As Jesus got out of the boat, a madman from the cemetery came up to him. He lived there among the tombs and graves. No one could restrain him—he couldn't be chained, couldn't be tied down. He had been tied up many times with chains and ropes, but he broke the chains, snapped the ropes. No one was strong enough to tame him. Night and day he roamed through the graves and the hills, screaming out and slashing himself with sharp stones. MARK 5:2-5
Ah...my heart is melancholy today. I'm remembering, ya know those days when everything is just sailing along & all of a sudden there's a familiar scent or sound? When the moment you're in becomes silent & the past demands your attention? My memory is violating my heart, my mind is competing with my soul for attention. However, can't the two live in harmony? Can't... in some way...they come together & bring joy?
Let me share my memory...September 16th, I'm lying on a hospital bed holding my sweet & ever so tiny Hannah Joy. I'm studying every detail of her sweet face, she has the reddest little pouty lips & one little hair atop her head. I wrap her sweet fingers around mine & memorize the intricacies of her hands. But this is what I remember most...her sweet baby smell. I can close my eyes now & smell my sweet baby girl, I can take in the scent of this little one I said goodbye to 9 months ago! But you see, it's because the heart knows no boundaries, it doesn't know time, it only knows. It knows that a piece of it is missing, it knows a part of it was taken & it is not complete. It yearns & cries for the missing piece.
As it calls out for Hannah my soul cries out for healing. Surely, Hannah's memory can bring healing can't it? Hannah was not created to bring hurt into my heart~so Lord...how do I make these two live in harmony? The agonizing pain of empty arms & the blessing I was given to hold her... even if only just once?
I suppose the reality is, satan wants to steal the joy of meeting my Hannah Girl. He wants the pain to overshadow the blessing. You see if he can just keep me in this grief, living in this pain. Then he has the power over my heart. He keeps me tied down in shackles & has the audacity to use my child to do it!
This is where the scripture from Mark 5 comes in, you see this madman, he lived in the cemetery. Among the tombs & the graves. He lived in death, he was most comfortable in a place of sorrow, a home where he could scream out his agonizing pain. Yes, this man was demon possessed & no I am not.
However, on days like today, when my heart is screaming for Hannah & Isaac too, it can become increasingly comfortable to live in their deaths. To hold onto the memory of what could've should've been. To lay in a bed of bitterness & slash myself with sharp questions.
"Why didn't I hold her longer?"
"What was the last sound she heard, was I yelling?"
"Is there anything...anything...I could have done differently to save her?"
But here...there is scripture too, very simple, very basic words. But oh so powerful, so mighty.
Be still...and know I'm God....
Can't you just feel it? The burden being lifted, the questions being removed...the peace coming down.
See, whenever I hear those words from God, it makes me slow down & breathe. I think of when my Lana who is 6 is goin a mile a minute. Just up in arms & freaking out because she can't find that ever so important & IRREPLACEABLE book for story time. She is frustrated, tense, & in tears. All along I remember she has loaned the book to her baby sister.
When I can get her to slow down, to breathe to listen, I can say "chill out baby, it's OK, mama's here, I can take care of this OK"
How many times have I been frustrated, tense, & up in arms? How many times has God tried to get my attention only for me to respond with agitation. It's at those time I need to be still & know...
So, today, when my heart is aching for my little ones...when the scent of my sweet Hannah penetrates my soul...when I am tempted to live in death...
He speaks my name....he reminds me...
Be Still & Know...I'm God