Monday, June 4, 2012
Running away and kissing the rod
Friday afternoon I was driving to the doctor and saw a flight taking off in the distance. I was feeling so sick and was in so much pain, and I thought for just a minute about heading to the airport and buying a ticket with the cheapest fare to any place near the ocean. I wondered how long it would take for someone to realize I was gone. I thought about that awesome limbo feeling I have in the sky when no one can reach me. I imagined landing, taking a taxi to somewhere just over the dunes, stepping out and catching that first intoxicating whiff of salty air. I visualized taking my shoes off and walking into the outskirts of the surf, sitting down in the wet sand and finally letting myself cry. I need to weep. Not just little tears that I wipe away quickly so no one sees but big heaving sobs that purge me of the deepest kind of hurt.
Of course I came to my senses and realized the cost of my ticket would literally take food out of my girl's mouths, and I didn't have any of my medications with me and would probably be hauled into the looney bin as soon as I was found. Truly, the last thing my family needs is a wife and mother who goes AWOL. Or maybe it is what they need. I don't know anymore.
I've been reading a book written by Tullian Tchividjian titled Surprised by Grace, God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels. It's about Jonah. Jonah is not exactly the guy most of us would pick as a Bible hero. He was blatantly disobedient. He was so full of despair and anger after he disobeyed God's call to go to Ninevah he said three times he wanted his life to end. He is perhaps one of the most famous runaways in history. Remember when he is hiding in the bottom of the boat sleeping and the others aboard are trying to save their ship during a horrible storm? They finally realize Jonah is the one bringing them peril, and they throw him overboard. The big fish finally enters the story. It's good stuff but in no way am I endeared to Jonah's cowardice through his journey. It hits too close to home and makes me squirm in my seat.
God called me to something painful and heart and life changing through Danica's illness and my own. At times I have kicked and screamed and run away. I have asked for my own life to end. I have curled up in a ball and tried to forget it all by sleeping while the storm rages. Sometimes in my broken body and wounded spirit I feel like there must be some grave disobedience that has sent me to the depths of this basement to suffer.
John Piper wrote this beautiful poem about my new friend Jonah. It encourages me. God can use my failures to accomplish His purpose, and His grace will always bring me back to the love of God.
Learn how the work of God is done.
That there is fierce and stormy grace
With wind and waves and mangled face,
And sailors with condemning dice,
And demons waiting sacrifice,
And giant fish with slashing teeth,
And gasping, acid graves beneath.
Yet none of this is to destroy,
But to restore the prophet’s joy,
And not his merely, but the throngs
Of Nineveh will sing their songs.
And Jonah, in the coming years,
Will say with tender heart and tears,
Along with each whom God will call,
The price was high and worth it all.
The pain of being loved by God
Is great, so let us kiss the rod.
"Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." Psalm 51:12
(Last weekend I took my family to a hotel just down the road, and we all ran away together. I had just enough Marriott Rewards points saved for one night in a tier two hotel. Dan swam with the girls, I got a nap, we watched a movie on pay-per-view with vending machine snacks. Dan had to work on Memorial Day and eventually left for the night to take care of Twixie. After he was gone the girls and I played "Mother May I" back and forth in the room, and we watched Food Network shows until we fell asleep. It was the happiest twenty-four hours we've had in a very long time. It reminded us how good we are when we are together and how we can't give up our dream of being "just us" again.)
Posted by Monica Kaye at 3:17 PM