November 11: The Tightrope

Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.                                                                                                                  Psalm 34:5

What a perfect verse for today, as I think on that day at the gym. My husband is now referring to my experience as my “warming.” Can you tell he’s become a Methodist?  I prefer to think of it as a love-bolt. KA-POW. Warming is not a strong enough term.

The day after it happened, I went for a walk with Beth O. After sharing stories about our weekends (mine won easily for “most awful”), she asked if she could tell me about an experience she had the day before. I had not yet told her about my personal “Pentecost.”

Beth has her own story to tell and so I won’t share every detail here, but in sum: there was corroboration. She had a strong spiritual experience of Mark the day before, and then he “left”…and she knew it was to go be with me…at roughly the same time as my love-bolt.  I was completely floored. (I will also tell you that images of Keanu Reeves, as Neo in “The Matrix,” diving into Agent Smith, popped into my head.)

I thought about all of this until my head hurt. I thought about everything I have experienced lately, including my dream and how Mark hadn’t turned around. Another friend reported a dream where she saw Mark at a party but he’d didn’t seem ready to see her. How does all of that line up with what I think I know of heaven? Isn’t he in perfect peace? Or is there possibly, like the counselor had suggested, an adjustment period?

A few days later, at our next family counseling appointment, I told Sarah the story and how I was struggling with it. She, with tears streaming, a pile of wet tissues on the couch beside her, said (in effect) “what is WRONG with you?!?  You asked for a miracle and you got one!” I had trouble explaining what was bothering me, and was left feeling I hadn’t done well.

But Beth P. said it best the next Sunday: “You only want what’s of God…you only want consolation that’s God.”  And Pastor Katie added, “Our God is a God of love, always offering us love and comfort, strength and reassurance…and I think your son sometimes comes to visit you in the gift and graces of God’s spirit.  But he is at peace.”

I mulled all of this. I remembered Sarah had also said this: “I think Mark is still the same person he’s always been. He wants to be sure we are okay as much as we want to be sure he’s okay.” That makes sense to me. Can he worry about us and still be at peace though? Or does he simply trust, in ways I struggle to do, in God’s power and ability to deliver that peace, straight to my heart like a bolt of love?

These are hard, hard things to grasp, God. Help me to understand.

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