We've been in this strange mode of deep sadness punctuated by frequent tears, yet with the need to keep moving, keep putting one foot in front of the other, in frequent parenthesis. The sum of the parts is this long run-on sentence of grief and fear and a million other emotions. But I couldn't stay home and cry yesterday, for goodness sakes, my mother in law was going to get her hair done and if she could pull it together, I certainly could too. So Lulu and I headed out to run some errands, whispering a silent prayer that we wouldn't see anyone we knew at Costco. Anyone who would ask how we were doing. And on the way we found joy. It was here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHdcyue0bSw Well, not there exactly, but the same song only on the radio, lulling me from the doldrums into a much better place. Casting Crowns sings it and it goes like this:
As the thunder rolls I barely hear Your whisper through the rain “I’m with you” And as You mercy falls I raise my hands and praise the God who gives And takes away
I’ll praise You in this storm And I will lift my hands For You are who You are No matter where I am Every tear I’ve cried You hold in Your hand You never left my side And though my heart is torn I will praise You in this storm
I remember when I stumbled in the wind You heard my cry You raised me up again My strength is almost gone How can I carry on If I can’t find You
As the thunder rolls I barely hear You whisper through the rain “I’m with you” And as Your mercy falls I raise my hands and praise the God who gives And takes away
I lift my eyes unto the hills Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord The Maker of Heaven and Earth
Because the truth of the matter is that if we can't praise God in the midst of the storm we're not really much good to him. Or anyone. Not that he expects that from us right away. He gets it if we need to have a time of joylessness, or even a while to be wicked pissed, but he'll bring us to that place of joy before too long, if we'll only ask to be restored there. Until then, I think the praise God really loves to garner is when we are laying on the floor, totally broken, so mired down we can't move and so numbed and immobilized we can only whisper, "daddy. help." And he does. But it doesn't always look like calming the seas or quieting the winds. To us it hasn't looked like miraculous healing for my mother in law, that storm is still blowing. But it does look like peace, knowing that Jesus is there and if we listen really really hard, around the shrieking of the wind and our own unsettled hearts, we can hear him saying, "NEVER will I leave you or forsake you." So we're lifting our eyes up to the hills and praising the God who made heaven and earth and holds my mother in law's fragile life in his hands. And ours too.
Oh, and our new dryer, the one that melts everything? The one that I got on sale and has cost us hundreds of dollars in melted warmies? The one I've called a bastard on more than one occasion? It's getting fixed. Thanks to Joy (seriously)(you know who you are, girl) in Customer Service. She's got my back, overnighting parts here and calling to make sure they've arrived and that the service guy has called and that I have everything I need. Joy. I love her.