You can’t. I can.


I’ve been caught again.  Caught in the net, the tangle, the webs  and the mire.  Caught in looking too far ahead and too far behind, to deeply into things out of grasp and not near deeply enough at the things right in front of my face.

Why can’t I just open my eyes to what’s here?

I find myself in this place time and time again.  Each time I think, this is it!  This time I see.  I can see what I shouldn’t have been doing and how that weighed on me.  How it bogged me down.  I’m not going to do that ever again.  Nope, not ever.  Never ever ever!

Until I’m right here again.  Looking and searching and feeling like God just isn’t showing me what he wants for me.  Walking down paths that aren’t mine to walk down, apparently, and running and searching in vain for places I should maybe be.  Maybe he wants me here.  Or over there.  Maybe this path looks good, it worked for those guys.

Yet just when I feel at the end of it all, myself and this search, and I want to throw things at the people who make those little sayings look so pretty scripted over a picture about how it’s about the journey not the destination, and I throw my hands up and yell, “That’s it!  I have no idea.  I can’t keep doing this!”

It’s then that I hear him whisper his truths to my chapped soul.

It’s the same every time.  When I finally get to the end of myself, to the end of the trying, and I declare that I’m done he shows me that he’s not.  He just needs me to see that it’s not about me.  It’s not about what I can do, or where my smarts can take me.  It’s not about how strong I am or how I can muscle through.  It’s not about how adept I am at discerning his voice or how gifted I am in following exactly what I know he wants from me.

No.  It’s none of those.  Instead it’s when I move my strong willed self out of the dang way that he can breathe his voice into my life.  It’s not until I admit defeat, cry uncle and fall on my knees declaring I can’t do it that he plunges that syringe deep into my heart and injects it with truth that says, “You’re right.  You can’t.  But I can.”

So I sit here in the quiet looking around and it’s only when I stop, just stop it all, that I can actually open my eyes to what is right before me.

It’s in these moments that I can contemplate the ways I’m serving the people right in this very house and shamefully I can admit that it’s not always with patience and love.

He whispers for me to start right here.

In the quiet I can see that he’s placed people right near me who have said, “Can you help?” and I’ve selfishly replied that I need to think about it instead of opening my palms with a yes.

He whispers for me to carry on in these places.

In this space I can see the need of youth in our town and I can hear the cries of new moms who are so tired and I can see face by face the dark circles under the eyes of those who are hurting.

He whispers that I might try being the concealer under these eyes.  Using myself to ease the dark, the weary, the broken.  The ones He has placed right here before me.

When I sit before him in silence I can see the ways I can be his hands and his feet and his voice and it doesn’t require running down unknown forest trails or following alice down the rabbits hole.  It only requires being still and seeing what he has placed around me.

Washing feet wasn’t glamourous.  Nor was riding in on a donkey, carrying your own instrument of death or being spit upon.  Yet this, this is what was placed before Jesus.  This was what he said yes to.

Why do I expect my life to be any different?  Why do I think that certain ways of serving are more glamorous than others and why does my heart want those roles?  Why would I think my lot to be better than that of the King, the Creator?

If he told me to get on my knees and wash the feet of the homeless in my city would I take that task on?  Or would I feel above that?  Fearful of it?  Unqualified?  Overqualified?  Would I even listen….

I’d like to say I’ve got it this time.  That I won’t forget and that I’ll stop feeling the need to do more or be more or chase the rabbit down the trail but I’ve done this enough times to know that’s not true.

But I’ll hold onto it for right now.  For this moment.  Knowing that wiping away the tears from broken limbs is my role.  Sending notes of encouragement to hurting friends is exactly what I’m to do.  Caring for others littles is my privilege.  Writing the words God has laid on my heart is enough.  Using my arms to carry boxes for someone who can’t is serving.  Sharing from my abundance with those in need is right.  It’s no less important because it’s in my town than across the world.

God speaks to me in whispers and yet I keep wanting him to shout and it’s only because I’m never satisfied with what I’ve got.

Now, if someone could just put that in script atop a beautiful picture I’d be forever grateful for the honesty.


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