It’s finally as quiet as it will be; babies tucked tightly in two cold bedrooms. The monotonous hum of the fireplace seems our only hope. I gaze intently at the orange flames, following their fiery patterns with my tired and somewhat nervous eyes.
My mind purposely wanders to a time when I suspect this was not a momentous occasion. A hot meal must be worked for. A warm house wasn’t guaranteed. There really may not be tomorrow.
Suddenly, I feel like a passenger misplaced in time, very much like the movie from which I was named. I’m now just Somewhere in Time, somewhere floating on the spectrum of life.
The stillness settles my worrying mind and slows my heartbeat to a normal rhythm. My concerns shift from that of stereotypical first world problems to that of what real survival means. I’ve been afforded so many modern luxuries: three childbirth deliveries with the aid of modern medicine, a car to take us wherever we go, a climate controlled shelter so consistent that I don’t even realize its stability.
Suddenly, I long to trade places with my 19th century counterpart, not out of some selfish experiment, but out of genuine curiosity.
Granted, we don’t have the skills necessary for such an ice storm of historic proportions, but my intricate mind can’t help but wonder.
In the stillness, I see God. The only way to truly Be Still is a forced stillness, as the temptations of the modern world prove too much for my self control.
I’m here, bundled with blankets, blinded by the gift and luxury of the gas log fire, wondering how I take my life for granted. When I cry “Life is hard,” I know my sheltered mind can’t fully comprehend what the true meaning of difficult is. I”ll never walk in the shoes of a woman whose primary goal and purpose of life is to help the family actually survive. Because I’ve got blogs to write and purses to sell, you see. I know nothing of struggle and pain to survive–I know of struggle and pain to survive comfortably.
The sun is finally peeking through the frozen horizon, and I can hear the perpetual drip, drip, drip of melting ice. These iced trees are among the most beautiful and mysterious sights my young eyes have yet seen.
But as I watch the strong and feeble limbs fall to the ground one by one, I realize the beauty isn’t in the ice, but in the fall. The iced trees were inevitable, as is the weight they bear. They are full, they sway, they drip, they crack….all because of the uncontrollable force of what used to be an innocent drop of rain, the very same molecule that is quenching my thirst as I write.
After some time, the weight is too much and limbs begin falling, falling, falling–not to their death, but to their life.
I see fallen branches lining the yard in sporadic yet purposeful patterns. The trees are still iced, but the fallen branches are without. They lie on the solid ground in freedom. The fear of the fall has come and gone, and they no longer carry any weight, as the ice finally melts and drips to the ground.
I’m watching from the comfort of my stale, frigid shelter, but shelter nonetheless. My mind drifts back to God, and I hear His gentle whisper once again, “Be still, and know Me.” I consider my own wrongdoings of how I’ve complicated it all, fallen prey to culture and its convenience. It’s biblically clear that when I can’t see God or feel a self-prescribed distance, it’s because of my refusal to simply be still.
Then I become like the branches, allowing self inflicted freezing rain to pour down, cover my soul, freeze my ability to move… I continue this pattern until I can take no more. Bits of snow and ice fall first, a small, yet satisfying loss. I hang on for dear life, for the tree has always been my comfort.
The physical pressure eventually proves too much, and I begin my descent. I land on the solid ground, joining the other fallen branches. It doesn’t take long to thaw, and I can feel my weight gone, no longer a flimsy limb blowing in the winter breeze, but a broken, thawed branch lying upon solid ground, the real vine, waiting for my almost-broken counterparts to meet me at the freedom of the fall.
Questions to ponder:
- What is your “freezing rain” that immobilizes your soul?
- How is there peace and freedom on the “solid ground”?
- How does our principal of DO LESS, BE MORE apply to the verse “Be still, and know that I am God”?
Verse for the week:
“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10