I’ve been stuck on a particular piece of scripture for some time now. If I were to paint you a word picture, here’s what that would look like. This scripture is like bread dough and I keep kneading it.. and then I set it aside to rise… then I come back to it to punch it all down and knead it again. I think there’s something I’m supposed to be getting from it, but I haven’t pinpointed it yet. The thing is, I’m thinking it might hold the key to what I’ve been struggling with the last few months.
I just feel short.
Not in stature. But in time, money, patience, sight, resources, wisdom, energy, joy, and so many other things. Not empty… short. Not. Quite. Enough.
Now for some, not enough is ok. a little short is close enough. But I get bent about it in the worst way. I won’t show it, my pastors kid upbringing doesn’t allow for running around with anything less than “blessed” tattooed on my face. But at night when I should be sleeping peacefully (ha-ha) I am staring at the ceiling with these ridiculously fat tears running silently down the sides of my face into my fundraiser bought pillowcases (Thanks for those by the way Mrs.Heslinga.. soft as clouds) .
Not enough. Not enough. It’s like a mantra my addled brain has set up on loop. I’m missing the mark and dropping the ball, I’m letting the team down, pulling my punches… throw in your own sport related euphemism here. There doesn’t seem to be enough hours in my day, and so I don’t get to listen with both ears to Jude as he tells me about the awesome way he led his basketball team to victory today, or look Gabe in the face as he tells me about his ‘Canada’ project and what he thinks we should make as his sample of Canadian food, or take Joel to get some new pants so he can interview with confidence for a new job. Marcailyn is struggling in functions class but I didn’t invest in it until she announced she was dropping the class and by then it was too late, I haven’t taken Ben to butterfly park like I promised six weeks ago. I keep meaning to sit down and have coffee with my mom and really give my attention to the renovations she has planned, and there’s Josh who at times I feel has become a near stranger, we live in the same house but speak sporadically and I’m afraid I’ve lost the once incredible bond we once shared. Madison and I only connect on the household business as she has really stepped in as the ‘other adult’ in the house. And here’s a mother of the year award… I have all of the cake supplies for my son’s birthday cake sitting in a grocery bag on the dining room table…a birthday he had three weeks ago. That’s just the short list of people I fail daily, I don’t have the physical strength to type out all of the housework un-dones, or the project half-begun’s or the bill graveyard where on-time payments have gone to die. I have friends I fail to connect with and an ex-husband I promised to call a week ago to discuss our kids and every time I remember I’m square in the middle of something else… I’m pretty sure he wants to divorce me all over again. (If only that were possible huh Paul?)
And then there’s Thane. He really needs so much more from me, but he gets table scraps. I’m gone all day and home a few hours from his bedtime and those hours are spliced into a thousand efforts so that he just gets slivers of my attention, and everything I’ve read talks about how crucial giving him my undivided attention is to his development, but honestly, the only time he gets that is when he’s been taken to the hospital and I have nothing else pressing against me but the bars of his hospital crib. I’ve just discovered this week that he should have been in speech and language therapy long before now and the fact that I dropped THAT ball is dragging behind me like a ships anchor. I have this picture in my mind of him as a 20-year-old unable to communicate with anyone and it’s because I failed to get him into speech and language therapy on time!
So what peppy piece of encouraging scripture am I talking about?? There are dozens that declare me loveable and all good in Gods eyes… but it’s nothing like that. It’s found in 1st John.
1. See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.
That last bit is the part that keeps grabbing me. I think the secret is in there. And here’s how… follow me if you dare.
Growing up my mom was our worship leader in church and she spoke often on the spiritual concept of God showing up in our worship. ( Psalm 22:3 says that God inhabits the praises of His people,) and we are told in the Word that Where God’s spirit is, there is freedom and change ( 17 … The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit . 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 )
…” when He appears , we will be like Him…”
And so here’s what I think, I’m not what I should be, or could be or will be.. but when I worship, Jesus shows up, and when He’s around, I become more like Him, I’m changed, I’m free. I’m enough. I think the reason I’m stuck in this bit of scripture is as simple as that. In my own strength I’m never going to have enough, be enough, know enough, give enough, get enough, to be all the things I need to be to all the people who need me to be them. As ‘me’ I’m always going to fall short. But if I could just be more like HIM I could be. And I can’t be more like Him unless He’s around. I need to invite Him to inhabit my days, my hours, my space, so I can see what He is clearly and be changed. Hmm, Just typing it out helped.
I’m sure there’s a theology professor somewhere shouting at the computer screen that 1st John is about Heaven, and being made like Christ when He returns and takes us home… and if you’re that professor, please don’t write me and expound on my improper use of scripture, I promise you I’ll agree with you. I’m not saying my little revelation is theologically accurate, I’m saying I’m blonde, it’s early and I didn’t sleep so much on account of all the big fat tears and such and this morning this is what works. I’m compiling a playlist on YouTube and getting ready to invite Jesus to hang out on a Thursday with me and see if by the end of this day I wasn’t a ‘little more’ than I was when I started out. What could it hurt?
I’ll let you know the results.