Awakening

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:

“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 …”

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.

Comments

  1. says

    Laura, this … yes. I knew I had been running a marathon of writing, speaking, mom-ing, and doing. But I was anticipating the rest would come after Easter. I had already begun to thank God for providing the season of slowing to follow the hectic pace we’d been in for the past three months. But, He, in His marvelous grace and kindness, offered me deep rest not at the very end of the chaos … nope, He offered the space for my soul to breathe, my mind to still, my heart to listen, and my body to sleep right there at mile 24 of the marathon. And now I’m home and the next two weeks are full and bursting with activity and serving and many good things. And I am rested … so rather than merely surviving the last two miles, I shall run them with fresh enthusiasm. He is so generous.

  2. says

    Life hectically lived makes me feel like this. Which is why I have been very intentional about finding moments to rest because I feel like if I don’t do that I will miss the important things. When I rest I am refreshed and I see the world in a whole new way.

  3. Kelly Hausknecht Chripczuk says

    There’s something so very counter-intuitive here, Laura. Something like slipping through the eye of a needle, always letting go, even of death, always opening to the new.

  4. says

    I am so glad He met you there with deep rest, Laura. I am amazed at how He knows so perfectly what we need–long before we know, and He aligns things to meet our needs, according to His good purposes. Thank you for making the trip. It was a treasured gift to meet you!! Lets not make that the last time we meet up.

  5. says

    Oh, no, TeriLynne, your name jogged my memory and I looked back at my notes and I see that YOU are the one I’m quoting on rest above! I will go correct my error right now! Please forgive. So many good words from the weekend are churning around in my head still…

  6. says

    I don’t know if I have mentioned it here or not, so sorry if I have, but this year I am taking an intentional Sabbath (shmita), and I can’t say that I always feel like I am giving anything. I am saying no to all the things I used to say yes to, but it has freed me to say yes to the things I no longer had room for, that allow my soul to rest and breathe. The giving has occurred in ways I devalued or considered unimportant, and it has awakened me to the simple pleasures of life and helped me to value the small more. It has allowed me to come back to me, but it is a process, of course, still working on it. It is a refining process, meaning it has been hard and not all easy. But good.

  7. June says

    Oh, Laura, how wonderful for you! You have needed to received just this.

    Your words pull at every fiber of my being! That quote you shared – so true! Both my husband and I have “learned to live this way.” We both desperately need restoration! We are, slowly, working in that direction. Thank you for sharing in your way, with your words. They are always so inspiring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *