There is an inexplicable, intermittent squeezing within me, almost as if I’m being wrung dry; it occurs at a point beyond my sternum but seemingly right beneath the surface of my chest. It’s a heart with a lost beat, a soul with no whisper, a mind lost in a vacuum of silence. Of course, I don’t surprise myself when I describe my feelings as if they were magnified to a stage beyond the actuality of circumstances; nothing inspires a writer as much as talking about himself, after all.
Sometimes my thoughts drift to times past, and the bite of it all digests rather poorly, and so, I dig. I humbly inter my heart’s murmurs and sighs in a grave of silence, but I dutifully pay my respects every so often. How we treat the dearly deceased – we are caught between remembering them and allowing them to be at peace where they are. Never quite sure of how to approach the topic, perhaps we skirt around the topic until we are struck by nostalgia, cheeks smarting from tears and from shame at forgetting. So we continue to tread the tightrope of both stifling and indulging in the poignant moments of our lives, the vignettes that provide the yawning spectrum of emotion within the roll of super 8mm we’re forced to sit and watch.
There’s a calling of sorts to keep a stiff upper lip when these moments occur; after all, what does it matter in the grand scheme of things? There are surely many more experiences to be had, and this next travail is but a trifle in light of the coming sorrows of this life. Yet why should we compare woes to tragedies? Is it not enough to take each circumstance at face value, to give it its due share of mourning, and hope to grow and move past it? Must we now trivialize our shared experiences in expectation of greater miseries to come?
Whether or not this is the reality of the world we’ve constructed, I’ll have no part in it. I know what brings me joy. Better yet, I know who brings me joy. In Christ, I’ve found my entire portion and my entire love…so why is it that I feel, from time to time, a longing after something else? There is a yearning in my heart for other things on random occasions, and echoes of uncanny voices calling out for the desired unknown. And yet, the Lord is gracious enough to remind me of my flesh’s weakness in these moments, and He provides me with songs of worship through which I am able to turn my eyes once again to all that I am secure in. It is exhausting, but though the flesh is weak, the spirit is willing – praise the Lord! As I pray to extract myself from such wanderings, may the Lord continue to be gracious in enabling me to pursue His will. And so, even as I shout in the well of my soul for the Lord to remove the veil from me, I do well to just as passionately be silent before Him and soak in the sweetness of His presence. The burden has been lifted.