The lights blink merry, the tune sings lyric soprano as I press the “on” button to the washer and dryer. Delicate wash, normal dry. How easy to push the buttons.
I’ve been there and back again, to the city that held me five years, the streets I once walked, houses I once visited, buildings in which I once consternated over sheets of editing. Wafts of goodness float across my path with gossamer beauty. So excited to go back to the church family that once embraced me and loved me out of loneliness and looming depression, I wake all through the night, wondering if it is time to go to His house yet. Glimpses of the ones who loved me well, whom I grew to love, create beautiful turbulence in my heart.
He breathes sweet air of memory, of grace once enjoyed, now realized for its beauty, into my heart; and at the blast of His nostrils, the waters inside gather together, the floods stand upright like a heap, the depths congeal in the heart of the sea. Soul swells, liquid rising to graciously dangerous heights. It spills all over me. Rivers long forgotten, avoided in the busyness of stress and activity and deadline and rushing now flow. Heaving and tears launder my soul, my face, my life.
I’m washed with waters from other streams too: gracious words, long hugs, a child’s kiss and begging for one more story. Rainy days, nights without curfew and mornings without alarm clock, talking and confessing and rejoicing long into the evening, deep and beautiful through the days.
His washing is delicate.
And the heat and tumble and clicking of parts against the steel drum is normal. I’m not promised ease and comfort here. Even in the joy of reunion is the shadow of separation, the knowing that I can’t keep up with everyone. The chasm of space and time widens despite facebook and cyberspace and free g-phone. I can’t grasp and mould it anymore than I can collect and compartmentalize the sea in my hand. Liquid life keeps flowing through my fingers—it’s supposed to.
God wouldn’t have given us so much of life that is normal unless He knew the power of normal, lived by His own power.
Dry is normal, but He redefines it by the power of His life.
So I will remember, I will recall His mercies. I will look to Him to make sense of all the sorting yet to be done, all that was finished and began and renewed by this journey, all the journeys ahead.
The dryer will sing “I’m done” soon.