We are house sitting a lovely place with a pool and a view of the ocean. It is so quiet. Too quiet, sometimes. I consider myself a bit of an introvert in that I can easily sit alone and read and write and drink coffee all day. This house is perfect for swallowing books whole. It is ideal for writing enough bad that eventually something good makes its way to the surface. In comparison to the constant television blare from my neighbors, the birdsong here is made for meditation. All of this, however, tends to be almost an impossibility with two littles running around. So we build lego houses, scream and splash in the pool, kick the soccer ball around, clean up spilled milk and smeared play dough, and watch too many videos.
Since we’ve been here I’ve finished an Anne Lamott book and the timing could not have been more appropriate. I need her lighthearted perspective. The way she writes about her faith and the reality that life is awful sometimes and Jesus knows it just as much as we do is refreshing. It is a helpful reminder right now as I look at the world and see murder, suicide bombings, civil wars, the brutality of ISIS, hatred and intolerance in every camp on just about every issue. I am wondering and worrying about how the church in America will choose to move forward after the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage. I am watching with disbelief as Donald Trump runs for president. I can’t bring myself to read the transcript from the senior medical director of Planned Parenthood; such callousness frightens me too much. And Franklin Graham’s judgement on Muslims… I just don’t know what to say.
I hardly know what to feel most days, except grief and bug eyed paranoia. But my faith tells me that God has skills, ploys, and grace adequate to bring light into the present darkness, into families, prisons, governments.
Lamott reminds me that sometimes it’s one foot in front of the other, and don’t forget to breathe. And that it’s ok when I can’t find the way to pray; maybe it’s enough to see a cactus blooming or to not yell at my kids. She reminds me to do what I can: be kind, serve those around me, strive for community, pray when possible.
You’ve got to love this in a God – consistently assembling the motliest people to bring, into the lonely and frightening world, a commitment to caring and community.
I am one of the motley crew, no doubt about it.
So here I am in this beautiful, peaceful house and what I am finding is enough time to worry about the world. I am trying to trust in the God with the tricks up his sleeve and quiet my mind long enough to pray in this silence I’ve been gifted. I am attempting to listen and discern why I have been placed in this solitude. I’m pretty sure it’s not for the purpose of worrying.
* Quotes from Anne Lamott’s Plan B, Further Thoughts on Faith