorite or my forte.
And I'm not talking about the one I live in,
but the one He lives in.

But I hear Him.
When it's quiet. 
When I'm quiet.

And I realize something somewhat startling:
I heard Him in the noise and the mess and the chaos--
But there was no space to listen.
His voice was drowned out by all the other little voices and noises and needs.

I think my children are like this, too. They hear but there's so much internal noise and external chaos that they can't listen. Or they don't listen.

So when I want the undivided attention of one of my small people, I gently grasp her face between my palms, and steer her eyes to look into mine. 
You know how we do this: 
I get right down on my knees there so there's no doubt that it's this person I am talking to, these eyes I want to gaze into, this heart I want to speak into.
Because what I need to say is not just important-- It's really important.  I have learned that while she might hear me, she doesn't always listen and so the act of holding that sweet face and catching her eyes with mine--she has space to listen because I've stopped her chaos.

I think sometimes Jesus does that with us.
That's what I think stillness does--It's Jesus grabbing our face so carefully, so tenderly and He tilts our chin up so His eyes can meet our eyes so we listen, not just with our ears, but with our hearts.
Our offering of time and space allows Jesus the opportunity to stop our chaos.
So we get it.
So we get Him.
And in that space, in that stillness, when He has our undivided attention, we also have His.

Sometimes I think I'm missing it.
I don't really know what it is...but it's like there's this thing that is stirring in my heart--like there's more.
Something else I'm supposed to be stepping into but I don't know what it is or how to go about it and I'm a bit afraid of how to go about it and thus the mess.

And my contribution has not been time and space, 
but discontent and trying and failing to figure it out on my own.
I know. Silly me.

And in this time and space where Jesus has my undivided attention, there's this realization that there's a lot of stuff I have to let go of that stands between whatever it is that He has and where I'm at. And the letting go of all this stuff is maybe not my favorite thing--thus the need for some housecleaning--but I know...
I just know that I can't cling to both.
There's no room for His stuff, the stuff of the Kingdom, the eternal stuff,
if I'm clinging to my small and petty stuff.

Intimacy with Jesus means time and space and then it means obedience to whatever He speaks into that time and space.

Surrendering to His stuff means that I have to let it all go and go all in.
I can't keep holding my stuff and expect that Jesus can give me His stuff.
There's simply no room in my heart for both because a heart can't serve two masters.
And frankly, my chaotic stuff stands in conflict to His holy stuff.
  But if I let go, then there's this room, this space, this landing strip deep in my soul
for the holy stuff of Jesus to occupy.
 All my stuff just clutters up the landscape.

And I'll be frank, again, sometimes this sacrifice, this surrender of my stuff is really hard. The kind of hard that maybe, some days, when I'm being super honest with myself, I'd rather not ponder or do. The kind of hard that is easy to set aside and wait for another, somewhat more convenient day which never comes
and thus I perpetuate my own messiness.
Perhaps this is one of the greatest battles in the Christian walk:
The flesh versus the Holy.
What I want versus what Jesus wants.
My dirty, tattered rags for His holy, clean ones.

But, my friends, here's the grace:
While Jesus calls us to let go, to sacrifice our stuff,
 He has never asked us to do that alone, on our own.
He has promised to walk that hard road with us, to help us navigate the deep waters where His grace abounds all the more, to shelter us when our battle rages and batters, to shield us when we're weary and overwhelmed, and to lead us to still, quiet waters where He can restore us.

When it gets really hard and when my flesh wants to grab right back onto all my chaos, He's there to gently frame my face with His loving hands and redirect my gaze to Him.

And that something elusive for which my heart is yearning:
I just have to be obedient to do the next thing, to take the next step, to let go of the next thing, to keep carving out time and space for Jesus to whisper to my heart, and then listen.

Grace always Rises,
Jamie

Psst: I'm linking up today with an inspirational lady, Holley Gerth, at Coffee for Your Heart.

3 comments:

  1. I love your honesty in this post. Your words were so beautiful, too. I am your neighbor at Holley's linkup.

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  2. Oh so true. What beautiful words you have spoken to my heart!

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  3. Beautifully said, as usual! I'm trying to listen amid the chaos as well (though, probably not quite as chaotic as yours!).

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