Gimme shelter….

ripplespeakThe last dregs of June were oppressive with
menacing heat and rain forest stickiness…the
thick humidity causing the gardens I tend to
bolt, clamoring for haircuts all at once. Overly
busy, I began baking as I worked to tame the
overgrowth.

And wilting….my chest feeling tight like my heart
was curling up at the edges. Several times it got
too hot inside my head and I panicked….feeling
trapped and unable to find shelter fast or cool
enough. I longed for breezes to stir the stillness
…to dab at the sweat stinging my eyes.

My vision went wobbly with discouragement like a pond turning a sickly shade of green.
Everything seemed too big, too much, too hard. I needed shade bigger than the trees could make. One afternoon, worn down and drooping like a thirsty plant, my heart oozed out these painful words to God: “what kind of shepherd ARE you?” (Oh yes I did, and out loud too.)

There it was. The accusation my mind had avoided for years….like a shamefaced child fearful of looking up into disapproving eyes, darting away, head low and eyes down . In my foggy fatigue, I ran right into it like a stone wall. And in THAT place….in that no-go zone in my heart…I expected to encounter harsh indifference. Instead, what I received was responsiveness I still can’t find words to describe.

I was drawn into shade I sensed bubbling from deeper waters than I’ve ever experienced before. While the sun beat down, a peaceful calm settled over me….unlike the heat hanging above the ground but just as tangible. I was embraced by love….heaven soaking strands of emotional DNA and tangled perceptions until I felt bathed in cooling light.

My own judgments and opinions had been…well…. off. By miles. I stumbled into wonder and asked the question…..really asked it….instead of simmering in my assumptions. And in response, I was loved. And comforted. Like aloe to my blistered perspective, I was given shelter. Welcome, July….I’ve never felt less alone.