Friday, December 14, 2007

“Dial a trade” gives me the giggles, for some odd reason. I can’t quite place my finger on it, but when Mom called in today about Schnitzel, and produced a home for him, something inside me tickled until I laughed. Somehow it had the same effect on Lauryn, when she swiped the whole family into the Caf at lunch. Our last campus escapade for the year, and we were joined by a few choice others before they made their respective ways home.

We wound up spending most of the day in town, shopping. I managed to make it into the Choices clinic while Sherry and Christy were actually both there. Two comfy armchairs faced each other across a dimly lit counseling room where I met with Sherry and discussed possibilities for volunteering. Being interrogated, probed to be sure I was a believer, a virgin and had a passion for working with girls in crisis pregnancies or kids in schools could have easily been labeled awkward. “Pray about it, fill out the paperwork and call us,” she said. Why is it that, when I ask the Lord to find me a spot to serve Him, I resist the one He has opened up? It nags me as simply too perfect. Perfect fits scare me.

Amber and her mom arrived at the same time we did, and I whisked on the fastest supper in the history of Scottsburrow. Having those two at our table is more enjoyable every time. Soon we were joined by Nick and Josh and sang Christmas carols and read the Christmas story. Zach, Oly and Lauryn showed up in time for our classic video of a dramatic portrayal of a Magi’s servant’s experience with the Christ Child. As we sat, discussing different issues afterwards, Papa suggested that we give up on our pondering and fall to our knees.

As friends were shuffling out the door to depart, Amber suddenly came running back, crying that her Mom had fallen. We all rushed out the door to help Judy up and see if she was hurt. As Zach had helped her down the stairs to the vehicle, she had slipped in the wet grass and fallen. “I’m okay,” she croaked, fighting her bronchitis, “Just tell her to stop crying.” Amber calmed down quickly, as soon as she heard her mother was fine. Those two are exemplary in their devotion to each other.

My emotions have steadied into a level that nearly frightens me. It seems unnatural to feel so regulated—as if I must be living in denial of something, teetering on the edge of an emotional abyss. I pray and pray for emotional control, and then when I have my emotions under control I feel as if I’m out of control simply because I’m feeling nothing dramatic or desperate. Silliness, I know, but it does concern me that when I become steady, my passion seems to fizzle and die. I want to live passionately, devotedly, enthusiastically, just not on a roller-coaster.

I’ve entered a wilderness with the Word again—it seems hot and dry and heavy to me, my mind dull and uncomprehending. I read the same passages over and over again, trying to learn, to take in, to experience, to become excited about God’s work, but the deadly stillness in my soul only echoes back my confusion. In this distance, who has moved? Not the Lord. Never the Lord. If I draw near to Him, He will draw near to me. If it is the devil holding us apart, I have only to resist him, firm in my faith, and he will flee from me.

Lord, I seek to know Thee still

To know Thy heart, to know Thy will,

I seek to know Thy precious word

May this desperate prayer be heard.

Cloudiness distorts Thy water,

Distance chills Thy frightened daughter,

I draw near because I must!

Teach this fragile child to trust.

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