April 30, 2013 by Beth Hess
Like the toddler who hides behind the curtain while leaving her feet exposed, I pretend the “If I can’t see you, you can’t see me” theory still works. And I keep God in my peripheral vision. Sideways glances. Ducking behind busy-ness and exhaustion as an aversion to locking eyes.
I don’t want Him to see me. Not really. Not the mess I’ve made. Not the things I’ve let slide. Not the dust in my house. Not the unbalanced checkbook. Not the fast food bags in my car. Not the bruises on my tongue from biting back the words that scream from inside my head.
Among trusted allies – sisters and friends – I will admit to my messes. At least that much I am learning. To be broken before other women and together create a space where imperfection is A-OK. But are we just tucked behind the curtains together? Still hiding – and yet still exposed – all at the same time?
Softly I start to hear it. The voice of my Abba calling out for me. He knows. He sees. My toes and the stirring in the corner give me away. And still he does not tear it back and expose my nakedness. He knocks and whispers: “Will you let me in?”
Everything in me wants to be more prepared – more presentable – before I step out. More together. More ready. More … I don’t know … just more. Or maybe less. Just different in some way.
Then the radio tunes to this:
Why are you striving these days
Why are you trying to earn grace
Why are you crying
Let me lift up your face
Just don’t turn away
Why are you looking for love
Why are you still searching
As if I’m not enough
To where will you go child
Tell me where will you run
To where will you run
‘Cause I’ll be by your side wherever you fall
In the dead of night whenever you call
And please don’t fight these hands that are holding you
(By Your Side, Tenth Avenue North)
And like the parched, cracked desert my spirit has become, I drink in the holiness and the grace of it all. Thirsty. So very thirsty.
And never before have I longed more for the shepherd to lead me by still waters or make me like a tree firmly planted by the stream.
I cling to the truth that the Living Water not only wants me to welcome His presence, but that the very source and spring of it lives IN me. A self-irrigating system of perpetual fullness.
So I pray the drops will come faster and larger from heaven even as the bubbles start to rise to the surface.
It’s the declarations that quench me best, I find. (And so often in song.) “Your love never fails, never runs out, never gives up on me.” “God is able; He is on our side; He will make a way.” “Holy. Holy. Holy.”
And though today my cup still feels closer to empty than overflowing, already I can see a me in the not-so-distant future (I pray) splashing around in the mud of God’s grace, spinning in the rain of His love for me, and sporting skin wrinkled by the time spent soaking in His spring.
I’ll lay out the Welcome mat for Jesus. Muddy footprints and all.