I slept in my car last night.
I know where I am….how I got here, but I can’t exactly tell you the name of this street where my car is parked… Maybe that’s the extent of my lostness: being unable to name this place.
There’s peace in this neighborhood and a peace in my heart. I came to this place, a little shocked, a little discombobulated, but with a strange meandering purpose. I knew I wasn’t going to run to anyone. I pulled in and out of the parking lot of the Proximity of the O’Henry. I guess still programmed to look towards reputation as a good place to alleviate any weariness….but they were too well guarded for the type of rest I had in mind.
I’m somewhere between a park, a brook, and a neighborhood……a place that looks & feels almost exactly like the home I lost last year. I was so shocked to find that following God could leave me locked out of places I thought were mine & safe to go, to stay, to be. Places I took so well for granted, I found things when it was time to evacuate I hardly knew were ever there…. Some were so insignificant I could scarcely believe I’d kept them. Others things though, I surely could have, should have paid them much more mind. Our space is a beautiful teacher when we give her our attention.
I watch a dishevelled man directing direct a pristinely organized red shopping cart grow in my rear view mirror. White trash bags full of aluminum cans are tied off both sides of the cart, bulging from his success. He doesn’t see me as he walks past. I dare not look at him. He curbs his cart right in front of me. If I opened my door or cranked my car, I’m sure I’d startle him. He bends his body & reaching hands only to find that he agrees with this past owner: this old thing, this old lawn chair laid out is unsalvageable, and he pushes on…
I’m not fearful, not angry, not bitter, or confused. Even the shock has worn off. I know exactly what I’m not… I just can’t call the name of what I am. That reminds me of a time when I ached to be a good writer so badly, I plagiarized a line from my sixth grade english teacher, Mrs Haynes, that went something like that. She’d written a story about her own childhood…something about being a displaced ballerina and “When I’d first felt despair but could not call it’s name.”
Not so much the story, but certainly that line to me then, was good enough to steal. And even though I took it, used it, and was even perhaps celebrated for it, I never enjoyed it. Galatians 6:7 is about God not being mocked…about reaping what we sow. The harvest of the things we steal from others has already been stolen from us.
Anyway, I don’t so much care anymore about the pretty words, pretty places, and any prettiness that has no depth. “A woman without discretion is like a jewel of gold in a swines snout.” That’s Proverbs 11:22… I have to keep praying for discernment and trusting in God’s faithfulness, no matter how it looks. No matter how strange and unnamable things look…nothing is ever loss when we are in pursuit of God.
Matthew 6:25 reads: Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment. But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33
It’s okay that I don’t know exactly where I am, or what tomorrow, or even the rest of today will look like. He knows. He cares. And He orchestrates. That’s His Promise to me…to all of us & it’s were we must learn to lay our pretty heads.