There's nothing left in me today.
In the past, this statement used to frighten me, cause me to do the opposite of retreating. I would rage against the fear and start buying ... do I dare share? Office supplies. Shaking head... Office supplies. As if Post-it notes and pens will erase my ache.
My husband is launching a huge website. He wakes even earlier than his usual 4am time. He is working so very hard.
While he is working he hears that a coworker has died, one of the people on his team. It's so devastating, her desk still sitting there, without her. He works on the website throughout the day, managing vendors and groups and expectations while comforting those who are mourning. It's a stretch day.
There are some new hurdles on the horizon with regard to parenting. I don't understand them all, but I can sense that I need to gear up. I have some friends who have walked this road and I'm writing them all, asking for direction. Today was so exhausting that my family napped most of the afternoon away from all the emotional output. We all collided into one another.
When I awoke, I was still weary. There is such bigness to parenting.
I had a little sliver of time which I was holding to too tightly, hoping to do a little creative work. But parenting comes first and it came hard today, so I let it go very, very reluctantly.
I'm empty. Emily is all gone. There's just a shell of me and that shell remembers that the story that directs my life is this: Death ushers in resurrection. That's what the Jesus story is all about. You reach the last drop of hope and strength and shininess. You don't have the strength to even wear the mask. You come with all your stink and say, "What a charade. I have no life in me, save for you, God."
But I'm not in despair. You know how you read a story that's very sad up until the end where the bad guy gets what's coming to him? Even during the sad parts you have a glimmer of hope because you've read this before. You even have your fingers holding the page where things turn out for good. That's what it's like to walk in the yuck.
And then you wait. You wait for the resurrection.
Sometimes it comes in the form of rest. Or a piece of encouragement. Sometimes it's a line in a book or just a realization that the trees outside are still green.
But I know this: It's not wishful thinking. It's not a positive outlook. It's not a cheery disposition. It's real, honest-to-goodness resurrection. It involves me staying right here, right in the midst of all the death and sadness, feeling the weight of it all. Feeling the "wait" of it all. And then, with no effort of my own, God shows up. No fancy prayers. No high cathedrals. Just me, no makeup, summer frizzy-haired, grumpy, exhausted, calling out to God imperfectly.
When I've been working so hard that I don't have time to get my hair done, I pray that my busy stylist has time to cut my hair... and she does. That's God.
When a sticky situation means that a gathering will be really awkward unless God shows up, I definitely offer him an invitation. And he comes.
When my husband and I are serving and being ultra responsible and have no time for sex, I pray about that, too. Ain't no shame. And since this is rated G, I'll just say that God answers prayer.
I have a list a mile long of all the places I've invited God's resurrection. And today is no different. He makes everything beautiful in its time.