By Karen Swank
Before earth was earth or time was time, there was, is, and always will be You. In that space, You dreamed a dream, and it was me. You spoke, coloring the void, filling it with light and beauty. You formed earth, painting deserts here, pouring oceans there, drawing trees and decorating them in every fanciful manner. You populated it with creatures both fierce and subtle…some too small for the naked eye, others under whose feet the ground trembles.
You made it all for me: a place for my feet to tread, a resting place when I recline, creatures great and small to meet my needs or tickle my fancy. Before I was, this Your gift awaited my arrival.
You formed me miraculous and beautiful in Your very image, knowing precisely what I would cost. You saw how I would be seduced by darkness, craving my own power.
Before I breathed my first breath, You knew that I would curse Your name and turn the other way…how willingly I would reach out to seize gifts proffered by hands other than Yours.
You intricately wove the most delicate parts of me, knowing my sin would drive thorns deep into your brow, knowing the bits of glass, bone and nails that would tear Your flesh away on my behalf. You dreamed the dream that was me, knowing the blackness of the day necessary to buy me back from the consequences of my own choices.
And it pleased You to ransom me.
Here in my comfortable space, I consider the magnitude of Your love, and my mind can’t do the math. I examine the blessings You’ve given me, all far beyond any measure of worth I can find within my broken self.
I note miracles, signs and wonders You have opened in the life of this one who fumbles in even the smallest of things. I study the landscape behind me, noting Your footprints innumerable across it.
I feel the warmth of Your nearness, which does not fade away when I tremble and weep at things so much smaller than You. I recall second chances and second chances and second chances, ad infinitum. Your mercy endures forever; I prove it daily.
Everyday life beckons, seeking to crowd You out of my view. Paychecks vie for godhood in my life. Murmuring discordant voices chant that security is king of all creation.
Distractions sing loudly, contending for my passion. Spirits of fear whisper oily threats disguised as wisdom, casting insurance policies in the role of my only shield and protection. Wear these chains, they chant, you must create your own safety. The voices pull at my energy and drain my hope.
And yet…beyond the noise and the posturing…beyond the whispers and lies…beyond the shiny distractions…comes another sound. Like the roar of rushing waters, steady and sure, You sing over me.
Your words breathe life into my today, and the image of You rises up within me, beautiful and strong. Your call on me is swift and sure. The wildness in my heart chafes at the world’s restraints.
What will I do with my today, with my tomorrow?
Stooping and turning, I draw a circle in the sand. Unbroken, it surrounds me. Standing, I lift my head, my hands, my heart to You. I offer the best that I have:
This space not for sale.
Karen is from Aledo, IL. She went to Monmouth College and studied Latin and English. She is a biological mom of two children and surrogate mom/friend/advocate for a whole host of children. She would like to meet every wounded soul that I’ve she’s ever known… as a child, before the “damage was done” so she could tell them how much they are loved.