And She Is Not Afraid

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A robin landed on the deck railing today with the makings of a nest in her mouth. IMG_5318

Have you noticed when you slow down long enough to hear them, the little thoughts that come unbidden can be entire new worlds to explore?

The difficulty is, of course, slowing down. I’m trying to write today, so I’m procrastinating.

But once you’re still enough, once it’s quiet enough, you’ll begin to hear a voice from deeper down. Getting there is a privilege and in our busy-noise world we know it doesn’t come easy. We have to first admit we’re addicted to the rush, the buzz it brings like our favorite drug caffeine, numbing all the fear and keeping us from all the feels about the things that are so inconvenient. So painful.

The world is so full of pain…

But we also know pain creates need. Holes allow space for filling with something better. With love. And it can and will be found by everyone eventually. But it won’t come today if we don’t get still and get quiet and let the voice come.

And if it takes procrastinating on a book chapter to do it, I think maybe that’s okay. God takes what he can get.

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Recently, I heard the inner voice make a statement that surprised me. As usual. When it’s still and quiet, the things I hear are usually surprising. It said,

“All of life really is getting more difficult, you know.” 

I know this. We all know it. But it felt confirming of something I didn’t want to admit. It sounds so hopeless, so scary. How can it all be getting harder? We have so much more now. And we don’t really have to list all the advantages, do we?

Um, I have fresh bacon right now in the big cold box in my warm, clean house. I think I’m good.

“Yes, but it brings more difficulty.”

And then I saw a storehouse piled high in my mind and bursting at the seams. I thought of how hard it is to hear the still small voice anymore. How it gets quieter the more comfortable I get. The more satisfied I am.

I fear middle-aged writers grow fat because they never have to hurt. And this brings a different, deeper kind of hurt.

“Not even I can stop what’s coming.”

“Can’t or won’t?” I asked, like a dolt.

Silence.

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“Well, then I guess we just have to work harder not to get distracted and overwhelmed. Not to believe all the lies and limit exposure as best we can.”

I thought of how hard it is not to condemn others with this choice to not be so busy and involved and not inadvertently cause more pain. How do I choose right and not show others I think they’re wrong?

This is part of the difficulty, the pain: how do we choose to limit and listen without seeming the judge of all who can’t or won’t? 

How do I make space for God and not cause more pain?

Today, I sit with the question, quiet. Hopeful for an answer that isn’t just the same old ever-changing target. The same partial solution. The same old limitation.

But my hope, it isn’t very strong. I’m afraid the answer goes back to the original truth.

“All of life really is getting more difficult, you know.”

I hear a robin singing outside, a male, too taken with his music for nest-building today.

But that mama robin, she continues on. And she’s not afraid.

“…Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?”

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16 thoughts on “And She Is Not Afraid”

  1. but the robin doesn’t have that free will choice thing goin’ on. of course she’s not afraid! i think our fear came with that damn fall and NOT what abba desired for us ( his darlings who he does find even worthier than the sweet sweet creatures he gave us). i love your rapping with god and asking with your mickness of imp-unity “can’t or won’t”. you speak for all i dare say.
    XOXOXO

    1. Oh, I’m happy then! If I’m not banished to hell for my imp-unity, then I hope you feel free to let him know how you feel for real. He can deal. Maybe he knows that’s how we heal. ;)

      Good thoughts about free will, LPF. you’re deeper than you let on. Have fun in your happy place and send me good vibes from sunny climes.

  2. If life is getting harder, which it is and we all know it, then we either have to get stronger or we break under it. Our choice. I really like the idea of making space for God. I’m going to chew on that awhile. I can almost hear him saying would you move your freaking legs off the couch so I can sit too …. well, maybe not quite that way … but you never know, right? And if you’re hell bound then I daresay I and most of the friends we have are surely following. But somehow I think we’re good, astonishing as that is. Keep up the good thoughts.
    “Do the thing you fear most, and the death of fear is certain.” Mark Twain.

    1. good grief, cathy, i just contacted you through your website, and ACTUALLY said, “i recognize your name, maybe from mick’s post?” my poor slack brain! but that was yesterday and today i’d already stirred april 9th into the mix of Past Soup. my own recipe for cold montana days. i’m not truly that spaced out, just lots on my plate for today! ha! forgive me. god talks to me in the same language he uses for you. love it. love him. love you and mick cept YES, he is negligent for not introducing us. where are you? i so merely skimmed your site that i missed where you live. now, i’m going to go back and take a better look when i’m done with my 14,000 errands today. :-) i bet u understand….

    2. May I suggest that maybe he just did? :) I love that you could meet this way! That’s the YWG I’ve dreamed of!

    1. oh good, i just knew you’d understand. and i sped back for a quick look to find you’re just releasing your book. i will need to get that book! plus i noticed (after i’d asked you if you had a blog, DUH) that of course you do so i feel sillier than i even did already. okay, enough about me and my, er, attention span…..
      XO

    2. I get it – and I just ordered your book – I was not there in the 60’s – well I was wee – but I wrote a book that takes place in Vietnam during the war, it’s a romance, called Yesterday’s Tomorrow. Mick helped. :) Well, he basically told me how to make it better, and for the most part I listened.

  3. okay, mick, i’ll give that one to ya…and cathy, i just ordered Yesterday’s Tomorrow. i like that title. it could be an ingredient in my Past Soup? ha ha. hey, this is fun. and i have a new book to read! woooo wooooo! glancing at your site, you are doing real gooooood.
    love
    suzee B

  4. “How do I choose right and not show others I think they’re wrong?” Isn’t that the central cultural conundrum we face these days? And how is it that others (I think primarily of Buddhists here, but even some athiests) have managed to pull this off, but Christians struggle with it so mightily? Is it just for want of humility? or is it more a reflection of the public relations challenge we face in a culture turned against us? At any rate, that is a very wise and thought-provoking question. One which, I am confident, God will answer, if we’re ever quiet enough to listen…

    1. Trouble is, it’s both sides that have got to change, us and the people who might feel ashamed/convicted by our stands or commitments. I’m not sure Jesus was always aware of the shame and godly conviction he caused sinners. But he was convicting and even shaming of those sinning against the outcasts and misfits. He fought back against those pointing fingers at “sinners” and yet did not give permission to anyone’s sin. I’m thinking there’s always unintended consequences for standing with God and his authority in our lives, and our responsible action in speaking and sharing it.

      Thanks so much for the comment! Love your thoughts here.

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