Jazz Painting in the G Building

There should be art in hospitals –
loud, joyous art,
art with bold colors and varied meanings.
When the pallor of death and dying and
stillness
hangs on faces and hands and
feet.
Feet that are too warm.
take off my socks, please.
Because art doesn’t become too
much.
There’s really nothing to look at
otherwise.

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Nebulous

I would like to shout at God.  I would also like to hug Him, in a big way.  A big, fling-myself-into-His-arms sort of way.  And then I want to yell again.  Back and forth, strung between anger and joy and tiredness.  I walk through my days joyful, bouncing and beaming and laughing.  And it isn’t fake; it isn’t a face I’m putting on.  Then, I pause for moments and I realize that I am exhausted.  Exhausted in a way that sleep doesn’t seem to cure.

Then, I un-pause.  I tell myself that I am in my third year of college, which means of course I will feel exhausted.  I tell myself that I have four jobs.  That I have lots of people who love me and with whom I want to spend time.  I tell myself that everything I do, I enjoy.  I tell myself that I have to think about next semester, next summer, next year.  I promise myself that I can take a break from writing poems.  There aren’t words.  Or there are too many words.  Nebulous, disconnected words that mean a great deal in my head but do not yet mean anything when I write them.

Sometimes, I fear that God will take away my gift, and I will be left with nothing to offer.

And I recognize how completely ridiculous that sounds.  As if the gift were mine to begin with.  As if God took where He had no right to do so.  As if God left His children worse off than He found them.  As if He left at all.  I know that He is good, that He has created me for His glory and so He will give me means to glorify Him.  But when I can’t feel that twisty tug at my heart, the one that whispers write, write, write

That is when I question.  And I shouldn’t, because there is so much more to me than the blogs and poems I can churn out.  More to me than the metaphors and the pretty pictures I can paint across a page.  I know that I am loved – very, very loved – for more than what I can do.  I am loved for the heart from which the thoughts and words are spun.  I don’t understand it.  And yet I know that it is true.  I go to the Lord and I stand before Him in awe of the treasures He bestows upon me.

A place to sleep.  A family to call.  A relationship with a man who cherishes me and pushes me toward the Father every day.  Friends who build me up and let me ramble and share their hearts.  Countless other blessings.

So if He asks me to put aside my gift for a month, six months, ten years – I will do it.  If I can never move thoughts to the page again, I want to be content with that.  If I never get my dream job, and if I never have the house with the kitchen island and the big oak in the front yard and the kids in the backyard, I want to be content.  If all anyone ever sees in me is Jesus, I have more than fulfilled my purpose.  That’s what I want.  I want to make sense of the world and I want to have a family and a home and a career and I want to write poems and books and plays – But I don’t need any of it.  I need to desire Jesus.  I need to seek Him – not passively wander about, glancing here and there –

I need to tear through the desert and the jungles, cut my bare feet on the thorns and the broken rocks.  I need to find the faintest trail and never stray from it.  I need to seek Him with a passion, with a ferocity and a fire that exists for nothing and no one else.

If I shouted at Him tonight, I would ask if He sees me.  Does He see me when I’m paused – exhausted and stretched out and distracted?  Is my brokenness and darkness real even in the midst of my joyfulness?  And when I’m un-paused, does He see me then?  As I scurry and stumble and dance through my day, does He see my excitement and anticipation?  Are those as real even in the midst of my brokenness?

I could shout.  I have shouted before.  But tonight, I want to fling myself into His arms.  I want His comfort.  I want Him to use me even when I don’t understand it.