As long as I can remember, it's been there. A big, gnawing hole in the middle of me. As a youth, I stuffed it with books and filled up my own pages with words. As a teenager, I kept it at bay with prayer and service, and dedicated myself to a lifetime of pursuing God wholeheartedly. And as an adult, I fill it with my beloved family, fulfilling work, and sometimes-faltering faith.
But it's still there. It's a kind of restlessness, a yawning ache that yearns for something I can't find. Once in awhile, when I'm communing with nature or listening to the Spirit's murmurings as I read scripture, it goes away...and then, inevitably, it returns. "It" is dark, smelly, vacuous. It's behind the 3 a.m. clutching in my chest, the hot lonely tears I cry at my desk, the shakes I get when I read about an evil act performed against children.
I used to think the cavern in my soul came from some lack in my childhood--maybe because we didn't have many friends and lived in the country--or from the fact that I'm sensitive and creative, and feel things more deeply than non-artist types. But the older I get, and the more people I meet, I've begun to realize that my Grand Canyon of Discontent is a human condition. Everyone, at one time or another, will fall into the Canyon.
You know what? I think we do a HUGE disservice to non-believers and believers alike when we tell them: "Eveyone has a hole in their soul that only Christ can fill." That's only part of the truth. (And isn't partial truth the same as falsehood?)
The church makes it sound like God is a prescription that will wipe away all our earthly symptoms. In reality, He's the cure--but we won't be cured fully until we see Him in the flesh. Until then, we reach for heaven--our only true home--any way we can:
We create a place, born from depression and hardship, that will become a haven for starved artists and limping leaders.
We wipe tears and offer prayers with a kindred spirit we've barely met.
We try to marry the two parts of us--the goofy and the serious--with a mighty pen and a contagious grin.
We write words that move people...while homeschooling, and farming, and raising kids.
We take gorgeous photographs and pair them with lyrical thoughts.
We encourage moms to be counter-cultural and share Friday Feasts.
We connect with the "least of these," and tell the world about it with technology.
We laugh, hike, share work and engage with like-minded souls.
We seek to be salt and light as we soldier on, despite tragedy.
We ponder deeply on what it means to display faith in the working world.
We regularly point out the people who are doing good work...without seeking anything for ourselves.
We encourage others in their giftedness and seek God in the yard.
We write poetry, build Lego towers, slay Zombies, and usher truth from technology.
We turn the phrase "preacher's wife" into the best kind of compliment.
We break bread with one another, crossing denominational lines and reveling in the unity of our brokenness.
We find home anywhere we can, with the best people we can, until we run into His arms.
Note: This is dedicated to the High Calling Blogs staff. I had the pleasure and privilege of getting to know them in real life, and not just online, this past week. If you want to find insightful, gifted, faith-filled bloggers, click on the links I've included.