Have you ever walked through a trial wondering if you could make it through to the other side? It feels as though you’re swimming in the ocean sea and you’re barely able to keep your head a float. It’s the feeling of pure hopelessness. Your heart is wretched right from you. You can barely breath. When you finally muster some words up, all that comes out are tears. Or when there aren’t tears, there is anguish, anger & pain.
Recently my family has gone through this sort of wretched pain. The kind that makes you wallow with those deep guteral sobs of relentless agony type of pain. And then the things in which normally give me solace, like cooking, talking, coffee, reading, or writing, barely scratch the surface of healing the wound.
Then, I think about hospitality and I think of all the four letter curse words I want to yell out at people who complain about how their technology isn’t serving them well, or how they’re uncomfortable in the heat, or some other half-assed reason to moan about how their lives aren’t exactly perfect. I don’t want to serve these people. I don’t even want to serve my own family, because my soul feels as though it has been ripped from me and then smashed down with a sledgehammer. Even trying to make dinner last night was impossible, as I stared aimlessly into the fridge then sat on the floor and started to sob.
And without going into details about the nightmare my family is going through (specifically my brother & sister-in-law), I began to realize a lot as I sat there crying with my fridge door wide open. I was carrying this burden of disaster upon myself and it was way too huge. I was listening to my mother grieve, listening to my sister-in-law grieve, and trying to help my mom make sense of it as well. The reality of this nightmare finally hit me a couple days later as I sat with the cool air rushing out of the fridge hitting against me. I couldn’t listen to another ounce of troubles, or I would explode. I needed to let it out, and the best seat in the house was my kitchen floor.
I realized that hospitality is about giving a voice to people, through listening to them when no one else will, but there are times when it’s good to stop listening. I found myself hearing this song, “My soul finds rest in God alone, My Rock & My Salvation.” What I realized is I kept trying to listen and help, while bearing the brunt of the burden on my shoulders. Finally, my shoulders gave way and the floodgate of tears began to pour, along with my heart. I kept singing this one line from the song (because that’s really all I knew) and understood that God was calling me to rest in Him. Well, what does that look like–right?
It dawned on me that I needed to take a Sabbath from listening and dealing with the pain. I could take a day to rest in God alone and not deal with being a hospitable daughter, sister, and friend. I can take a day, in order to be a host who guides my guest to the cross. So today as I rest in God alone and in my Sabbath of rest, I can walk confidently in knowing that there is hope for the future. I can sit and cry on my kitchen floor, but it won’t always be a puddle of tears, but a puddle of spilled milk will come in the future. I don’t think it will necessarily be tomorrow, or maybe it will be a mixture of spilled tears and milk (because I do have a 2 1/2 year old running around) for a while. But for the current moment I have to rest in knowing that my soul finds rest in God alone, in order to stay a float.