Mama’s words in my baby album. It tenders me because her ink – still dripping wet with guilt – didn’t eternalize what we undertook specifically, but showed her noticing how it had affected me: All raggedy after my first trip.
That would have been the title, should I have written a book spanning the last six weeks, summarizing a journey that didn’t find her destinational end in the last day, but in a car, driven by a misplaced thought that in 1200 miles I could separate myself from my failure feelings, thinking I lived six weeks for nothing. It seemed as if God was absent, all Scripture came across as printed words on laminated pieces of cardboard, flat and hollow, useless, I diverted to thinking what was wrong with me..
Once I got home my Instragram fed me a quote: ‘If you ever feel like God isn’t there, just remember that the teacher is always quiet during the test.’ Later that day I read how in the gospel of Luke a fig tree was being quarantined, my interpretation of it, by digging around it and fertilize it, so that it could start bearing fruit. And all of a sudden this revelational truth dug its way into my heart, confirming me once again that God relates to time so differently than I do (I could have known, since He let Abraham wait twenty years for the birth of the promised son), and that the last page of my ‘sixweeksbook’ for Him was the day He had been planning for and working towards all along, longer perhaps, the pacing so slow and the carpet so delicately woven that I just barged over it, not noticing, thinking that the only time where Him and I (can and should) meet is when I read the Bible. Every time I am baffled by the truth that God doesn’t work that way, He always seems to be patiently waiting until I close my Bible to step out into actual life, in this case it was stepping into my car, and I did that with the attitude ‘Sorry, but not sorry, I really need to get away for a while, we’ll talk next week’, not realising He silently took His place in the seat next to me.
When you come home Friday, read the beginning of Genesis 26 will you?‘, He meant to say, but His words only reached me when I – indeed – had come home. And there my eyes halted somewhere in the first sentence, where it said that a famine had come, another famine in the land in addition to the one that had occurred in Abraham’s time.
Why add that information, I thought?
Aren’t all famines by definition not the same and therefore quality to be referenced to as ‘another’?
It seemed as if Izak, a new birth, was placed in a similar situation that had happened earlier in time, duplicated for a new generation. Was he doomed to slavely walk the tracks of inheritance? Was he goaded to make different choices, finally understanding that he was not his father, but his own person, sighing the first relief of a labor that would give way to his actual rebirth, at the same time realising that although his father had left his country of birth, he hadn’t left behind certain behavior and that now Izak was formed into the symbol of the actualization of the deepening of that realisation?
‘Remember, you are a new creation.’
I feel raggedy, Father. I have been – just noticing it now – confronted for three months now by a piece of the old me, because someone from my past has moved close to me. It feels as if my shredded me hangs around me, clamming me up, as if I am wearing a coat torn apart, torn apart by the separation of past and present, a coat that used to suit me (or so I thought) and fit me (or so I thought), but now twice exhales a no with regards to those thoughts, but is draped over my shouders nevertheless. When I talk to this person, the signature that underlines my fouryear old heavenly adoption papers seems to fade.
Is this what faith is, that in the decision to avoid contact with this person, I am not necessarily stepping away from the other physically, but I am spiritually stepping over the dead bones of my old self? Had I not known God, and more specifically known Him not only as the creator of heaven and earth, but also as my Father, I would have gone back to my previous ways, consequences and all, because I know what I left behind: I got the memorial tracks inscribed in my brain and carved in arm. This time I take a different route, in faith, acknowledging that yes this person moved close to me, but with a deeper – live-giving – acknowledgement that God lives in me (and He that lives in me is greater than he that lives in the world). This is something that I have to do in faith alone. What a challenge, but also what a privilege, because I see it also as God having faith in me.
‘This is what faith looks like’, He said.
So it could have been me there in Genesis, Potamotrygorgeous instead of Abraham?
‘Absolutely, only I would have shortened your name to Pota because, .. you know.. readibility..’