Longing for home

The silver of moonlight's dawn shivers over the last stubble of hay in the field. Headlights glow their yellow incandescent as they snake along sleepy down the country road. I hear the rattle of the oak leaves percussive against the bare arms of their mother's trees, feel the vibration in the frozen ground as the wind rushes like wave of thunder through the pine stand.

I am alone on the hill in the darkness, watching stars appear like pinpricks in the night sky. It is a day of brokenness, the emptiness of my hollowed out heart palpable in the church surrounded by strangers and the echo of a pastor's tears unfamiliar in my ears. It grows pregnant in my chest as I drive aimless through the countryside, alone with Jesus and my tears. Music flows in fragments through the ache, sister carries her loneliness in a hidden hollow in her chest, and sometimes all she wants is an end to the long, long night...her bow is on the strings, and the tune resonates in the open space, to show us how emptiness sings.*

I plead with Jesus, feel Him in this space with me, beg Him to please take me home. End the long long night. Bring me peace. Tears flow like raindrops down windows, beat on the soul like ground too parched to soak up this sorrow. Sometimes in the middle of a party I just want to go


Yesterday the heartache of friendships lost last year swirled up in the drain like so many tidbits of uneaten food in the sink, ten years gone in the blink of an eye with not a shadow of the relationships left to warm cold hearts. I hear it again, those friends fall around me like pearls from an open string, the necklace of life broken, torn and losing it's beauty in one wild rush out of the hollow of my heart. My scream is the dustpan scraping the floor, my wail the swish of broom and the quick descent of all that wild love into the trashbin.

The cat sits sentinel against my leg and I am a field stone on the hill. The silver of the moonlight dances at my feet. I am so still and quiet a deer glides like a ghost out of the treeline, tawny sleek in moonshine, almost close enough to touch. But I am riveted in the dark shadows, and she is quickly gone. The dog senses the sorrow friable in the winter night air and her moan gives voice to the pain as I beg again.

Just take me home.

Take me home.

A tractor roars to life rusty on the valley's edge. I am sliding like the wheels in the muck. I watch it crawl down the arched back of the far hill, the next farm over alive with corn dryers and cows lowing and fertility. I sit on our dry ground, just a witness to this busyness.

The headlights slide golden down the road's curves and the children echo laughter from the porch steps. Husband slides warm next to me, but there are no words for this pain and the explanation is just a whisper.

I want to go home.

I can't live like this, a stranger in my own skin. I live anyway, I make my mind busy at work, I surround the silent echo in my heart with the crash and slip of a hockey game, my dad's voice a familiar rumble next to me on a day of strangeness.

And all day, I beg. And all day, Jesus says no.

Nothing swallows me in the black night and I reemerge lost and with no answer. The family whirls with laughter and tears and piano notes and wolf-pup game howls. I am drowning in a sea of life when all I want is heaven.

I choose life, over and over again, but it is a compulsion, a duty, something I give like an unbirthed baby cold in the grave, a gift of a frozen heart to a Savior who sweats blood and begs too, not to drink this cup. I choose life where the guardrail ends at the river's edge, I choose life with a credit card burning a hole in my pocket and guns and ammo for sale just down the street. I choose life when I stand stock still at the edge of the treestand twenty feet in the air above the sweet death hidden in the bracken. I choose life when I could just lie down on this cold hill and never wake up, turn into a field stone and sink into winter's earth, cover myself with the first blanket of snow.

For He drank anyway, the thunderous wrath, the stones split in two, the world flooded with darkness as He breathes last on the Cross. And so I follow. Bitter draught of life.

Oh, to be eighty instead of thirty-two.

Oh, to be close to the release, the relief, the Love. 

*lyrics from Christa Wells' How Emptiness Sings