… (ok yeah Sweetie I’ll be right there) – Hey God, I only have a minute but I wanted to say thank You for the thing with Mom and can You please be there with April on Wednesday and take care of her and can You please help Sean with a job soon, either here or the one in Oregon, all right thanks I’ll catch up with You soon, sorry it’s been so long but–
Why has it been so long?
Well there was the thing on Saturday at John and Janna’s, and then yesterday with the motorhome and the finances and we had to figure all that out, and you know how it’s been at work, I mean, come on God, You know what all I’m dealing with…
I do know what you’ve been doing. I’m asking, why aren’t you coming to Me?
I know, yeah, I need to. I’m going to. As soon as I get past this craziness we’ve been stuck in, I’m going to make time – we’re going to reconnect. As soon as I can. Definitely.
Right now it’s more important to pay attention to those other things than Me?
Ok, well, it’s easy for You to say that. You have all the time in the world, all the time You need. Some of us don’t have eternity to do things, remember?
Yes, I mean yes, we will in Heaven and all that – but for now I’ve just got days and weeks to manage all this stuff, all this stuff, and I can’t be everywhere at once like you can…
No, you can’t. You aren’t supposed to be everywhere at once. You don’t need to be. Because I am. Why don’t you let Me handle the being everywhere and taking care of everything? And then you can stop.
Well, not that I can just stop. I have responsibilities, as you know. You have given me things to take care of. I can’t just slack off. Already, I can’t remember when the cars last had an oil change and the laundry is getting –
Do you remember what I said about the lilies?
– and besides if I don’t get the leaves up soon the grass’ll rot under them…Lilies? …No, I was talking about… what lilies?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin.
Ah. Yes. Those lilies.
And if the God who made those lilies meets all their needs, if I tend each blade of grass, will I not take care of you? What do you have to be afraid for?
I…yes. God, of course, all of that. But You know, we both know, there’s still work left on my end. Whatever else You may do for that grass – and I know it’s a lot, I surely can’t make rain fall or seeds grow – but at the end of everything You do, if I don’t get those wet heavy leaves raked up, or get someone else to, then that grass is going to rot. Right? I mean we’ve seen that.
And what? And it turns black and withers and in the spring it’s all patchy and horrible, like three years ago when I didn’t get to it and the leaves sat all winter –
And then, what? What “And then?” The leaves sit and the grass rots.
And what after that?
…It….grew back. It grows back.
Yes. It grows back green, and in June if you walk on it in the morning it will be soft and cool underfoot, and as you pass it will reach up to the sun and have no memory of winter or rot. It will go on and on, as long as I please. And I please for it to go on. Nothing will happen to it that I didn’t expect, or that I can’t mend and turn into beauty.
Yes, but –
Do you see?
…yes…yes. But God. I can’t just let everything go. I have responsibilities. Right?
What are you responsible for?
A wife and daughter, to start with. And that’s plenty right there. It was hard enough already, what with the extra load dumped on me at the office, and unexpected vet bills and repairs, and this new medication doesn’t seem to doing anything either and… and I’m pretty much failing. Everywhere I look I’m failing. Why do You stack all this on us?
What would happen to them if you left them to Me? Your wife and daughter?
What does that even mean? They’re Yours. They’re Yours now, already, but they still need me.
They need you?
Of course they do.
What would happen to them if you weren’t here?
Would they be taken care of? Is there no one else to take care of them?
….You, I guess. I guess You would take care of them somehow.
They are my lilies also. As you are. And nothing will happen to them, or to you, that I didn’t expect, or that I can’t turn into beauty.
…ok. Yeah. But sometimes you don’t answer, God. Sometimes we look to You to take care of us, and nothing. Sometimes we’re left having to do whatever we can, ourselves. You said ask – ask and receive. Sometimes we ask and don’t receive. Am I wrong?
You are talking about your sister.
Do you believe I made a mistake with your sister? Would it be better if she were still with you, than with Me?
….no. …But you could’ve…no.
She too is My lily. You can’t know how much I love her. And nothing has ever happened to her, will ever happen to her, that I didn’t expect, or cannot turn into beauty.
If you could see her now, you would see what beauty I have brought forth. When you see her, you will not want anything to be other than it has been.
…But, when you don’t answer. It wasn’t just with her. So many times, we needed something, I asked for something, and nothing. Nothing back from you. And we just have to go on, I just have to manage–
And you’re all still here, now.
Is it because of anything you did? Did I withhold what was needed, and you are all still here because of something you managed yourself?
Maybe. No. But it could have been easier. You could have answered. Even if it wasn’t a miracle or giving what I was asking, it would have been so much easier to just hear an answer from you…
That answer would not be enough.
It would. It… it would be better than nothing.
An answer is not enough for you. I don’t want it to be enough for you. You need more than an answer. You need Me, and you don’t need anything else but Me. I am the answer.
If you keep looking for mere answers, sometimes I will be silent. I will offer nothing, nothing except Myself. I won’t give you anything that you will settle for, anything that will let you stop looking. Until you stop looking for answers and come looking for Me.
… But, my family. April and our girl. They do still need me. I mean, they don’t need me like they need You, but they should have me, right? I should be there for them, in the way they nee– I mean, in the way I can be. I should give them what I can.
Do you give them all you can? Do they have you in that way?
Why don’t they really have you?
Just, I’m taking care of all this stuff–
Trying to be everywhere at once? Trying to be Me?
You aren’t giving what you can, you’re giving what you can’t. Let Me be God, and you won’t have to. You can stop. You can rest in Me.
But that’s not the only reason, is it?
Why don’t they have you like they should, the people you love? Is it always because you’re taking care of everything?
…I, sometimes I… God. Can’t you…
In between “taking care of things,” what then? When you want to escape from worrying and stress?
…Ok, I do just relax, try to – sometimes. A good bit. With all the busyness, sometimes I do just need to relax for a bit. With a book or a movie or a game or – can’t I enjoy things? You made us for that too, right?
You are still busy even then. You’re so busy relaxing you never get to rest.
You stay up late and go without sleep so you can get in more “relaxing.”
I do. …But I need to fit in what enjoyment I can with what time I’ve got–
Because you don’t have forever? Don’t have forever with endless joy ahead of you?
God. You keep on…all of that’s so far away. I can’t keep running till then. A little unwinding –
No, you can’t keep running. So don’t. Stop chasing everything but Me.
…it is like chasing…
Do you know how tired you are?
Oh, God. I am tired.
Your heart cries for rest, but you won’t find it there. There is no rest apart from Me.
…You might be right. You are right. I need to, I’m going to make some changes.
Probably next week when I get back from that trip–
You only have now. Now is the only time you ever have available in which to rest, or work or love or anything you would do. Tomorrow is not here, next week is out of your reach. You can’t rest in tomorrow or next week. You can’t reach them.
But when I get to tomorrow –
When you get to tomorrow you will still only have another now. I am in tomorrow and next week, because I am every-when just as I am everywhere, and when you get to them you will find Me there with you. But you will still only have a now come to Me, or not. Whatever you do now, is what you are doing.
You have right now given to you, to trust Me and rest in Me. Can you trust Me?
….I think so. Maybe not. I’m so… I need you to help me. I need You to help me do that.
What help do you want from Me?
I want You to help me trust You with my family, and my work. And the money and the house and…I need You to help me trust you with my time, God. And to help me trust You when I don’t get an answer. When You’re silent. Father, I need help. Please help me.
I will help you with all those things.
Thank you…thank you for being You.
There was something else I wanted to talk with you about. Do you have time right now?
…yes. I do have time.
The featured image is by the marvelous Aaron Burden on Unsplash and used with permission.
Matthew is fascinated by the use of story to create experiences that awaken us to powerful, redemptive Truth. Several years ago he took up a quest to own and read every book ever published by C.S. Lewis. He shares his home with his wife and daughter, four cats, and a smallish serpent who has thus far never endorsed the consumption of prohibited produce.
This brought a few surprise tears to my eyes, Matthew. Thank you for this. Truly.
Thank you Kris! There was a surprise tear or two for me in the writing of it.
Matthew — that is a beautiful piece. Sincere. Gentle. Quite amazing.
Yes, thank you for this lovely little dialog. I am smiling rather ruefully in recognition of my own voice here…
Your words are those of a true mystic. Thank you.
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