The picture below is of me, in sweat pants and house shoes, taken at a hospital restaurant during our stay.It doesn't get much better the farther up you go. A stained sweatshirt, zero makeup, hair thrown up in a bun, and probably not even a shower that day. In real life I would've never been out of the house in such form. But this wasn't real life. As I looked down at my current state, in public no less, I couldn't help but laugh at how little I cared. This was definitely the real me. Not the fancied up, clean, perfected image of who I am.
Is there ever a more anxious moment as a believer, when in a room with other believers, and you're asked to say a prayer out loud? How do you word the prayer? How much scripture do you use? How long do you go? Am I the only one that's ever worried about such things? It's ridiculous, because all you're doing is talking to God. Why do we worry about what that looks like?
During Ellis' illness I had many talks with God. To be frank, I talked to Him in some pretty heated ways. One of the most intense talks was in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. I was livid. So angry at what was happening. So scared. So confused. Feeling entirely abandoned by my God. I told Him every bit of what I was feeling. Although I was praying in my head, it was as though I was shouting. I didn't hold back. It was as raw as it's ever gotten. But you know what? It was real. It was what I felt in the moment.
And God can handle every bit of it.
As our time at the hospital continued my prayers went from long, angry tirades of "why" to simply choking out the words "please" and "no, no, no" through tears. I didn't need to say more, I didn't need to do more. The simplicity of those words in the intensity of the moment said all that needed to be said. He heard and understood it all.
David was a man who was used mightily by the Lord. Even after he made mistakes, even when He screwed up, the Lord's hand was on His life. He was described as a man after Gods own heart. David, the same man who blessed the Lord so eloquently in the Psalms also turns around and asks if the Lord is going to continue to abandon him. He released every emotion in his writings from the purest of adoration to the rawest of pain. It's all in there.
You know what else? It's all powerful.
There's so much beauty in the ability to be who you truly are. To say what you truly feel. No masks. No pretending.
That's how the Lord wants us to come to Him. No false pretenses. No waxing poetically. No rehearsals. Just us. He knows how we truly feel any way. He knit us. He formed us.
He's big enough to handle every bit of our pain. He's big enough to understand our anger. He's kind enough to let us speak it. He's gentle enough to lead us to the truth. Which is this: never will He leave, never will He forsake.
That's who He is.
He wants every part of us. Every bleeding wound and every bit of pain. Every disappointment and every uncertainty. He just asks us to come. As we are.
Sweatpants and all.
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Psalm 139:23