Thump... thump. Thump... thump. This morning as my alarm buzzed after a third round of snoozing, I came to my senses quickly when I heard a strange thumping sound.
"What is that?"
Kaitlin just mumbled groggily - typical. Waking up in the morning is not a particular talent of hers. Like a dutiful husband, I hopped out of bed to go explore the strange noise without bothering to put on pants. Step, step... my bare feet plod down the six stairs, through the construction-zone that is our half formed kitchen - and gingerly I stand on my tip toes to look out the tiny window on our back door.
Wind. Well, that and the bookshelf-like "candy rock garden" that I took out from our entry way the other day (dubbed "candy rock garden" because this little half wall was filled with white rock as some sort of decorative flair - we filled it with candy because we thought it was ugly... and hilarious). I had set this 1950's antique on the back porch, and the wind was gusting strong enough to tip it over into the wall, making the gentle thumping sound I had heard upstairs.
Oh well, time for another day. It feels good to say that. For so long, Kaitlin and I have been living in a state of constant change. We have moved ourselves and family members into and out of our house almost a dozen times in the past year, and we crave normality and routine. During the past month, we took out our old kitchen, which is gradually being reconstructed into a more open, handicapped accessible area. In the midst of this latest project, we are tired. We are ready to be done, ready to have a home, ready to be "normal." There are certain aspects of our life from which we will never get a break - but luckily construction is not one of them.
I head back upstairs, test my blood sugar, and give myself a shot - that is new. Then I help Kaitlin swing her legs out of bed and she transfers herself into her chair - that is new. We walk-and-roll over to our lovely bathroom (also new), that was paid for by the kindness of our loving community, and begin the day.
Even though so much has changed for us, I don't think we are alone in feeling like we don't truly have a "place" here. Over the past month so many friends and family have been going through difficult, heavy stuff. It seems like it never ends. Kaitlin said to me the other day - "I just want a break from being paralyzed..." but there is no rest.
After my shower I sat looking out the back window at the blustering flurries in our backyard, reading my Bible. In Matthew 11:28 Jesus says "come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." That is all I want... rest. But it can't just stop there, with some coffee-cup Christian-ese statement about coming to Jesus. Later on, Jesus goes on to say "I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, I desire mercy, and not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath." In this moment, when I need rest - it comes from an acknowledgement of authority, not from the reduction of my to-do list. God controls my life. I do not need to perform well for him, because I am forgiven through Jesus, and through his sacrifice God delights in me, regardless of my "success" in life.
Perhaps we don't feel like we are home because we will never feel that way on this earth. There is always another thing to do, something new to accomplish, and plenty of reasons why our lives feel out of control. This week I am working to understand what it means to heed God's authority... and for his grace and mercy to provide me rest.