the space between breaths
– Octavia E. Butler
In a loud and howling world, it’s in the silence of a broken heart that the chambers of you can hear the sound of God speaking. It’s in the emptiness that happens in the wake of a broken heart, that God fills you with Himself.
Soundlessly, relentlessly praying through your spaces of brokenness makes the heart bigger, until you hold the gift of God alone.
I memorize the white of the moon. Freeze frame the Farmer grinning in the white light of it there on the tractor seat, the peak of his feed cap pulled low over his face. We get to inhale. We get to live every day like it might be our last —- because one of these days, we’re guaranteed to be right.
We get to surrender to the glory, to the weight of it coming through the thinning sky, and there’s nothing in this world that’s normal — there’s only growing blind to the glory. There’s only growing blind to the injustice, to the blood on our own hands, to the love we could make, to the One who says, “Holy Father, keep them in Your name…. —- that they may be one, even as we are one” (John 17:11) to the truth that we all belong to one another. It’s the cynics who wear armour to shield the heart from all this beauty that wounds.
You are perishable here.
Taste the moments accordingly.
Taste the space between every breath like it is bread, the space between the stars where you and he are just for now, the space between you and faces you love and being here no more, the spaces between the pain, between you and streets of grief, between you and injustice and war and mothers cradling their babies in fear, and learn to love before it’s too late. I need to etch that into me.
You are perishable here, Taste the moments accordingly —
You get to decide whether you are going to taste it, all of it and know that God is good and enjoy Him and make your life about others tasting His goodness too.
You get to decide whether you’re going to spend your one life trying to make an impression and look good — or make a difference and do good.
You don’t get long here before you get to be a memory — so make your life about getting thirsty people glasses of water.
– Ann Voskamp
There were banks of candles flickering in the distance and clouds of incense thickening the air with holiness and stinging his eyes, and high above him, as if it had always been there but was only now seen for what it was (like a face in the leaves of a tree or a bear among the stars), there was the Mystery Itself, whose gown was the incense and the candles a dusting of gold at the hem. There were winged creatures shouting back and forth the way excited children shout to each other when dusk calls them home, and the whole vast, reeking place started to shake beneath his feet like a wagon going over cobbles, and he cried out, “O God, I am done for! I am foul of mouth and the member of a foul-mouthed race. With my own two eyes I have seen him. I’m a goner and sunk.” Then one of the winged things touched his mouth with fire and said, “There, it will be all right now,” and the Mystery Itself said, “Who will it be?” and with charred lips he said, “Me,” and Mystery said “Go.”
Mystery said, “Go give the deaf hell till you’re blue in the face and go show the blind heaven till you drop in your tracks, because they’d sooner eat ground glass than swallow the bitter pill that puts roses in the cheeks and a gleam in the eye. Go do it.”
Isaiah said, “Do it till when?”
Mystery said, “Till hell freezes over.”
Mystery said, “Do it till the cows come home.”
And that is what a prophet does for a living and, starting from the year that King Uzziah died, when he saw and heard all these things, Isaiah went and did it.
~ Frederick Buechner originally published in Peculiar Treasures and later in Beyond Words
My Beloved said, “My name is not complete without yours.”
And I thought, How could a human’s worth ever be such?
And God knowing all of our thoughts, and all our thoughts are just innocent steps on the path, then addressed my heart.
God revealed a sublime truth to the world when He sang
“I am made whole by your life. Each soul, each soul completes Me.”