She slid softly into an empty seat, barely raising her head or risking a glance around her. Trying to look invisible while wanting to be noticed.
Eyes gradually roamed surroundings clinical yet suggestive of homely warmth.Here a comfortable chair, there a magazine, walls decorated with gentle art work to please the senses, floor carpeted.
Yet the scurrying, uniformed figures, cold steel trolleys, slabs of notes, trays holding equipment for testing ~ all betrayed the fact that this was actually a hospital waiting area.
We were captive to clock and schedules, time and tide of their convenience, malleable only to moulds of their design, clients of their care, patients feeling anything but patient.
Brief nods and smiles were exchanged before confession followed. First time? Me too. Waited how long? Oh dear!
What to do. Would there be time to drink a sip or two of water, open the Kindle and lose oneself in a book, check our phones (ignoring the ‘switch off please’ signs), rummage in bags, sigh, dream, chat, or….simply yield to the moment.
So we sat as statues. Brief shuffling, turning of heads to scan notices, gaze at our feet, read notices for the umpteenth time, whispered conversation, eyes glued to every individual who might be here to summon us into the depths.
How does one yield gracefully when senses are heightened to alert and alarm? How do we savour the moment when anxiety is high, pain presses in hard and minds are switched to numbness?
I found myself focusing on a painting. Golden yellow rays spilling as fountain reminding me of the sunshine of God’s love and how His grace spills and fills every corner of our lives.
My desire is to bask in its warmth. Seek energy and strength for what might lay ahead.
As I visualised those rays washing over me, peace came. I could hold conversation. Act normal. And maybe that’s all God asks of us. To let Him in to everything and realise He’s already there.
Abiding. Clinging to The Vine. Accepting where we are on the way to where we’re going.
Release and find rest. Sink trustful. Know we are safe. Kept. Held. Anchored.
I wondered how pliable I was. This woman who wakes stiff, limbs resistant to movement.
Would my soul yield soft as clay to The Master Potter’s touch on my life ~ be it unpalatable or not?
How willing am I to receive, accept and surrender to the thought that all things are allowed by Him ~ even This?
In the bowing down we look up to God’s higher authority, His all knowing, all seeing, all encompassing ways.
And it is a willing, meaningful yielding. Acknowledgement of His sovereignty.
My eyes shift again to view images of coffee cups and beach huts. Here too we see goodness and grace. Lift our cup of sorrow and joy and swallow down. Know it is as endless as the sea. This balance of beauty in ashes. Shelter from storms.
Voices sounding nearby call me out of my reverie. My name. My turn. My assessment and tests begin.
Groping for my stuff, struggling to prepare and follow, I smile and wish my fellow newbie well.
Here I surrender dignity and privacy. Ready myself to be investigated and questioned.
A faint shadow of the Son of Man before the cross stirs in my mind. I see Jesus stripped of all dignity. Giving out. A handing over. Great surrender. Yielding to the Father’s will.
Such love. Such grace. Such mercy.
His pain had a glorious purpose. Maybe yours and mine has too, though we can fail to see it.
A life given up so freely by the Lord of Life, yet I so often cling to my life, time, needs, plans, schedules ~ wary of change and interruption.
Boxed in by my boundaries when a life of freedom beckons if…I hang loose to the things of this world, this life, and hold fast to the eternal and unchanging promises of God.
A chair wheels me onwards down long corridors. Weary beyond words, I have X-rays, blood tests and help to dress. Yield to those stronger than I. Muse at how I was once the one offering assistance. A nurse clocking up miles a day as I strode purposefully down corridors, tending, supporting, lifting body and spirit by my ministrations.
Now, I sit passive as my husband and others join forces to prepare me for what needs doing. Made to lie low. With hope of being renewed, restored, reshaped as clay into a vessel fit for purpose again, even as God uses me for different things now…praying, writing, listening, being there.
We make it home and I need sustenance. Bacon sandwich and a cup of tea feel like a taste of heaven. And I rest. Allow peace and grace to fill me anew. Sit quiet for a while away from bright lights and activity.
Maybe the pain will never end in this lifetime. Maybe incapacity will increase. I don’t know. The One who gives grace upon grace to cope knows that.
What I do know is His great capacity in all my incapacities.How I wish I had another tale to tell and story to share sometimes than the one I am living.
Yet through it all I can bear witness to the tremendous sustaining power of God. Whatever I have given over to Him has been more then repaid, multiplied grace on grace at His hands.
And as I try to follow this path of daily (if not hourly) surrender, my hope is for His Story to be revealed through my own.
I want to yield to Holy Spirit’s work in me. I want to see purpose in pain, liberty in a limited life. Being hard, brittle, bitter and resentful is a path I refuse to take. It all comes down to whom or what we yield to, issues of acceptance, dependence, love and trust.
I want to be able to let go (if need be) of those things I value higher than I should ~ my will, my ways, reputation, comfort, capacity and dreams.
Because in the releasing of all I have considered better, I know my cup will be filled to overflowing with God’s best as my will becomes conformed more closely with His.
Let me be soft, workable clay to be fashioned as He chooses. Let me be pliable and flexible. Let me be willing to yield ~ always. Amen.
Linking here with Jennifer
at #TellHisStory where we encourage one another by sharing the story God is writing through our lives.
You are very welcome and warmly invited to join in.