Loud but Quiet

November 16, 2011 at 12:27 am (Ruminations.)

Charlie Anderson jumped up on the hood of the car and scared both of us a little bit, but we had to laugh inside the darkness of the car. It was a quiet night, following a very busy day, with still so much to do before making the leap from Oceanside to my old life by plane the next morning. The cat was super sketched out because she could hear us laughing through the windshield. She was in hunter mode but also skittish because she couldn’t actually see us through the glass. We were audible, but invisible. She was about to pounce.

There was silence – a pause – as we sat and watched her watching us. The cadence of our conversation had stilled, and in the quiet I was able to consider what had just happened. The emotions had risen intensely from the deep, out of nowhere, and very unexpected. All Erin had asked was, “Are you nervous to go home?” and I felt helpless, like crying. I hadn’t even thought about it. I hadn’t been home in just over a year. The last time I was home was just after the house sold, just after I moved from my home into Elizabeth’s, right after the most excruciating couple months of my life.

It was excruciating, and it was the reason I decided to skip out on Thanksgiving and Christmas with the fam last year. It was just too fresh, too new, and I couldn’t even deal with the thought of the awkwardness… the elephant in the room – or the lack of the elephant, you could say. The absence of the family member in the holiday season. So instead of celebrating the holidays in Texas, I hopped out for a quick trip before hiding away for the winter in Carlsbad, CA, to recharge my batteries. And now, a year later, on the eve of my next visit, the emotions were just under the surface.

I am here, now – “home” – in this house where I have so many memories of life ‘before’, the evidence of my previous life around every corner. Evidence within everyone I talk to, on the streets I drive through, even in the clouds where my gaze rests. I lived my life here with him.

I realized why my emotions were just under the surface last night. I have experienced healing beyond measure in the last year. And many of the things I’ve healed from happened in this place, and with these people. The details aren’t important at the moment, but just the fact that I have realized the depth of my wounded-ness over the last 12 months, and I have attempted to heal from it. I have succeeded in some healing, and uncovered many areas that are still raw and open wounds. The process of healing, and growing, in and of itself has been painful. The grief I have experienced from realizing the wounded-ness and mistakes is difficult to describe.

It is clear that I am seeing through new eyes. The eyes of a believer. The eyes of the forgiven. I was a believer last time I was here, but I didn’t have the depth of understanding of Jesus that I have now, and I think that’s what makes the difference. My eyes are staring out at this world, out at the scenes of the crimes of my previous life, but this time through the lenses of grace and peace.  I am seeing an old world through new eyes, and it’s not easy. And through emotions, through tears, through grace and peace… with a breaking heart I am seeing sadness. Evidence of my previous life, but also evidence of people I love not experiencing the fullness of Christ.

And all I can do is live silently with Christ in me (the hope of glory), and let the spirit speak for itself.

Last night I was trying to explain something to a friend, and he stopped me and said, ‘I get you Wendy. It’s like when you see people speaking with sign language in public. It’s loud but quiet. I get you.’ It was very applicable to what we were discussing, but even more  profound in thinking about how we have to live with Christ in our lives. We have to let the spirit be loud, and in our quiet peace the spirit is the one with the volume. This is when people can truly see Christ in action. This is the real testimony.

Loud but quiet.

“To live a life that is not dominated by the desire to be relevant but is instead safely anchored in the knowledge of God’s first love, we have to be mystics. A mystic is a person whose identity is deeply rooted in God’s first love” (Henri Nouwen, In Jesus Name). Being rooted in God’s first love, disposing of our innate human desire to be relevant, is the only way to live loud but quiet. The only way to let the spirit reign in our lives.

Daily I want to dispose of my need for relevance so that true relevance can wash over the earth.

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