I have a story for you:
One time I rode a bike around a whole island,
A small island in Michigan
Where there are still more carriages
Than cars so things move slowly,
But what makes this story interesting
Is that I haven’t yet learned how to ride a bike.
Grace is a Man with one face.
Grace is a Spirit with a multitude of fruits.
Grace is a Father delighted to ride
With his daughter on a colorful tandem bike.
Tandem means together and in a certain order
The Father moves first,
The Father sets the direction and the speed,
The Father is the stronger one
In this shared activity.
I can choose to move with him,
I can attempt to match his speed,
Unless I choose to let go and tumble
Off the bike, I go where he leads.
I can contribute with my peddling,
Or I can rest and breathe,
He will keep moving,
He doesn’t need me.
It’s quite the dynamic,
Being wanted but not needed,
Being given authority and choice and a say,
Yet not being able to knock the Father
Off course, nor divert his set gaze,
Don’t get me wrong, there have been times
I twisted, attempting to slip right off my seat,
Every time, every time, my Father looked at me
And asked, “Why are you going, beloved?”
My responses and reasons have varied:
“Well, I’m not doing much,
Maybe it’s better if I leave”
“Well, I feel like I’m doing everything you want
But I’m so weary and I can’t breathe”
“Well, I just can’t see past you,
I don’t know what’s ahead,
What to expect, and that terrifies me”
Or I pull the toddler trick and close my eyes
And clog my ears and hold my mouth
And pretend he can’t see me.
He listens. He laughs kindly.
He lets his heart be grieved
For all the places fear and misunderstanding
Have misconstrued his heart for me.
(It’s a sticky-sweet name, Beloved,
And He means it and He knows it)
“Beloved, will you look at me?”
That’s always the first thing: looking at Him.
Sometimes that’s all it takes to settle me,
Oftentimes I am more obstinate in my unbelief
So once I look at him who’s looking at me,
He just holds eye contact for a long moment.
His eyes tell me he’s not ashamed of me,
Not afraid of my questioning,
Not going to force gratitude on me,
Face to face like this, he opens himself up
To me and lets me examine the textures,
The intricacies, the delicacies, the steadiness
Of himself, his heart, and all his ways.
I’m learning, slowly learning
His kind of patience is a different thing entirely.
He is jealous for me and yet he is also slow
To anger and frustration, and rich in mercy.
Moving and resting
Learning and thriving
Trusting and adjusting
To his rhythms and his ways
His wise and holy ways.
Originally Published on Faith Danielson
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