The dance with God is a dance with the invisible. It’s like I’m up in my room, house empty but for the dog, and I’m folding towels. The giant trees out below my window along greenbelt are heavy under the weight of rain that won’t slow. I hear it strong on the roof above me, and against the windowpane. The giant mound of laundry. The relentless rain. The bowing trees. And I sting to the bone with the goodness of God. There between the bed and the bookcase, me and the white towel, we dance. We dance with God. It’s a celebration of all that is. And I know He is. I’m alive with God, celebrating the gift of the laundry, the rain, the bowing trees — the song playing in my veins.
God and I could be different. I could be mad I’m stuck with all these chores. I could be mad about the carving across my neck, twice. Or my missing breast. I could be giving him a list of what isn’t right with my life and what I want from him. But I have. I have been mad and angry and said four letter words — and yes, said them to God. But last time I couldn’t pray — for days — … I had no strength and couldn’t think a clear thought, He prayed for me, and let me lean without words, didn’t offer up a thing. And so this is how our relationship has become much more. I’ve learned to receive.
Yes, I know if I love God I will do x, y and z. However, I’m not sure that matters as much to God as my receiving his love. And so this round of cancer has been just goofy. Neck all swollen from ear and down across the front like a crime scene, I’ve been singing every chance I get. Compiling every good jazz standard I can find, fighting the dead numb slab of left face-crazy feeling of wanting to crawl out of skin, I am learning lyrics. Reading stories of the writers, most of them immigrants. Old movies. Talks with friends. Gluing wooden flowers with one. Coloring with another. Dutch Blitz with the kids. Holding my adored husband close. Up much too late talking. Exploring who might be hanging from my family tree and his. Laughing about my latest cooking attempts. Just being together. And taking in these kindnesses of God.
If I have to do some horrid repeat three times, it means I’m suppose to be learning something. The thing I’m learning third time round is that my love for God, really loving anyone is so much more about receiving … take in the beauty, the presence, the treasure of another more than anything else. And no, receiving is not being a selfish taker. That’s different, and for another blog.
C.S. Lewis once said:
“…you must have a capacity to receive,
or even omnipotence can’t give.”
The rain, it comes. The heaviness — bending the life beneath it. And in the bowing there is a receiving. God gifts, they come sometimes in a rugged downpour. It’s just right that I give nothing much and lean. Just right to just lean. And so I do.