I tell Justin in our little tent in Yosemite, a few nights ago, two days before our anniversary, how I am in this place–this wild majesty stacked up around me, so unreal and perfectly true, and I don’t feel You close to me. And I tell Justin I am okay with that.
I wonder if I am.
I tell Justin I am okay with not feeling You wild and tender next to me. I tell him I know You are here all the same. It feels weird, unfamiliar, to say it aloud.
Perhaps it is my experience of knowing You, of hearing You, of feeling You in my very bones, in the rhythm of my breathing as I move, that makes me feel still whole, when I am far from You. I am your girl found but wandering, a daughter whose feet walk sure but miss the love song that You ever sing.
Oh, God, ever sing.
It has just turned dark, the moon the slightest sliver, with the brightest star to its right. We watch the lightning strike the cliffs miles away, counting ’til your thunder pounds the dusty land. Come, God. Rain. Rain.
So we put up the rain fly and we can’t see your stars anymore when we lie on our backs in the tent, Jackson, Oliver, and Abby in their tent six inches away. So my eyes fix on the nylon of the ceiling of our tent, and I tell Justin how in all these trips this summer–to the rivers of Utah and then to the waves near California and then to the granite cliffs of Yosemite–I walk into these canvases of You and I know You are near, but I feel I can’t find You, all the same.
But I’m okay. I’m okay.
You are here, despite me. Right?
So I lie in the dark and Justin listens and then we close our eyes and stay in the silence for a while and then You come. You come, and I’m not even praying. You come, and I’m not even talking to You. You come, and I’m not even asking You to help me, to gather me up, to take your daughter and whisper love again.
You show me in pictures like You do now when I write–the book we write together these days, the one where you ask me to trust myself. You can describe the pictures I show you. I have to trust myself, the daughter that has You in her. I have to trust myself–that I am so loved by You, that You are here, even when I can’t hear You. I have to trust myself–that You are holding me even when I am floundering and I am searching and I am lost ever deep, where I have forgotten there is light.
Show us You again, like the first time. We need reminding, sometimes, we are not alone. Show us You again, as if we’ve never yet seen your face, or heard your voice, or believed we are worthy, so adored, so held.
Grab our hands again, my God. Grab our hands and show us how You are here, despite what we do, despite how we feel. Grab our hands and walk with us. Show us your rhythm, your heartbeat, your eversong dance with You.
And here in the tent, I can’t help but cry. For You are filling it up, now. You are filling up the tent so there is no other space left, and I don’t deserve You. Oh, God, how You love, how You sing, how You bend low and show us what you see.
We want to see.
The next morning, the light is bright and sparkling on the mountain. I unzip the tent and crawl out while everyone else still snuggles down in their bags, and I see You. You are on my skin and You are in the air and You are singing. Oh, you are singing.
Oh, God, I’ve missed You.
I have told you it is okay to not feel close to You, but really, I hate it so, so much. I don’t want to be far from You. Let me be willing to fight for being with You.
Here we are, Father. Collect us again. Gather us again. Sing to us again. Surprise us with your love. Show us your eversong, the mountain shouting into the heavens your glory, You painting blue and light and wild love song all over this crazy canvas sky.
How are you this day, friends? Join me in praying for eversong, our Father finding us and pulling us in close?