Lavender skies above me, I drove straight to the wilds, a visit to my birthright cathedral, in the fading of the day. I don’t process well in crowds or conversations. I need silence, room to think, an open road. So I drove down our back roads and into the mountains, out and west, and the sky turned indigo while I blasted music and cried and wrestled my life into a Jesus-shape all over again.
I dug a new grave for my sarcasm and wicked anger, my self-defense and my own weak reputation, my “rights” and my pride, my comebacks and retaliations, then my need to be liked and understood and appreciated and approved. I prayed through every wound, every slight, every cruelty, every name-calling, every judgement, every hurt, and I released over and over again, "They know not what they do."
And I chose to make peace all over again. I chose ferocious gentleness. I chose kindness. I chose love. Under the light, I stood on the side of the road with my head back, alone in the wilderness, and I stretched out my arms and prayed for daily courage and senseless love. I asked for grace to forgive. I wept into the rocks at my relief at the gospel and the grace and mercy and goodness of my Jesus.
Where else could I go, Lord? You have the words of eternal life.
A flock of birds exploded out of a nearby tree. I watched them dark against the purple sky as they scattered and soared out. The pine trees stood scraggly and imperfect. Worn out and bare wind-breakers, these evergreens made more beautiful by their rugged stubborn imperfections, bare spots and knots, determined. I need the sight of their upright, determined and imperfect worship. I need the cold air at my throat, and I need wisdom. Disrupting and truth-telling, grace-lavishing and loving is not for the faint of heart, and I am faint in my heart often. Jesus, be near. Teach me to look and live in these places and in this calling.
I stood there, and the Spirit breathed and comforted me. I felt like the ravens might suddenly visit me with a bit of bread. It was sacred by the side of the road. It might be a small thing to so many others, but for me, it was a turning point. I don’t really know why, but I left something by the side of the road this weekend, something that needed to be left behind. I’m traveling a bit more lightly, a bit of a limp to my gait, absolutely wounded and healed all over again in a new place.
Nourished, lightened, relieved, and yet still tender in my bruising, I drove home in the darkness. I will not be silenced. The only song I’m ever singing, here, there, everywhere, is the freedom song of the beloved redeemed. I’m part of a chorus and our voices are rising: You are loved and you are free in Christ.
Sarah Bessey is a wife, mama of three tinies, a writer, popular blogger, and a happy-clappy Jesus lover. She lives in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Her first book, Jesus Feminist (Howard Books) is in bookstores. You can read more of her work at SarahBessey.com.