Life is in the little things

I receive an e-mail from a friend that brings me to tears. I took care of her little girl, sweet Maddie, when she was undergoing both of her 2 bone marrow transplants in an effort to control her life-threatening disease. When her single mother adopted her from China at 14 months, she was a healthy toddler. In a few months, things started to go awry. I met them several years later, and Pat, Maddie's mother, became one of my own everyday heroes.

I went outside an hour or two later after wrestling with data organization, feeling frustrated and depressed. "Depressed", for me, means a sudden wave of incredible sadness and hopelessness about my life and the impact I am having on others. Just like I didn't want my oldest to intimately know the word "cancer" at age 4, I don't want any of them to know "depression" now. They say it all the time. "Are you depressed, Mama?", sweetly asked by my 3 year old, wondering if that's why I need him to give me a little extra physical space. Yes, Mama is depressed. No, Mama does not want to be anymore.

Professional sand castle construction on Folly Beach. This man commits hours to something that will be washed away by morning.
I sit down in the swing and listen to the gentle rainfall, God caring for us with His water from above. God. My brain squeezes tight onto the word, as if I could capture something of Him by holding onto His name. I take a deep breath, and ask Him to forgive my doubts if they are sin. I turn around, looking out over the wildflower and wild wheat grass of the field in front of the house. I hear a birdsong I recognize and scan the scene to see where the "bluebird of happiness" is warbling his song. I see him out on the telephone wire, the lone bird in the gentle rain, all others in the cover of trees.

Somehow, the lonely bluebird of happiness sets my faith straight with a quick cracking of the granite heart, like a chiropractor adjusting your neck. 

How many small things does God use in His word to confound the wise? The discards of society, the crippled, the weak, the weary; the mustard seed, the single talent of silver, the empty oil jars, the common clay pots, water, bread, wine. I exhale. Tears flow. The sadness lingers. The tears will keep coming. I will still be sitting, bowed low to the throne, seeking mercy and love to fill this black hole of weariness burrowed deep inside my chest. The difference is, today I feel connected, just a little, a smidge more than yesterday. Which is all that it takes.

You saw the very day we'd fall away from you
And how desperately we need to be redeemed

Lord Jesus come lead us
We're desperate for your touch

Oh Great and Mighty One, with one desire we come
That you would reign, that you would reign in us
We're offering up our lives, a living sacrifice
That you would reign, that you would reign in us

Spirit of the Living God fall fresh again
Come search our hearts and purify our lives
We need your perfect love
We need your discipline
We're lost unless you guide us with your light

Lord Jesus come lead us
We're desperate for your touch

We cry out
For your love to refine us cry out
For your love to define us cry out
For your mercy to keep us blameless until you return

So reign, please reign in us
Come purify our hearts we need your touch
Come cleanse us like a flood and send us out
So the world may know you reign, you reign in us
~Reign in Us, Starfield~