“He has taken me into the banquet room, and his banner over me is love.” -- Song of Solomon 2:4
Thoreau says that we are constantly invited to be what we are. His words have often left me in quiet and loud wondering and mulling over what I might be. What in the world, this bruised and bleak world am I? In my arrogance, in my ignorance, I have stricken my own heel. Through communicating the darkness to myself over and over again, meditating on it day and night, I have created my own cancer, that which wreaks havoc throughout my bones, killing silently.
I have spoken many untrue words over my life. I have scarred myself with anxiety and anger in ways that many may never see. On many more occasions than I can count, just getting through the day has proven to be a trial in and of itself. The moment by moment choice to believe and hold on has seemed to require too much effort. I lie awake at night facing the turmoil of fear and depression, and at times, it seemed as if that was really all there was to being.
Today was the very monochromatic picture of winter. A chilled rain raced down to muddy earth, whose naked limbs remained still. The sky faded from light to dark gray. This is how the realization comes. I have waved the banner of death, and the white flag of defeat.
But this, the whisper comes, this is not who you are. I have given you fullness of joy, that which you have been created for.
What grace is this, that life might be redefined? What right does the clay have to ask of the Potter why it is being crafted in such a way? I feel His hands molding me, and what have I to do except offer my own hands to Him in return? I long to give back all that I have broken in my haste and struggle to hold this life together through my own power.
Grace means unmerited favor. Not my power, but Yours, Lord. Scripture speaks of death losing its potent sting in the light of the glory of the Lord. This Creator God, patient with me in my waywardness, whispers a promise of love. Everything I have belongs to you. I have been defined from the foundation of the universe. My frame is not hidden from the Creator. My image, my soul, my emotions, my intellect, my pleasures have been known and, what is more, delighted in. What joy, to know that the Father delights in His children, to know that He still sings over me, still whispers grace, still looks at me and declares that I am good. I have been made holy, without blemish. Finally, joy.
I have been invited, beckoned into the residence of this Goodness. The hall of celebration. The hall of victory. The hall of plenty. In the presence of the Lord, there is fullness of joy. In the stillness, at the foot of the Mercy Seat, this weary soul finds rest.
Wave the new banner. This, my portion, will more than satisfy.