I’m falling in love with Instagram. I am addicted to my camera and snapping pictures of life, but cameras are bulky and usually awkward to pull out from my purse, but Instagram is easy and quirky and simple. I like simple right now. Last week a young wife and mother from my church went home to Jesus. Her children go to the same school my children have gone to, and both of these communities have poured themselves out in prayer for this young cancer fighting mother of four. I had never met her face to face, but I still knew her story; at least her mother and wife story. To a certain extent, anyone who is a wife and mother knows her story. But what I continue to remind myself daily is what I don’t know, what I haven’t experienced because I have not walked that path. What I don’t know are all the details of all the Jesus giving grace and mercy that took their entire family by the hand down this walk. I have heard them talk of the peace and intimacy they have felt, how that has been their life line. That is a sacred kind of intimacy, one that I suppose we will each feel one day, that kind of supernatural love that crosses over the known and reaches into the depths of our souls and says “I have healed you, come home to Me”.
I didn’t want to go to her funeral. For two reasons. One, I didn’t think I could mentally handle it; but also I didn’t know her. I knew I would cry, and it seemed to me disrespectful to cry at a funeral of someone you had never met, when so many others would be there weeping for the one they knew so well. Her funeral was at 10:00, and at 9:58 I knew I had to go. I sat in the back corner, of the last row, and never made eye contact with a single person. I wept until my sides hurt. But I cannot say that without also saying I worshiped like I never had before as well, because God was there. His healing was talked about, His story was told, His love was made known…and I had peace for having gone. Peace that the Lord knew I needed, because when I got back to my car I had 13 missed phone calls. My much adored step-father who had gone to the hospital for chest pains, was being wheeled into the operating room for open heart surgery to fix a 95% blockage. And just like that, this world tries to start pulling you into panic, but there is no room for panic when you have been filled with peace. It’s in that peace that I packed a bag, and was in the car driving to my childhood home within the hour.
He is a healthy man, and went through surgery well. He is now resting at home with a new foot long battle scar down the middle of his chest. I came back home when it was over, and had 30 minutes to pack for our family vacation to the beach. I didn’t know if I would be able to go. There had just been too much I thought, but when I walked back in my house there were three little people bouncing around full of life. Young, whimsical little hearts that keep on beating despite the fact that I felt like mine had stopped a few too many times over the past several days.
And so we walked the quiet path along the Carolina Coast that we love so much, and rested and played in the pools that form at low tide. We received a phone call one afternoon at the beach from the police telling us our house had been broken into. I wish you could have heard the laughter going on in my head as this person on the other end of the line was telling me this. There was nothing else to do but laugh, and I genuinely could have cared less. I mean that with full honesty. I thought to myself “Oh well, now who wants to go steam some shrimp”. It turns out it was a comical series of mistakes, and everything was fine. Unfortunately though, now half of the neighbors on our street have walked through our house and seen for themselves the DISASTER of a home I ignored and walked away from in order to go on vacation. For real ya’ll, this place was despicably disgusting, and that kind of just makes me laugh even more. Because that’s life on this planet. It’s messy. It’s joyful. It’s mournful. It’s busy. It’s chaotic. It’s unpredictable. And though we are overwhelmed, we are still a blessed people, because we know the One that has overcome it all.
If you would like to subscribe to Playing Sublimely, click here to do so, or go to the top right hand column of this page to enter your email address.