Tuesday, May 15, 2012

He gave me a Peony

A few years ago I came to a crisis of faith. It was a scary time for me and I was not sure how I was going to come out of it. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I remember the tears and the pleading and the begging. I was literally on the ground feeling like I would be swallowed up and never be seen again.

And that no one would ever care.

I remember gasping for air at one point and believing my tears would drown me. I closed my eyes and tried to compose myself. In that darkest pit, my heart heard the gentlest and sweetest voice, "Be still, and know."

Be still.

No matter how gentle, I didn't want to hear it. No matter how sweet, I hated it. I was angry and tormented. For a split second it felt like my flesh was being torn apart by those words. Looking back on that day, I could describe that moment as hell itself rising up and with razor sharp hands battling to keep me in a pit of pride and hate and hopelessness and loss. They were ripping at my very being and would stop at nothing to keep me from my Creator.

My Creator.

The very One who knew me and all my secrets, the only One who loved me without judgement.

Be still, and know.

I think it was the comma that got me. I know, weird right? But if you remember from grammar classes, the comma is meant to mark a slight pause -- a breath if you will.

So I did.

I became still and as the fire in my core burned with a doubt threatening to extinguish everything I knew about God, I took a breath.

I sat still, took a breath, and waited in a silence no longer broken by sobbing but by a demanding yet heartfelt prayer that pierced the air,  "Help me with my unbelief!"

After all, I knew the story about the father and son where the father asked Jesus, "if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us." To which Jesus replied, "If you can? Everything is possible for one who believes."  The  father then begged Jesus to help him with his unbelief and Jesus then brought healing (Mk 9:20-25)

That was the "know" part.

And in that moment, in the being still and the knowing, came the following...

"Be still, and know that I am God."

The earth felt like it could give way, the mountains felt like they would crumble and the seas would roar with a surge to swallow everything I knew...BUT...but in the middle of all that inner turmoil, I saw the most beautiful pink flower that blooms in the spring after a long cold winter.

Maybe you know it?

The Peony.

I saw this gorgeous flower and it's soft pink petals with a glow and richness I don't ever remember seeing before.  My Lord and my God started there. He grabbed my attention in the stillness and showed me He is still God and still in control, no matter what seemed to be falling around me or in me. The Creator of this massive and expansive universe that goes beyond our human comprehension, showed me this delicate flower.

The clouds broke and hell lost its grasp. I stood up and dusted myself off. I was able to find joy in a trial I did not understand. I also grew and learned so much more about me and God.  It was such a powerful experience that every year I celebrate my "anniversary" by taking pictures of the peonies in our garden.

Here are the ones I took this morning. Make sure you scroll past the last snapshot so you can read about my little "miracle".

See how even the fallen petals have a soft richness to them?

I imagine this to be "tears caught"

Even though these peonies are gorgeous, their splendor doesn't even come close to the one I saw that fateful Sunday.  Why?

Because even though a peony is a peony, what I didn't tell you about my experience and the peony I saw is that I was in a building, in a hallway, with no windows, sitting on a tile floor. Not one person walked down that hallway for the hour I sat and wept. Not one. There was no sunshine that crept in through a window and yet...I saw the peony.

My Creator, the Creator of the expansive universe and deepest oceans, gave me a Peony.

That was my little miracle. It was just for me for all these years and today I shared it with you.

Blessings for your day,

1 comment:

  1. Oh Lisa. That is beautiful. I love when God.cuts through it all and speaks to us so intimately. I'll always think of this story when I see the peonies in our yard.


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