I ran out of peppermint cocoa this morning.
Just like that.
Not a single ounce to add to my morning coffee, nor console me that the fifth day of Pacific Northwest rain is not so terrible.
My medically fragile daughter, recently diagnosed with anemia, is home today. It is “that time of the month” and it is absolutely wreaking havoc on her already worn out body.
Today was also the day we were supposed to receive the keys to our new home. We have a lousy appraiser who wrote a lousy appraisal and now has strong women from loan offices and realty breathing down his throat to get it fixed and he feels threatened so he refuses to do so in a timely manner. Thus, the domino affect of postponements from getting our daughter transferred to a new school, contractors, and now the possibility of having to move furniture 48 hours before Christmas Day.
The last month for me has been an onslaught of disappointments, from utter devastation for the country I call home, to my personal and professional life (being a writer is the toughest job I have ever had and the pay stinks). I also have an inner voice of shame who likes to try and convince me that my expectations and disappointments are petty and selfish, compared to the utter devastation that is happening to brothers and sisters the world over. How dare I feel sorry for myself!
The Giver of All Things has been talking to me. Usually, our form of communication is metaphorically through nature, followed by the words and actions of community. Very rarely do I hear from God via that still, small voice but when I do – I know it is in my best interest to drop everything and listen closely.
The whispering in my ear has been two words::
Now, that may seem vague and obtuse, but I must tell you – the whisper emanates at the most uncanniest of times.
When tears stream down my face reading about the bombing of a children’s hospital in Aleppo, God whispers “Draw Near”.
When my daughter comes to me, eyes filled with fright, asking if a President can send her back to Ethiopia, God whispers “Draw Near.”
When I awaken in the middle of the night and a panic attack has hit, God whispers “Draw Near”.
When I feel a weariness of body and spirit in which all I want to do is binge Netflix for days and drink coffee, God whispers “Draw Near”.
I do not believe God is a fixer. I do not believe that in those moments of dialogue between us, everything will resolve itself.
I believe that in these moments, as I respond to the invitation to draw near, I am given an opportunity to remember.
Has there ever been a time in life where it has been more imperative to remember?
History – real history – has so much to teach us about moving forward in such a way as to not repeat the atrocities of the past.
The same is true with faith.
“Remembering” is an opportunity for me to look back at the character of God and the manifestation of that character in my own life. It is a chance for me to recall those memories – the long-suffering ones of waiting, as well as the ones in which God’s character was revealed rather quickly.
“Drawing Near” to God is giving myself permission to tune out distraction and embrace the restoration of peace and quiet.
As we enter the Season of Advent, we writers tend to get excited about our craft and sharing words with our readers.
A season of waiting is so characteristic of a writer, and as humans, we all seem to need permission or an invitation to embrace a season of waiting. It is not something that seems to come naturally.
And as we wait, we can embrace that whisper to “Draw Near”. We can respond to that whisper by taking the time to remember as we wait.