Some Peace for Today

dining-room-103464_640

I think we’re all a bit exhausted from the events of last week. I am tired of thinking about it, writing through it, arguing over it, defending myself, losing myself and dwelling in it– it is turning into a full-time job, really. And although the Bible is a wonderful place to look to in times like these, as you’re packing your bags and heading off into the wilderness to explore the rest of Christianity, I instead rest my head in the story of Maya Angelou. I came across this passage yesterday, and in that moment, I found calmness of heart. In that moment, I felt God drawing near.

 

From the memoir of Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,

 

“One evening after going to bed normally, I awoke to another kind of shaking. In the blunted light through the window shade I saw my mother kneeling by my bed. She brought her face close to my ear.

“Ritie,” she whispered, “Ritie. Come, but be very quiet.” Then she quietly rose and left the room. Dutifully and in a haze of ponderment I followed. Through the half-open kitchen door the light showed Bailey’s pajamaed legs dangling from the covered bathtub. The clock on the dining-room table said 2:30. I had never been up at that hour.

I looked Bailey a question and he returned a sheepish gaze. I knew immediately that there was nothing to fear. Then I ran my mind through the catalogue of important dates. It wasn’t anybody’s birthday or April Fool’s Day or Halloween, but it was something.

Mother closed the kitchen door and told me to sit beside Bailey. She put her hands on her hips and said we had been invited to a party.

Was that enough to wake us up in the middle of the night! Neither of us said anything.

She continued, “I am giving a party and you are my honored and only guests.”

She opened the oven and took out a pan of her crispy brown biscuits and showed us a pot of milk chocolate on the back of the stove. There was nothing for it but to laugh at our beautiful and wild mother. When Bailey and I started laughing, she joined in, except that she kept her finger in front of her mouth to try to quiet us.

We were served formally, and she apologized for having no orchestra to play for us but said she’d sing as a substitute. She sang and did the Time Step and the Snake Hips and the Suzy Q. What child can resist a mother who laughs freely and often, especially if the child’s wit is mature enough to catch the sense of the joke?”

 

Find rest today in the God that shakes you awake in the middle of the night because you’re the honored guest of Her party. Crow along with her, in the songs of freedom and redemption, in the new way she is stomping and the old ways she is still teaching. In the starless night, She is still hard at work. She is listening. She is mourning for the things your mourning for, but also, She is celebrating, and laughing, just because She’s so happy your beloved, treasured self is here, at Her table, at last.

 

Rest in Her and be Blessed today.

  • Elisa marie

    This is beautiful! Thank you

  • Sarah Torna Roberts

    Hi there, I just wanted to leave you a comment to tell you, I’m a straight, 31 year old mother of four and I’m with you. Your posts this week have given me such a way forward, and have made it really clear that I can’t be silent anymore. I wrote a post, and no pressure to read it… because I am sure you have enough going on, but it’s my heart’s response this week, and it’s inspired by you and others who have provided tremendous grace and leadership throughout an intensely painful week. Bless you for blessing me through your story. http://bit.ly/1ha1kVN

    • Incredible post. Absolutely beautiful and honest. Thank you so much for your words and support. Sharing them now.

  • Jacob Wrestled

    Since you mention setting out for the “wilderness” (and others have too), I just want to give a friendly wave.

    Over 10 years ago, I ventured into the “post-evangelical wilderness” (as one blogger nicely put it). Eventually, I settled down and began to put down roots again. It was hard, especially the sense of dislocation, but I can look back now and say that it was …. good.

    Perhaps I’ll see you all if you stop by our little corner of the world. Or perhaps I’ll see you on the road. I still take hikes into the hills.

  • Thank you so much for sharing your voice Ben. Peace to you.

  • kim

    Love this, Ben. Thank you.

  • Alethea Allen

    Beautifully written words that my weary heart needed to hear today. Thank you.

  • Damn. I love this. Thank you, Ben.