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Monday, June 23, 2014

When What Matters Knuckles Under All That Matters

I checked the tomatoes and zucchini and bell peppers growing beneath open-wide morning sun yawning across sky and stretching down warm ‘til it touched earth toes. But that was before my own bend to backyard grass because yesterday’s mirth was left there all night and rain laughed down ‘til mirth was soaked all in it when morning opened fresh. I bend to retrieve wet mirth and I hear it beginning to play again. And feel the laughter drops on my skin. Right here beneath summer green awning that plays flirtatious back at sky. Rain skitter trips across foliage yawning overhead, and rain-soaked stuffed bunny dangles by sopped ear from one hand and towel weighted heavy wet from other.

I close my eyes and open my ears because I hear better when I’m not looking. And sometimes I see better that way, too. See better with my eyes closed. I am right now. Seeing better like this. And I worship. Now. With soaked bunny and dripping towel and head tilted back to listen upward beneath shelter green and happy tap dance.
Sopping Wet Stuffed Bunny

 My daughters come to mind. Maybe because they laugh and sing in harmony so often I hear it in the song tripping over its own laughter right now. Maybe it’s because I’m nearly leaning against living pillar, tree trunk, upholding the green joy that it grows and is protected beneath.

“That our daughters shall be as pillars, God.” I’ve uttered His own Psalm one-hundred forty-five word back to Him probably one-thousand forty-five times. It’s what I pray. That they may be as pillars standing beneath the protection of God truth, righteousness, peace, faith , and salvation and grow it love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Really, that they may stand beneath the protection of what they uphold.
The cloud above must have just belly laughed because it comes tumbling down riotous for a moment. I’m listening. Just hearing. Holding my breath because I’m letting it sink in; and I’m sinking into it. It’s absorbing me.
Let God wash like rain right over you His truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation. Let it sink in ‘til you’re sopped in it. Let it move like green joy and give it wide-open welcome no matter what. Especially then, when matters are such that what matters must knuckle under all that matters. When what matters must defer to the only One that matters.

Close your eyes and open your ears and watch the relentless stare of matters soaked heavy with weighty burden and even sopped heavy with hard rain pelting from beneath lids, blink. Close your eyes and see the hard stare blink. It will blink, because all things must defer to the One who matters most over everything.

He matters most over everything.

Do you believe it?

Close your eyes and open your ears and be still as pillar. And know the One who matters most and before whom every matter must blink. Be still and know Him. Know that nothing can stare Him down.

Close your eyes and let that sink in and sink into it. Close your eyes and sink into His. Open your ears like that and you will be practicing “Be still and know that I am God.”

Let Him absorb you; and be absorbed by Him.

I want this. Want to do this. Want to know what it means. And in the downpour and the wet drip and the sound of rushed rain breathing fast in exhilaration and tumble, I hear it with my eyes closed. And I know what it means for the first time. “Be still,” means “Be highly aware.”

“Be highly aware that I am God.” He says it like this to me now.

“Be highly aware that I am God.” He says it and it feels like the free tumble of wet joy falling from the large belly of some jovial cloud that chose to be absorbed not in its own darkness or by the darkness surrounding it, but to be absorbed by the rain of the reigning God who washes and pours and who matters most over everything.

The heightened state of awareness doesn’t just come easy. It comes with practice, so that it can come when it has to. I practice it and I’ll make a pink pajama pom-pom spectacle of myself if it comes to that. And this morning it does come to that because this morning if it’s not “Be highly aware and know that I am God,” then I’m left standing not beneath green joy and laughing rain, but beneath hardwood branches that may fall and fell me.

Pink Pajamas
Be highly aware that He is God and be on alert to hear the snap.

Be highly aware that He is God and nothing can sneak up on you, fall and fell or slap and slay you unaware; or capture your eyes ‘til trust wavers and hope shrinks.

And, now, I must close my eyes to see that the hard and harrowing, bleak and inclement can’t stare me down. Simply must shut my eyes to open my ears to hear hope and listen to faith and be highly aware that He is God over everything. That He is God over me just as surely as the pavilion of pecan leaves shelters me even now.

“You waited while I picked two ripe tomatoes and fingered zucchini leaves and touched baby green pepper. You waited while I lifted fingers to nose and breathed in the spicy scent of those leaves. Waited while the morning sun stretched yawn as clouds filled their bellies.” I awe, arms dangling stuffed bunny and towel drip and sop. And I whisper a laugh back at Him. “I know! I look like a little girl in pink cotton pajama bottoms with hearts all over and pink t-shirt and fuzzy white bathrobe with pom-poms dangling from hood.” I laugh at myself and I know He’s laughing with me.

And did you know He is absorbed with you? Oh, be absorbed by Him.

It’s gentle morning hilarity and muffled laughter and whispers beneath pecan awning. I stay like this ‘til the laughter inside sighs out happy and the out-burst above quiets.

It’s time to call Yellow Dog. By the laugh lines around her mouth I know she had her own hilarity. She takes stuffed bunny leg between teeth and together we carry it to patio. But she’s not ready to go in.

I wait. Because didn’t God just wait for me? Yeah, He did. So, yeah, I wait and she laps up more laughter. Just laps it up because it’s pooled on leaves and in tiny valleys where tall grass blades fold “V” shape. And she eats the green. Swallows life and laughter and even the weed growing between patio slabs where there is crack. “Even bitter weeds go down easier when God’s happy tender pools there,” I think to myself as I wait for her.

She looks up. I smile at those wrinkly folds of laughter around her mouth. “Let’s go in, happy dog.”

I drop bunny and towel in laundry basket she follows me to kitchen. Dog biscuit. Dog brush. And “Raw hide!” Yeah, this is Texas born and bred dog. She knows the drill. “Sit!” She sits. Or lays down a tad belligerent. “Or lay down,” I shake my head and walk away. “Come!”

She runs and skids on wood floor. I toss the leather strip and she knows I have bad aim. I throw like a girl, but she catches like one.

“Let’s go pray.” And what else do we need when there’s been laughter lapped up and life swallowed green and raw-hide leather and leather bound Bible for this raw hide of my own. Nothing more. She’ll chew and I’ll chew and she’ll close her eyes and I’m not sure I’ve opened mine ever since I heard the rain skitter. Because I’m still listening.

“You are my daughter.” I hear Him repeat His word to me.

“Absorb me, God. Absorb me.”

“Be highly aware that I am God.” He rains grace upon grace. I’m soaking it up and it's all that matters.

written by: Carolyn Elizabeth Reohrig





























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