Before you ask, of course, that is me in the picture.
For starters, I’m afraid of heights. Also, wherever this woman is, she probably had to fly in a plane to get there…another thing I’m afraid of. I’m afraid of a lot of things, some rational, some not — but I guess it doesn’t really matter — fear is fear.
If you’ll pardon the redundancy, here is some more from Henri Nouwen:
It takes courage to move away from the safe place into the unknown, even when we know that the safe place offers false safety and the unknown promises us a saving intimacy with God. We realize quite well that giving up the familiar and reaching out with open arms towards him who transcends all our mental grasping and clinging makes us very vulnerable. Somewhere we sense that, although holding on to our illusions might lead to a truncated life, the surrender in love leads to the cross….
It is a sign of spiritual maturity when we can give up our illusory self-control and stretch out our hands to God. But it would be just another illusion to believe that reaching out to God will free us from pain and suffering. Often, indeed, it will take us where we rather would not go. (from The Dance of Life)
We’ve got a denim-blue glider rocker in our bedroom. It was a gift from Tammy’s grandmother when we were expecting Grace. For some reason we never got to use it much with Grace, but with Hope it has come in very, very handy. It is where I sit to feed her, where I pump, now where I blog. I have spent a lot of time in this chair this summer…too much time. This chair, this room, have been my hiding place, my safe place, for five months. Sure I go out too, but I long for this place. To be honest, if I could have, I would have moved this chair into my closet if it would have fit there. Now, in my defense, I have always been a homebody and have always loved the quiet, private space of my bedroom but I admit that I may have gone a little far with that lately. It is one thing to prefer to stay in, it is another to get homesick during a fifteen-minute trip to Walgreens.
This morning I was getting ready for church, I was in my room and I thought that Grace was comfortably occupied in her beanbag in the living room watching Elmo and drinking her morning chocolate milk. Then she walked in with a face stained red and dripping with…something. It was too light to be blood, she was happy as well — saying “yum! yum!” I walked through the house ruling out the possibilities, then I got to the kitchen. Turns out she had helped herself to a nectarine from the kitchen counter, she had also tasted two peaches and another nectarine before she settled on her choice. I had left the baby gate open by mistake. The mess was contained right there on the counter, she’d been a relatively good girl — she hadn’t walked all over the place with her dripping fruit. Later I discovered that she’d pulled a couple of silk plants and this afternoon Tammy informed me that she had also attempted to rename the hard drive of the computer to — get this — 666.
With Tammy going back to school full time tomorrow, my bedroom days are pretty much over. Even with the baby gate shut, Grace still requires near constant supervision. It is going to be work for me to break that routine and I’ve tried to set things up in a way to “force my hand,” so to speak. For instance, the preschool I choose for Grace is walking distance from our house and it starts later than the other preschools we looked at — which means that I have to take her, it’s not on the way to anyone else’s job, at least not at a convenient hour. If I want Grace to go to preschool, and believe me I do, I’m going to have to get out of bed to get her there. And since it is so close it would be silly not to walk, so I’ll get some exercise too.
Then I’m hoping that since I up I’ll come home and engage in the household chores that I have mostly abdicated this summer. I’m pretty sure I can keep the house clean and the laundry done but cooking remains a hurdle, I just don’t want to do it — maybe it’s the planning, or the mess, or maybe I’ve just gotten too lazy.
I’ve kind of felt like my life is in a free-fall, I don’t really know how it happened and I certainly don’t know why. I’m not done falling, I thought I was but today proved me wrong. I don’t know if there is another bottom to hit or if this is just the way things are supposed to be for awhile — or maybe forever. Is faith a perpetual state of free-fall? Does it matter?
But I wonder, in the midst of this involuntary fall, can I turn it into a dive? Can I take control just long enough to say, “O.k., if I’m going to fall, at least I’m going to own it.” Can you fall with purpose? Does any of this make sense?
Well, anyway, all of this stuff and my reading for today reminded me of the song “Dive” by Steven Curtis Chapman…or maybe the song got me thinking about all this stuff.
The long awaited rains
Have fallen hard upon the thirsty ground
And carved their way to where
The wild and rushing river can be found
And like the rains
I have been carried here to where the river flows yeah
My heart is racing and my knees are weak
As I walk to the edge
I know there is no turning back
Once my feet have left the ledge
And in the rush I hear a voice
That’s telling me it’s time to take the leap of faith
So here I go
I’m diving in, I’m going deep, in over my head I want to be
Caught in the rush, lost in the flow, in over my head I want to go
The river’s deep, the river’s wide, the river’s water is alive
So sink or swim I’m diving in
There is a supernatural power
In this mighty rivers flow
It can bring the dead to life
And it can fill an empty soul
And give a heart the only thing
Worth living and worth dying for
But we will never know the awesome power
Of the grace of God
Until we let ourselves get swept away
Into this holy flood
So if you’ll take my hand
We’ll close our eyes and count to three
And take the leap of faith
Come on lets go