This world is so beautiful.
This world is so ugly.
Once in a while, the beauty juxtaposes itself over the ugly in a way that brings me up short.
An eclipse of sorts.
As a home school mom, summer is essential to my well being. I have to rest in summer to recharge for the next labor intensive year.
This summer was the first time in 3 years that I had all four children at home together. My plan was to go to the cottage and enjoy my children. But there was company coming. Then family wanted Rowan for a visit. Then company came. Then Grant left for three days with Dave. Then three of us flew to Alaska to see Page and her family. Then company came. Then we went to the beach. Then company came.
And to be honest, connecting these dots, was not usually rest, but a preparation for the next thing coming (which in retrospect, should have included rest).
The cottage is almost a personality that I feel waiting for us. Puzzled perhaps, at why it sits still and empty in the summer sun. I sense the vegetation growing over the trails we forged. I am aware that I need to go rest and be at peace. It is as if I am very thirsty and the cottage is the sound of running water.
And then when I feel most empty and vulnerable I am confronted by the ugliness. I know ugliness and I've fought it before, in myself and in battle on behalf of others. But this. This stark fear and misery and torment. I have not confronted this before. Pain so deep it cannot be spoken. I feel my small reserves being sucked away in an instant and the despair tugging at my very soul, like I'm on the edge of a spiritual whirlpool.
All the beauty that I use to fight, nature and wise words and laughter are bottles empty, and I have nothing to pour on this fire.
But then, my mother speaks. Her words are not her own, she quotes His Words. She speaks God's truth to the pain and tears pour. Mom leaves for some water and I make eye contact with suffering and I too speak His Words. They come as mercy. With His Words comes His Heart into mine. A Heart of Love and Compassion. A Heart full of Living Water.
For four hours we sat in the tension of the eclipse. We sat in the mysterious beauty of the eclipse.
Then we went home.
I still am not rested. I still hear the cottage calling in the wind. But I do not fear that I will not be able to face the school year, for God has shown me the most powerful weapons I possess have nothing to do with location or even state of mind. My most powerful weapons are God's Love and God's Word. I must stay close to those two things, and maybe, when I hear the cottage and the mountain and the orchard calling, that is what I really want, God's Love and God's Word.
But His Spring is located everywhere,
even the center of tragedy.
And it never runs dry.