Show me your face…..

art
It’s been a wilting-on-the-vine sort of hot this week. The daytime usually finds me planted right in the middle of the sweltering so I’m overwhelmingly grateful for the coolness that washes over body and soul when I come in at day’s end. In fact, it would be accurate to say that this hormonal woman LOVES air conditioning.

So it was no small trauma this week when the precious pump that generates deliciously cool air…. frosts it and then puffs it gently into my living spaces….. suffered a violent end. A loud, shrieking death. The friendly whirring that once soothed the summerness from my home was replaced by the whining of little fans complaining that they’re unfairly outmatched. An unhappy, moaning sound pressed down on me while the air grew hot and syrupy, determined that sleep not find us.

During the long sticky night, heat and humidity scrambled my brain and then went to work on my emotions. I slid deeply into debt, borrowing all of the trouble from tomorrow that my overactive imagination could sign for. Miserably, I tossed myself for hours in the angst until thoroughly marinated.

(HOW was I going to be able to be “on” tomorrow? What if I can’t pull it off? What will they think? And my asthma is kicking in big time…I don’t like the breathless version of me. And HOW will we pay for repairs? WHAT if the guy says we need a whole new unit? What if parts have to be ordered and we have to wait? What about the dogs….we can’t stay somewhere else.
What if I can’t take this? What if I fall apart? What if I look as weak as I feel?)

Of course, I tried to talk myself down off of this slippery slope but fatigue stripped away the pretty pretenses until I was left with bare bones honesty. I was honestly afraid. Of not having enough. Of not being enough. Of being vulnerable to the things that can take my breath away.
Of being vulnerable……period.

My head was sore from trying to find PEACE….to figure it all out enough to park my racing mind for the night. I kept circling the runway because I couldn’t accurately see enough pieces of the puzzle to create a picture that would satisfy (even temporarily) my need to know.

I realize how often I settle for peace that COMES from understanding (even if it’s an illusion) rather than opting for the peace that passes it. Trumps it. Overrides it. “Lord, help” I asked.

Help came as the memory of a song(as if whispered but not really) settled over me like a breeze. I’d heard it years ago when Don Potter, the songwriter, sang from his heart and mine melted in response “Show me your face, Lord. Show me your face.” I shared his longing for connection with One who would thoroughly see me back. I had asked….again and again……and my identity began to be shaped at times, not by how I performed, but by what I felt I saw in His eyes.

(Had I completely forgotten or was this just another layer of the onion….a different set of closed doors in my deep places that needed to be swung open to light. No need to know……just show me your face, please, Lord.)

And you know, the AC didn’t pop back on. No bright lights or dramatic displays. Nothing that would be of notice to an onlooker. But I began to see, in the eyes of my imagination, the way a treeline brushes the sky when the wind stirs the leaves. It felt as if love brushed back the damp hair from my sweaty forehead and took my chin in hand, looked at me, and smiled. It was enough. My soul grew quiet and still as my mind pulled again into this simple, life-giving parking space……………show me your face.

Comments

  1. S. Etole says

    perfect peace beyond any circumstances … His face is lovely indeed …

  2. Hindsfeet says

    So much here, Jennifer, so much to take in…..

    "I slid deeply into debt, borrowing all of the trouble from tomorrow that my overactive imagination could sign for."

    "I realize how often I settle for peace that COMES from understanding (even if it's an illusion) rather than opting for the peace that passes it."

    "a different set of closed doors in my deep places that needed to be swung open to light."

    …for me, especially this third bit…doors that need to be swung open to light…felt this today, deeply, viscerally…

    …My AC didn't go out, but things have heated up considerably in my life, to the point that I am crying out for His light to flood, to free…..Maybe this "heat" is something He allows…so that we proactively seek His face ("show me Your face"), the light of his face that dispels our darkness….

    "Show me Your face"…I love this, Jennifer…..

    So then, for the both of us I pray, Lord, bless us, keep us, but most of all, make Your face shine upon us and grant us peace (Num 6:24, roughly)…..

    …as C.S. Lewis said, "We read to know we're not alone"…always feel less alone after a "visit" with you….

    Thanks, Jennifer

  3. PaperPumpkin says

    When one experiences a moment of peace like this, it truly is a miracle. That feeling is like no other. I am glad you felt it, but I am happy that you were open to feeling it. Peace to you…and a lasting breeze. ~Kathy

  4. rachel awes says

    "slid deeply into debt"…
    you are my new favorite writer/i'm so serious!
    when there's longer writing these days on blogs, i don't prioritize the time to read it all…but on yours, i want to & pour over every word.
    ok, friend, first i pray for a/c for you again.
    may God's dear face blow cool air, amen.
    second, i am totally your sister in both occasional night debt vulnerability & in seeking God's face. it is my favorite prayer. i've always thought that if i got a tattoo someday,it would be of the burning bush…seeing God's face/& i've always loved moses!
    big love!

  5. maribeth says

    I too look for understanding as a gateway to peace…thank you for the reminder that there IS a Peace that rises above understanding. Be still my mind and know that He is God!

  6. "and my identity began to be shaped at times, not by how I performed, but by what I felt I saw in His eyes"

    may we get to this place more often than not.

    thank you for such a beautiful post.

  7. here i stop ..to know of another that has those nighttime conversations…you encouraged me today by your words and for that I say ..thanks

  8. Another beautiful and inspiring piece, Jennifer. When I have those kinds of nights, I try to take my mind to Alaska (was there several years ago). I think of a site I saw while spending some days on an old mission boat from the 1940's. A blue iceberg floated close to the boat with 2 bald eagles perched on top of it. Breathtaking! And I think, "Somewhere in Alaska there's blue ice with eagles riding on top in the sea." That thought calms me and brings peace to my nighttime sleepless anxieties. Also, a couple of ibuprofen are always helpful!

    Thanks again Jenniferm for starting my Sunday out with your lovely writings…

    Dulcy

  9. you are storyteller, sage and poet all rolled into one. What a powerful piece you've written that strikes at our places of deepest vulnerability. I love how you expose the deeper issues of the heart in ways that inspire and encourage. another for that book ๐Ÿ™‚

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