On our front porch, I have hanging pots of petunias. I’ve always loved petunias. Every time we walk past them, a bird flutters out by our heads, all bothered, so my oldest son said, “Mama, pull that down. I bet there’s a nest in there.” So I did, and there was one. We didn’t touch the eggs, only crouched silently over and held our breaths. I took a picture, and then he and I left for the Block Street Party, just the two of us.
One-on-one time together is rare in a house with four children. We’ve found that we all become much better people when we spend time alone together. He and I laughed about things that only the two of us would understand, because we’re a special brand of goofy. I have something special with each of my boys. I bought him a hippie drink and a non-hippie brownie, and we sat still on some old steps and listened to a fiddle play. Over and over again, he would say, “Thank you , Mama, for that drink. It was so good.” He’s never been afraid to put his arms around me.
We walked up and down block street twice. One man was wearing an entire outfit made of crochet. He made the whole street laugh. Bands were jamming. It smelled like sweets and barbecue. Little girls were spinning with their arms outstretched, dancing like they thought everybody was dancing. I looked at them and wished I could join them. I wished to have a butterfly painted on my face.
I had spent that morning working so hard. I skipped a time of worship to get some things done, and by the time I came home to my husband after the party, I was exhausted. Isaac’s countenance was brighter. We put all four boys to bed.
Seth put his arms around me, and my to-do list was so long, and I was so spent that I shirked him away. I do this a lot, but this time I felt the truth of it. I was made for intimacy, to treat the ones I love, to wrap my arms around.
If I won’t make room for rest and intimacy, then what will fuel all this work I do? What will my heart be made of then? What’s the purpose of it all? I was made to be stopped in my tracks, to be surprised by the blue speckled eggs.
But I have been the dictator of my own intimacy. I go to God when I feel like I owe Him. I have wanted revolution in my life, to be satisfied by God, but there’s something about giving into Him that I haven’t yet figured out. It’s strange how works-based righteousness sneaks into even intimate places.
Seth says, “Let me love you on my terms, too,” and it stings. This is how it is with God, isn’t it? I am a self-protector, afraid I will give so much that I disappear.
I don’t believe we can fuel our own desire. Eventually we’ll run out of steam, and I’m feeling it. I’m remembering that rest and worship directly affects how I love those around me. I am realizing that revolution doesn’t have to be a constant battle, a constant pouring out. Revolution is in the receiving. Revolution is intimacy for intimacy’s sake.
Give in to God, and let Him love you on his terms. Let those who love you stop you in your tracks. Stop and look hard and long at the flowers blooming all around you. Receive before you give. Smell the roses before they lose petals. You’ll find that even in the tiniest pauses,