I wrap a shawl around me and slip away from the bed in the chill of the night with a quick glance behind me, quickly yet quietly, hoping to go unnoticed yet longing to be noticed. As silent as can be, yet wishing that some undetectable noise I make might be detected and my passage discovered. But no, I slip away in the quiet of the night in search of that secret place no one knows but myself and one other. That place…the place that envelops me with something indescribable…something that surpasses all understanding…something that brings understanding as silently as the dawn brings the morning…something that wipes tears away and washes me clean.
The night is crisp yet I feel I am burning up, sweating with the intensity at which I pursue my quest. I take with me a few guides – letter and journals, really – in hopes they might help me find that place again. I walk slowly, thinking, processing, reading, searching. Why is it always so hard to find? For when I arrive it is so familiar as if I never left, always leaving me wondering why I did in the first place. I am searching for that place of clarity, for all has been a quest in vain lately. It has been a search met with dead ends, or simply ending up in the place where I started, with jumbled thoughts I cannot make sense of.
Deep down I know what I am searching for beneath the clutter and the noise. I’m at the point of desperation, where the clutter and the noise make me insane and all I want is to be in that place..the place of Peace. I feel incredibly alone, which makes no sense at all. At any moment I could return to the comfort, warmth, and company found in my bed, yet something inside me stops me in my tracks, or perhaps pushes me forward…pushes that longing aside in pursuit of answering a greater question, a greater longing. A longing that only One can fulfill.
Silent sobs accompanied by a lonesome tear here and there…silent sobs I wish someone would hear. Yet my steps become more purposeful, stronger, faster, taking me farther away from my comfortable world. As I read the journals and letters the path becomes clearer. I’m beginning to see things more clearly. I can make out the place ahead of me.
As the mist clears ahead of me my heart breaks with the realization that I have buried my own path beneath the clutter and noise of my heart. As I draw closer my heart feels it is going to burst with the depth of the longing I have tried to fill with other things, wonderful things, but things that weren’t meant to fill that place,and I am broken with that understanding.
My feet are running now and can’t seem to stop. The truth is becoming clearer, the longing more intense now that I remember what I am longing for. The noise is clearing, and the clutter doesn’t matter anymore; it can be sorted out later. My steps are pounding; I can’t get there fast enough. The directions line my path now, inscriptions on rocks written ages upon ages ago. They are there every time I journey to this place, like markers that reassure my heart with overwhelmingly familiarity with every step I take.
“He only is my rock and my salvation, He is my defense…”
“God is a refuge for us…”
“Your lovingkindness is better than life…”
“Your right hand upholds me…”
“The Lord is my portion…”
“My expectation is from Him…”
“Be still, and know that I am God…”
“These are not just idle words for you, they are your life…”
“My times are in your hand…”
“You forgave the iniquity of my sin…”
“On You I wait all the day…”
“The Lord is the strength of my life…”
Like a magnet pulled inevitably towards the opposite end I am pulled toward that place until I am standing there, in that secret grove, surrendered and abandoned and vulnerable.
When I look around I realize that the world is still sleeping; no one has noticed that I am gone. But He is here. He is always here. He is looking at me with that look in His eye that beckons me near, saying
All is forgiven, come my child, I am your deepest desire, your most intense longing…come and be filled
When He speaks those words I know I am there. In that secret place. The search is over, the quest is done; for now anyway, until I let some distraction lead me away again.
I throw my head back with a laugh of joy followed by crumbling forward into a bundle of tears.
The arms of Love envelope me so tight till I cannot move from their grasp, the Grasp that grips me again and again no matter how far I run.
The taste of the Bread fills me till I long for nothing else, the Bread that is my Life.
The whispers of Grace abound in my ears till I can hear nothing else, not even the noises of the night or the footsteps on the ceiling, only that Voice which tells me Truth.
The touch of Peace calms my heart so I can sleep, precious peaceful sleep that restores the soul.
And I am Home.