I sat on my front porch, my head in my hands, still in my sweaty workout clothes, ready to wrestle with God. The tears dripped down my face; they are my prayers when the words are stuck and scrambled.
Tears flow faster than well-formed sentences and I think God understands them just as much, if not better.
Today, like many days, I wanted answers. Specific and spelled out. Or at least a single word. Something, anything God to quell these unstoppable questions. I would have even settled for a few lines of encouragement.
Instead, I got nothing but silence and more questions.
After twenty minutes of stop-start crying, I went back inside with a sniffly nose and red eyes.
The evidence I have met with God isn’t always a radiant countenance like Moses, but a shiny, wet and snotty face.
As I tended to my wild ones, getting cereal, toasting a frozen waffle, and pouring milk, I didn’t have time loathe God’s silence on some significant matters. Overtaken by the routines of our morning homeschool lessons and my children’s endless chatter, I didn’t get to dwell in my frustrations like I wanted.
I had to keep going. One foot in front of the other. The movement felt like music to my unsettled soul.
My children needed me to be present with them, to teach, to nurture, to nourish, to love, to laugh at their jokes, and stand in awe of their artwork.
I am thankful for motherhood for many reasons, but perhaps at the top of the list is its ability to get me out of my self, to look beyond the walls of my own heart and lift my eyes from my feet to future generations.
Whether or not you have children, your presence is needed in this world. You are someone’s answer to prayer. Your smile brightens up the room. Your hands serve up kindness generously. Your words bring life where death lurks.
We are tempted to get lost in our questions, aren’t we? We demand answers before we even take action.
If we’re not careful, we’ll get stuck spinning around and around waiting for God to deliver “the word” or to lay out our exact steps like a professional architect.
Whoever said it was easy to surrender to the mystery of this life with God. It is not. The daily not-knowing never gets easy for me. I will always prefer God to give me well-timed answers and lit up paths.
If you ask me, tears might be a more valuable prayer language than tongues in these times.
To end a prayer with a question mark, feeling like I never heard Him speak is scary. The disappointment wants to bring distance.
Rising up after an amen into the dark with an, “I don’t understand,” or “I’m confused,” or “This stinks,” takes real guts.
It requires true courage to stand up, dry our eyes, engage with life, and come alive to our adventure.
But in doing so, I wonder if we receive our answer, albeit not in the form we had hoped for.
Could the steady slow steps you take each day be the remedy for your unanswered prayers and the lingering questions.
Get up. Keep going. You have what it takes. I am with you…catching every tear. Let’s go forward together.
This song is one of my favorites. May the words become an anthem when the walking gets hard.