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The week overflowed out of its restraints. I can’t say it’s not always busy, but this time the phone didn’t stop its constant text song while the kids fought the sibling war all the live long day.
It was the same at work. Telephones haunting me for strange requests and everyone is unsettled. The very air felt static. If one more shoulder found itself in a knot, it would spark the place in flames.
The lightning has kissed our forests into blazes that have taken lives and homes, and then the rains come and flood the rest away. Airplanes crash, people cry out and it all melts into a pool of mire.
It’s like the devils on all of our shoulders have muted out the good.

I wait for the calm, because it always comes. There is a dance to this existence that keeps us in its grip. It ebbs and flows, dancing with both goodness and darkness. When will this Eden war bow to eternal peace?

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. Mark 13:8

In 2000, I worked at a boarding school for troubled teen girls. I took the night shift 100_2429because it paid more and I was planning my wedding. The night was accompanied by the sounds of sleep from the open doors of lost girls – not literally, but lost in the way that their parents sent them away in hopes they would find themselves with structure and discipline.

As I picked out wedding colors, my work partner and I did rounds every 20 minutes to make sure each girl was in her bed. Sleep, snore, and some who faked their troubled nights away, but it was usually uneventful.

Until something else entered the house.

We clocked in as usual and were given the run down:
*Lori has a work hour (This means she had to get up an hour early and pull weeds for her misdeeds)
*The heater doesn’t work. Sorry.
*We brought in a new girl tonight. She’s in with Melissa and Kat.
(all names have been changed to protect the girls)

The swing shift left and we began the night with a grumpy house. The girls slept restless, faucets ran by themselves and the house moaned and shuttered a new misery. It was one of those spine crawling times, when something wasn’t right…when you can feel an unseen oppression that permeates everything from your energy to the baseboards.

The morning brought some explanation. “By the way, the new girl was into some dark arts and maybe some satan worshiping.”

Yeah. We figured it was something like that.

Things calmed down and the new girl didn’t have the chance to experiment with what she probably thought was a harmless art form. But there wasn’t a whole lot of peace in that house. There was gossip and conflict and nothing felt right. Of course, a spiritual battle was going on; how contagious those are, but shhhhh…we don’t talk about those things in the workplace.

My wedding was lovely and as I walked into my new life, the haunts of the girl’s school faded over time. As life has worked its waltz of good and bad and our country has crept deeper into crisis, I think too many of us are only paying attention to those shoulder devils. We shush each other to not offend anyone and never get down to the truth of things.

The pool of mire deepens if ignored. Complacency is its favorite snack.

I try to shift my attentions on the lovely things, on the resiliency of our country, on the angels that stand on our other side, singing about the Light that can dry up the mire. But it’s a walk and He doesn’t drain the mud until we have touched enough souls to be birthed into a new Eden.

Feel like you’re living in a horror movie sometimes? Cling to this:

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

Have you had an experience like this? Share in the comments.

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