“Through a Glass, Dimly”
It is there.
It is there behind every moment of your life.
It is bleeding through art, through arguments, through dinner dishes and late night cry sessions.
It is in the painful and beautiful memories of your past. It is waiting for you in the promise of your future.
It is right here, right now.
You have probably noticed it before, on a perfectly normal day, like catching something out of the corner of your eye–so fleeting and wonderful that you almost don’t believe but for the certainty in your soul.
It is there.
There is a reality firmly anchored underneath and above and behind and between everything that we can see, touch, taste, hear, smell.
It is a reality more real than what we experience daily as reality.
If the Bible is to be believed, if Christ was the Messiah and not just a lunatic or a liar, then the reality of that is more real than anything. Ever.
See, I am a creature always in wanting.
I always want more. I want more time. I want more feelings. I want more security. I want more experiences.
Walking through Postpartum Depression has left me with a craving for more of something real. Depression, for me, is an overwhelming sense of sadness that turns into a vacuum of feeling. Eventually I begin to go through days just coasting. It’s like watching a movie of my life: I have some experience of the major plot points, I might even laugh at the funny bits. But I don’t feel with the characters. I don’t taste the food, smell the smells or feel the feelings.
That’s why some people dealing with depression turn to hobbies. For me, it’s gardening. I can obsess about a plant. I have a beautiful Sage plant on my front porch that is currently engaged in a bloody battle with overwatering (not my fault, it’s been monsoon-ing in Texas). I am in mourning over this! The thing hasn’t even kicked the bucket yet, and I am grieving. I love this plant. I can nurture it and enjoy watching it grow and it gives me satisfaction and joy without it needing to understand me. It doesn’t ask me if I’m sad and why. I can put my hands in the soil, weeding, watering, planting seeds, or pruning and have the experience, sensually speaking, of something real. It grounds me.
Gardening is a much healthier alternative to the other things I have turned to for the gut-punch of reality. It feels a little bit like what my soul is craving. But it’s not it.
But it’s not the Most Real. It’s a balm for my soul; it is not a remedy.
I crave Reality.
I crave the crashing in of skin touching, the wind-knocked-out of me, eyes wide open experience of something real.
I crave The Thing behind all the sappy Christian songs and cheesy not-romance romance novels. I crave The Thing that has made people of sound mind and body get up early on Sunday for hundreds of years. I crave The Thing that made rough-and-tumble fishermen drop their nets and follow a stranger. I crave the unswerving devotion to that Thing that drove a man up a hill and nailed Him to a cross. I crave The Thing that romances men, women, and children enough that they would die for it with forgiveness and praise on their lips.
I crave more than Sunday and Wednesday program. More than Christian radio, movies, and book stores can sell me.
I need the Real Thing in my life, the Thing that is always there, moving, speaking, molding, loving.
Something the Lord has been showing me lately, in the midst of a lot of craving and a lot of waiting, is that I get it. My cravings get it. Almost.
See, there is nothing more real than the truth of the Bible. Than the Being of God. Than the Gospel of Christ. And it is more than we imagine. More than my little human brain can fathom.
The Gospel is the most Real thing in the whole of the existence of everything.
That moment of Gospel, of Justice and Mercy kissing, was so great and so terrible that the Being who spoke the atoms of everything that makes up everything into existence turned His face away. He couldn’t look at it.
If the Gospel were a movie, there would be no rating suitable for it. If it were a book, it would not be publishable. It is such a blood-racing gut punch of grace that it probably wouldn’t be sold in Christian bookstores anyway.
God couldn’t look at it.
It is too big for my brain.
It is real.
And it is here, bleeding through the pages of my life, visible as through a glass, dimly, dogging my steps and yours through all the things that don’t make sense.
It is here.
It is right here.
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3 thoughts on “Fridays With Beth Biggers”
I LOVED this…I struggle with Depression and I related so much to how you expressed what my life is like- that craving, that feeling that I am watching my life as if it is a movie, that “I can’t feel anything feeling”, and I ache for that Real Thing. I am a constant searcher for powerful and meaningful moments and words and people and Jesus is at the center of it all and yet sometimes I feel very far from Him. What you penned….”The Gospel is the most Real thing in the whole of the existence of everything.” I don’t always feel this and see it, I think, in part- because of the Depression that just seems to numb, but I WANT TO, I desperately WANT TO. I need MORE of HIM. I love your words. Thank you!
Oh Elizabeth!! So real. Rest in the comfort that your WANTING to, so desperately, is so much enough to Him. He WILL honor that, I believe. And one day, our feelings will catch up with the Real Things.
I sort of see my responses to Him during this season of depression as the widow’s mite. I don’t have a lot. Or even a little. All I have for Him is a desperate wanting. And I think to Him, for now, that is precious,
Thanks for your words!
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