The last year has been like dryer lint. Matted together, there are things of unknown origin tangled in it . Gradual compression pulled fibers from familiar items to create a single layer of leftovers, suited for the garbage. No one shows off their dryer lint.
The collision of our cross-country move, church change, empty nesting, and leaving a job has often left me wrestling to find words to answer the question, “How are you?” I want to be honest and say transition hasn’t been easy, but I don’t want to end there. We’ve worked at making it work. Because of that, my Facebook friends see snapshots of beautiful moments in beautiful places where we are making a choice to find beauty in the lint.
Forgive me if I’ve been misleading to make it all look grand. That hasn’t been my goal. I’d choose honesty over image everyday. I also haven’t wanted to smother you with my lint! Change has inspired me to write about God’s Valley Song and How God comforts us and redeems our valleys. It’s important to admit change is hard, but not to dwell there.
Jeff and I choose to look for and share beauty, because we don’t think you need up close images of our dryer lint. I know you’ve got your own, right? That’s why I think you’ll understand how hard it is to lift up our eyes sometimes. Maybe you’ve been there too. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in this time of change, it’s that we can’t afford not to lift up our eyes, even if it’s the hard thing to do.
Jesus loves to open blind eyes. It’s one of His specialties as He cares for the hurting. “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, … who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.” (Psalm 146:5-9)
I’ve kept a planner since I was 13, so I’ve been scheduling life for well over 30 years. This particular year+ has forced me to be more flexible and welcome more waiting. So today I’m sharing the start of a “sorta-series” here on Come Have a Peace. I’m calling it Lift Up Your Eyes, The Agony and the Ecstasy. It was born out of prolonged quiet, time alone, and more than my usual dose of cautiously confrontational prayer. It’s what the Lord answered when I told Him I didn’t want to lift up my eyes, I’m tired of lifting my eyes, and I might even be afraid to lift my eyes. When I squinted, He didn’t blink. And in answering, He gave me something I’ve found painfully hard to find this year… the desire to write.
I don’t know how many weeks it will take or if I will stay with my plan (yes, I have one), but know I can’t afford not to lift up my eyes. And as my camper husband has taught me through seasons sweet and sour, dryer lint makes for some of the best tinder when trying to coax a spark into a flame. Some of our best fires have taken hold in layers of our lint.
Is it hard for you to look up right now? Will you lift your eyes with me? I promise we’re going to find good things that will help us persevere, have hope, and be glad we took a look.