You Are Welcome Here

I was in the kitchen making lunches, and I wasn’t weary like I should’ve been.  Perhaps it was the relaxing weekend with family or the alone time I took this morning.  I could feel my soul, though, try to slip away to the place it goes on hospital weeks.

It’s not easy to describe unless you yourself have endured this.

Going on four years it was, since we began this hospital journey, and each time feels like the first walk down the freshman hall in September, nervous and scary.  I’m a pro, an expert even, but in the depths of my bones, I’ll always be an amateur at heart. I don’t want to get comfortable here because I still have hope that one day we’ll be “normal.”

In the background, I could hear a YouTube video, a familiar sound.  McCall, my oldest, had turned on a worship song, “Holy Spirit,” while I was preparing lunches.  I’ve sung that song what seems like a million times, but the words were fresh today.

Holy Spirit, You are welcome here.

The words seemed to sit on the top of my heart, until they finally melted and covered it whole. It had been a while since I had welcomed Him in.  In to those deep places, which for me lie messy within the walls of the Operating Room.  And within my tired, trusting heart.

Let me get through this week, I always tell Him.  And then, then I might invite You back in.

Something unfamiliar came over me, and I felt drawn to my little Sawyer Blaine.  He sat quietly, head bobbing slowly to the music and feet dangling off the leather bar stool.

I gently wrapped my arms around him and breathed in the smell of his thick hair.  He smelled of corn and almonds, and it reminded me to give thanks.

I watched simple things like his stomach move in and out as he breathed and his tiny blue fingers, stained from blueberries, shove food in his mouth like a barbarian.  My hungry boy.  Thank God.

Maybe I was getting on his nerves, or at least in his way, but he didn’t say.  He let me love him.

A thousand memories flooded my mind, and with the music still playing in the background, tears slid down their familiar path, down my high cheekbones and landing somewhere on the top of my shirt.

If the tears could talk, they would tell of a passionate soul who felt life so deeply, maybe too deeply at times.  They would say that it’s certainly possible to have joy and sorrow wrapped up in the perfect package of a tear.  They would tell stories of perseverance and hope and hard work.

It was in these moments that I audibly welcomed Him in.  I could feel the presence of God in the making of lunches, right there in my very too-small kitchen.

It was then that I realized I don’t just want to feel Him in places that foster worship.  That’s easy for me. That’s my retreat, my refreshment, but it’s not the sum of my experience with His presence.   It’s when I feel Him standing with me, cheering me on, in the moments that are all too safe and familiar that prove I need Him every hour.  It’s then that I know I have a real, genuine relationship with my Creator.

My thoughts came back to the present, and I felt the overwhelming sense to show gratitude for my life.  I gave thanks for Sawyer and quietly moved to the next bar stool, as not to make any sudden movements that might disturb this moment.

I continued until I had given thanks for each gift, these three boys of ours.

It’s not often that time slows down as it did today—that in itself is a miracle.  God gave me a glimpse into His comfort, the comfort that is available to us all during our deep, dark places.

So today, I don’t feel alone or weary.  I feel surrounded and prepared and encouraged to do one more hospital week.

Oh Jesus, you are welcome here in this heart of mine.  Dwell in it and become the love that overflows from it.

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