Other than a few birthday posts, I have not written anything in some time. There have been a few moments where I had the nudge of a thought, but it slipped away before I caught it in words. I know that part of this owes simply to a very busy life right now with sports and homeschool and six people living in a house together.
There are fewer moments to think. They have to be sought after, and I have not had the energy to seek them.
Life has been stressful. The husband just quit a job of eleven years and began a new employment today There was stress in making the decision, and now we face the exciting stress of selling our home and finding a new place to live.
Stress is tiring.
It sneaks up on us a bit, and we don’t realize the impact. For me, today, sipping a very good latte while staring out the window at trees filled with color I realize I have not read anything of real worth in quite awhile. I’ve been numb. Stress has snuck in and zapped my mental energy.
The stress of this election. No matter which side you are on, no matter if you are in despair or great hope – this election has been wearing on our mental and emotional strength.
So, I turned to a faithful friend. Chesterton. I randomly opened On Lying In Bed and Other Essays and read ‘The Little Birds Who Won’t Sing’. Just like that my mind was sparked and thoughts began flowing again….life was spoken and the stress and wear pushed back. Chesterton wrote about the lack of songs and chants in modern enterprise, compared to the songs of sailors and others. He concluded the short essay with this:
And at the end of my reflections I had really got no further than the sub-conscious feeling of my friend the bank-clerk – that there is something spiritually suffocating about our life; not about our laws merely, but about our life. Bank-clerks are without songs not because they are poor, but because they are sad. Sailors are much poorer. As I passed homewards I passed a little tin building of some religious sort, which was shaken with shouting as a trumpet is torn with its own tongue. They were singing anyhow; and I had for an instant a fancy I had often before: that with us the super-human is the only place where you can find the human. Human nature is hunted, and has fled into sanctuary.
That last line settled in my mind. Human nature is hunted, and has fled into sanctuary.
We need, so deeply, to protect that delicate and yet ferociously tenacious human nature, when it flees to sanctuary near us.
I was driving yesterday on a back country road and as a truck came toward me, the driver waved. I was so impacted by that simple gesture. Of course it helped that I was listening to Randall Goodgame and friends singing “Love One Another”. In that moment, I was overwhelmed by this sense that we are in this together. That simple greeting made me feel not alone in that moment.
I know, that sounds terribly dramatic. But I think many of us are feeling that swell of emotion just below the surface. A harsh word can spark a meltdown and rant. A simple wave and greeting can remind us to love one another. We are all bearing stress. We are all weary in certain areas.
We all find it difficult to sing sometimes. Not just in our occupations, but in our spiritual state.
There is relief, though. There is grace. There are songs…sometimes it takes a latte and fall colors to release them.
Sometimes we have to set aside what is weighing on us, seek sanctuary, and be reminded we are created in the image of a great Creator. We have to remember to sing.
I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.
O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol; you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.
Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever! – Psalm 30:1-5, 11-12
Tomorrow will be a stressful day. Regardless of who you are hoping will win. Wave to someone. Greet someone with kindness.
Love one another.
Raise up your heads, look and find the wonder around you, and remember that our salvation is not in politics. Make sanctuary for the humanity around you as you go vote, or interact with those you encounter in your day.
And read something that sparks life to your mind and your spirit.
And love one another.