The words have been ringing in my head all week. “I just wanted you to trust me that it was okay. It was okay to be you. It was okay if you played for a while and then had to leave. It was okay for you to take a while to catch on.”
The words, first from a friend, have become words from a Father, words spoken again and again to set me free.
They come once more this morning as I put off getting out of bed. “I just want you to trust me that it’s okay. It’s okay to be tired – even for a long time. It’s okay to turn to Me in sadness and fear again and again and again. (I want you to!)”
I’ve worked hard all week at the gym and this morning I’m too tired to face it. “I just want you to trust me that it’s okay.” I grab my camera, instead, and go walking, trusting His promise, searching for . . .
For what, exactly?
For hope. For promise. For Presence.
At the tip of the winter-tattered leaves buds promise. From an upper window, a flute shapes pure, high notes of a sonata, then misses, stops, tries again. New life cries in a stroller. Witch hazel blossoms burst full on branches still clinging to last year’s dead, and tiny heather bells poke up through fallen, frayed gold.
This is the way of life in this world. Death and life cling close together. We are always becoming and not yet there, and that’s okay.
We are now buds. Babies.
We are becoming.
Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (I John 3:2)
It’s how it’s meant to be for now. Death becomes place for new life; the cracks, the places where light and water get in and new life creeps its way out. This is Jesus’ way: to fill the emptiness with Himself.
Someone has turned over the wet leaves piled deep beneath the blossoms, and the air hangs thick with the pungent scent.
The words hang heavy too, “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) What do I do with the words? They stand. They cannot be minimized. How do they fit with “I just want you to trust me that it’s okay”?
His words are always freedom words, life words. “It’s My job to make you perfect.” He touches my eyes and I see. The words are like so many others from the first recorded words of God through to the end of the Bible: “Let there be light” is not only imperative, but performative. “Be perfect” not only commands but enables. God spoke the command, “Be perfect,” and then spoke the Word who would complete the command for us and in us.
“Then [Jesus] said [to His Father], ‘Here I am, I have come to do your will.’ . . . And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. . . . [B]y one sacrifice, he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” (Hebrews 10:9-14)
I can no more make myself perfect than the bud can force itself open. All I can do is turn back again and again and let Him love me into full bloom.
“I just want you to trust me that it’s okay.”
The ducks paddle soundlessly. Above them, willows bud in the gentle light.