beyond the GALAXIES

Last night–er, morning–, I laid out on my roof in my -20 degree Coleman sleeping bag and watched a meteor shower.

I counted twenty falling stars….. and then I stopped counting and just gazed at the glory of the skies and tried to figure out the meaning behind it all. In case you’re wondering, I didn’t come to any monumental conclusions.

I stared up at the galaxies twinkling far above the hectic earth, and asked the Father, “Why?”

He said, “My ways are not your ways, neither are my thoughts the same as yours.”

My heart shivered, and I nodded, “Yes. I already understand that, Father.”

No. You really don’t. As FAR as the heavens are from the earth, so are my plans different from yours. You cannot understand how far the heavens are above the earth. You cannot understand me. You haven’t lived to see a thousand years come and go as swiftly as one of these shooting stars–look, there goes another one now!”

It was over in an instant, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t begin to fathom a thousand years passing by so quickly.

Then today arrived, and 20 (plus who knows how many more) lives were lost, and hundreds of hearts were shattered into dust, and the nation reeled with pain and the depressing implications behind it all.

When life crushes all but the very last 1/100th of an ounce of breath out of you–and you really don’t care whether that last bit of breath is snatched from you as well or not–there are no answers. There just aren’t. You cry and breathe and sometimes find the strength to hope for better days, and sometimes don’t.

Tonight I thought of the stark contrast between those people’s worlds and mine as I goofed off with two of my precious nieces.

What if it had been me?

What if I was the one who got the call, or saw the blood-splattered walls, or heard the last gurgling yet piercing cries of desperation? What would I do?

What if I was the one who had that split-second chance to stop all of this, and missed it?

Life is short… so effortlessly, terrifyingly, short.

I decided to live recklessly in the moment. We hugged and ate cookies and acted crazy. We danced around. We laughed at our own jokes. We dressed up in weird clothing and shot pictures.

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We LOVED.

And we didn’t find a reason to explain away the pain that stood so hauntingly close every time the news came on. They weren’t our questions to ask, because the wounds are not our own….

this time.

But in the past, they have been. And then I was the one who cried, and breathed and sometimes found the strength to hope for better days, and sometimes didn’t.

And when the wound had been given time to heal just a bit… just enough that I could move again, I was the one who had to make a choice. Where was I going to run?

To blame?

To denial?

To numbing it out of my head?

To the reckless belief that there is something more than what the eye can see?

I tried them all, believe me. It was a rocky path. But in the end, I chose the Father, and crawled to Him on torn up hands and knees like a little baby, slobbering and crying and sometimes spitting up in His face.

He was patient, and carried me when I couldn’t walk.

He offered hope, which was a dangerous gift to recieve. It meant laying down my ideas of how my life should be, and accepting the unknown. But the peace that came was unbelievable! It can’t be understood by logic… only felt with the heart. Because his love was woven through it all, and love is a heart thing.

He offered hope in return for trust, and I was loco enough to recieve it. And that is where the process of finding answers begins.

But sometimes they never show up.

Not in this life.

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