Friday, September 1, 2017

Are you looking at me?

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
(Matthew 11:28-30, MSG)

I wore mascara today – I know!! 

There was time (well I carved out some time) and we had decided to take the kids out for the day – our eldest needed some photos of sea creatures for her art project. So, I wore mascara. Maybe I was anxious in anticipation of all that could go wrong. Meltdowns and difficult negotiations in public are so difficult. Maybe it was the thought of the eyes looking at us as we went around, we tend not to blend in all the time. Our reactions and behaviours don’t always match what’s expected (or what I imagine must be expected). Maybe mascara was a bit of a shield in readiness.

This cycle of negative thoughts – all the ‘what ifs’, and the ‘we ought tos’ with the ‘why can’t we justs’ – make me so very weary sometimes. The expectations are a heavy ill-fitting outfit. What is meant to be a rest day, family time, feels like a potential endurance test. So mascara went on, we herded the troops into the car and set off. I was brought up short as I sat next to my little one in the car.

“Mummy, what have you put on your eyes??” (poking and prodding of eyes ensued). “Are you wearing makeup???” (checking my whole face now). “Daddy, Mummy’s wearing makeup for NO REASON! Mummy why are you…” (she hates me wearing it).

And so the conversation continued. She was right of course, there was no reason. I was heading out for a day trip with the people who know me and love me anyway! How freeing to see it that way.

You know me inside and out, you hold me together, you never fail to stand me tall in your presence so I can look you in the eye. (Psalm 41:11,12 MSG)

It resonated with something I’ve been mulling over. As a family we are beginning to have a definite Sabbath rest with God, together each week. We are having to explore what that will look like for us. Perhaps the expectations we bring from watching others, hearing about other’s experience or perhaps from the wider Christian culture will not all be a good fit. We want to rest with God, to come into his presence together. And he is the one who has known us since before we were born, he is waiting eagerly for us to come – just as we are - into his presence and spend that time with him without distraction. Just as we are! Not trying to be someone else, or desperately trying to carry off someone else’s Sunday best outfit if it doesn’t fit, if it doesn’t suit. 

Just as we are. Quirks. Eccentricities. Unique perceptions and responses. Just as we are. To come into God’s presence requires it of us, and being in God’s presence frees us to live it more and more authentically as we see his delight in us.

Father, help me to come to you, just as I am today. Father stand me tall so I can face today just as I am, authentically me, your child.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, kids. I do have my share of quirks too. But I love how God loves us still.