Saturday, 9 June 2012

Just because

Here I am, Lord. 

I know that you don't forget about me for a second, but I'd understand if I sort of make you jump a bit by suddenly dropping in like this. It's been a while. I bet you're getting used to my absence, are you? 

My head's been full of things, both inspiring and uplifting things that require close examination, and also big bags of rubbish that need leaving by the bin for the next collection. It's all been in there. 

It still is, really. I'm doing my best to work through some of it. The last few days have just been jam-packed with things that require filing somewhere in the immense, disorganised filing cabinet in my head. At the moment they're just a pile. I need to label them either 'Important; action required' or 'File: to consider later' or 'Shred'.

So, there's a job for later. I took my inspiration for that little bit of imagery from the towering pile of paperwork accumulating in my kitchen, which is also on the 'To Do' list. Only much, much further down.

So, why am I here? You're bracing yourself for the punchline, aren't you? Not that you don't know what I'm going to say...

I'm here just to be here

I'm here to say hello. To smile up at you. To tell you that I love you.

You know what it reminds me of? The other day I found Katy rummaging through the cupboard under the sink in the kitchen where I keep vases for flowers. Alarmed at the energy with which she was moving glass and crystal out of the way I offered to help and after a lengthy process of elimination she found what she wanted. A small, squat glass pot.

Minutes later she appeared at my elbow beaming up at me.

'For you, Mummy. Because I love you.'

Four buttercups in a pot. A little offering. Made my day.

So here I am to offer you my buttercups. Well, your buttercups. Or the equivalent of buttercups.

I love you. 

I haven't got an agenda.

Well, of course, I do have an agenda but you know it already. You know the myriad of unanswered questions in my head and you know the anxieties and puzzles and complaints that are on the tip of my tongue, but you'll also know that I am putting them on one side right now because it's a long, long time since I just came to say hello.

Hello, God. How's things where you are? 

What are you thinking right now? What do you want to tell me? Can you make yourself heard through the noise in my head? 

Teach me to still myself, Father. I want to learn to grab the peaceful time I can get while the children are occupied and manage to make the most of it without waiting until I have an entire morning or a whole hour to myself. If I tell myself that I can only come to spend time with you when I have a decent stretch of quiet time to spare I'll never come. If I need peace, and solitude, and a few hours all to myself with no stress and no obligation and no phone ringing or need to be somewhere - then I'll find precious few times that fit the bill. You and me will end up waving to each other from a distance for months until I grind to a halt because I'm so depleted that I involuntarily drop all the things I'm carrying. 

So I'm here. I realise that I haven't even been able to come into your presence for two minutes without asking you for something despite my protestations that it's my intention just to be. All that 'please, God' and 'show me...' and 'teach me...' and 'will you...'  It's endless.

Sorry.

Lord God, I think you're great. I do. I don't know what I'd have done without you this last week. On Wednesday I spoke at a friend's thanksgiving service and I was so anxious about whether I'd be able to do it without breaking down. I knew that you wanted me to; I knew that you had your hand on the whole thing right from the start, and so deep down I knew that if you'd brought me this far you wouldn't desert me as I tried to do it. You didn't desert me; you were there and it was fine. Hard, but fine. You held my hand and I felt your presence as clearly as if you were standing next to me. Thankyou. So much. 

It's been raining for days. Heavy rain that makes a wonderful sound on the roof windows and light rain that makes you think you might not get wet as you nip out for a loaf of bread and then soaks you through before you get out of the drive. The grass is so green that it's almost an unnatural colour; it's emerald green. Glowing green. And growing fast. It's the sort of grass that makes me want to take my shoes off as it looks so lush. But it's a bit chilly too so I'll just admire it from the window. The baby begonias planted in the troughs outside the front door are thriving; they are vividly green and starting to flower even though they're tiny. The reservoirs are filling up after dire warnings about drought. 

Today I met a friend and we took about thirty children to a soft play place that was heaving with people because it's the half term holiday and it's raining, so where else would you take the kids when they're desperate to use up some energy? Actually, there were only six children but it felt like many, many more. I'm not complaining. It was a good morning. Lots of things went wrong, stress levels were occasionally quite high; it seemed that at no point in the morning were all six children happy at the same time, but it was a good morning. I realise that I'm not much different from the children myself. They spent the whole time at the play centre offloading grievances about each other; 'He hit me!' 'She said I was a baby!' 'He wouldn't let me go first!' and then the minute we climb into the car to come home they're telling me what a fantastic time they've had.

It was a morning full of interruptions and irritations but I got to spend it with a friend, and even though it was noisy and hot and even though we have a million conversations hanging in the air still, it wasn't a bad way to pass a morning. I think you knew that we needed topping up a little bit - I know it sounds trivial (it is trivial!) but there was a point when we had six irritable children, rain beating down and the possibility of a lengthy wait to get into a packed play centre in the middle of nowhere and I said, 'Please God, we need a little miracle.'

You provided one. We got in pretty much in the time it took to take off six pairs of wet shoes. We found a table, we got coffee. How's that? 

You're a God who cares about the little things. You cared about our stressful morning. You cared about small children with too much energy for a half term holiday of wall-to-wall rain. You cared about me and my friend getting a glimpse of each other and the chance to share the moments between bouts of refereeing, encouraging, commiserating, feeding and soothing. You were there. 

Lord, I just want to praise you because you are worthy of praise. I give it all back to you because it's yours already. You are faithful in the small things and in the big things. On Wednesday night at the thanksgiving service, and on Friday morning at the overcrowded play centre. You are there in the form of a tiny bird cheeping away on my arm and in the form of a friend with a smile when the rain is heavy and the skies are dark. You are there in coffee and hugs and green, green grass. 

So I wanted to drop in and tell you that it hasn't gone unnoticed. Well, I bet lots of things have gone unnoticed, because you rain down your blessings in quantity and quite often I'm oblivious to so many of them. But I noticed a few, and so here I am to tell you thank you. It means a lot.

May I soak up your blessings up as the flowerbeds are soaking up the rain right here. I pray that my own spiritual water-table is filling up nicely. I don't want a drought around here. 

Thankyou, Lord God. 

You are good. 

All the time. 




3 comments:

  1. I like this. I long to really go to God with no agenda,but it never seems to work that way. So again I ask Him to teach me to want Him more than I want blessing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. All the time... God is good :-)
    This is the pitching the tent between heaven and earth, isn't it?
    To echo your words: Thank you God for being in all things, big and small. For upholding Helen as she spoke at a Friend's thanksgiving service and for blessing us with a short queue and coffee at the play place. My wonder at you never ceases...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thankyou.
    I give Him something so, so small, yet He gives me back so much.

    ReplyDelete



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