From This Dirt

“What heights of love, what depths of peace,

When fears are stilled, when strivings cease."

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What am I so afraid of? What am I striving for? I hear you say that you love me. I see you demonstrate it over and over. The man in the mirror believes it but the kid inside is scared. Afraid it won’t last.

I mask worry with work. Beating my body to exhaustion while watching joy pass outside. There is no sabbath. Only childish confidence in camouflage. Your love searches for my joy. But I don’t believe you, so I hide. And the years pass by. Moments are stolen as memories are made. I can see how much I hurt you, but I am so fragile that your pain disappears in my shame. I return to work, merely to stay warm. Darkness is cold.

How will it end? Will it end? This victory comes only through surrender. This is a battle I can’t “win.” Only when fear of darkness is swallowed up by the light of love can I be set free. When that light floods the deepest valleys and warms the cold places, “fears are stilled” and “strivings cease.” Here, I will find my rest. Here, the warmth of those early hours will reveal just how deeply fear and striving have shaped my imagination and animated my life.

Rest is disruptive. Deep peace is so disruptive that I am finding it takes more than courage to embrace it. It takes more than intellectual understanding to enter it. True rest is for the weary. Poverty seems to be the prerequisite, and weakness the way in. I wonder if that’s why the way forward is so long, slow, and deep. Perhaps love exhausts us so that we might inherit, and therefore truly posses, what can never be earned.

Oh to find rest in the heights of love and be plunged to the depths of peace. Hope found in Christ alone. “He is my light, my strength, my song.”