“A curious thing about restoration is that it doesn’t need doing. Strictly speaking, life carries on without it. Restoration is an invasion of sorts. It’s fixing something that’s broken, but broken so long it’s almost mended. This man, this woman—they’ve already adapted to their misfortunes, made all the necessary adjustments. Restoration meddles with what they’ve learned to handle, removes what they’ve learned to live with, bestows what they’ve learned to live without …These people are doing fine just the way they are. They’ve learned to live this way. They’ve almost accepted it. They’ve taught themselves tricks to bypass it, to contain it. To utilize it, even. They’ve built lives around not being whole …”
This morning I read the story of Jairus’s daughter—how Jesus restores her life—and these words take the breath right out of me:
“He took her by the hand and said, ‘My child, get up!‘”
He told the mourners not to fear, that she was only sleeping. When I read these words I am filled by the ways he keeps awakening my sleeping heart, opening my sightless eyes. This is more than compassion. This is resurrection. How many times has he taken me by the hand and said, “My child, get up!”?
This weekend at the Refine Retreat I told Christine, “I didn’t realize how tired I was until I arrived here. And suddenly, it’s like a deep breath. I can rest.”
It reminds me of something I read recently in Mark Buchanan’s book The Rest of God:
When I don’t slow myself to rest, this is what I am doing—building my life around not being whole. I walk around, dead—surrounded by mourners, flutes playing, wailers lamenting. And it feels normal. It feels ok. How long have I carried this tired inside of me?
But Jesus touches my hand. “She is only sleeping,” he says.
“What if the real blessing when we rest is not what we receive but what we give?” Teri Lynne asked us this weekend. And it’s true. I have not been able to give freely, to love with my heart wide open. Things have been too hard, I’ve been moving too fast for Jesus to take my hand and rouse my spirit.
Resurrection.That is what I received this weekend. When I returned to my little valley home, all the fruit trees were in full bloom. I drove through my familiar with new eyes.
Spring had come while I was sleeping. And waking up had never been so sweet.