Saturday, January 23, 2010

streams in the wasteland

It's been a humdrum sort of week, and actually the word is phonetically perfect as well what with the rain these last few days. Even drumming sound, even grey-matte sky. It's cold again, too. Nothing like St. Louis weather, but cold enough to see your breath. There's always an early January warm spell, but this one lasted longer than usual and it's weird to be back to winter again. My body is so confused, seventy degrees one day and forty-seven the next, and it's taken to getting headaches as a means of protest.

And speaking of bodily ailments, I think I'm old and falling apart. My right palm--mostly the side by my thumb--has been getting pinpricks the last day or two. It's different than when your hand falls asleep. It's sharper and there are fewer of them. Best guess, as always, is the back. But I kind of shake my hand out when it happens--I don't know that it's actually effective, but already it's becoming unconscious. If only I could get it to make that slapping sound that all the cool middle schoolers could make way back in the day, right? And the knot on my head from Romania? Still there. Had my baby nurse roommate look at it and even she was weirded out by it. Good thing I have long hair. I'd make such a funny looking buzzed-haired kid.

What else? There are some other things, most of them floating around in the indifference part of my brain. I blame the weather. Humdrum, monotone. I blame some other things too and I'm smack in the middle of coming out from behind apathy and letting myself let God care through me, because here I am defaulting to the things he wouldn't have me do. It's an interesting change, though. The default used to be frustration and now I'm quick to cut my losses. I had a whole post I was going to write about that, about how I shouldn't cut my losses because Jesus didn't. He didn't say, it's too bad about the one, he was a really great sheep, but at least we have the ninety-nine. I have to get there. Not because I ought to or because I should be better and certainly not because I want to. Because this is grace, too, and God is pouring it out abundantly on me. I asked that he would help me to love people, to really love them, and if I bail out when it's hard, I haven't learned anything. If I don't bail out at first and then meet resistance and throw in the towel then, well, same thing.

How do I move myself to care? The answer, I think, is: I don't. I can work all day, but I love imperfectly, I give up easily. It's got to be God. And I don't mean inaction, either, which I feel like is the easy trap. If I sit here and wait for him to love through me and I don't walk outside and meet the person I don't want to love, then I'm going to do a lot of sitting and not much doing. So somewhere in all that I've got to let go of frustration-turned-apathy, I've got to quit avoiding this with God. And I have to trust that he is working something new in me--"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." (Isaiah 43:19) I have to trust that if I do the things he's nudging me to do, he'll meet me in it, he'll work my imperfect love into something that glorifies him. That's something good.

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