Still

I mowed the lawn with a vengeance this morning. I mean an actual vengeance. Like, “How dare you sit there so smug and tall and defiantly bushy?!” I needed to have dominion over nature in some way, and the grass was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Because here we are in a spot few of us could have foreseen at the hopeful beginning of this year: the whole world held hostage by a few runaway bits of RNA. And, just like that, no more school or church or ballet classes or prayer group. No more travel, no visits with our parents, no concerts or field trips or coffee with friends. Only an indefinite stretch of cloistered days that just might have this extrovert chewing holes in the wall and hugging random trees in our yard before it’s all over.

My husband and I are now jostling for elbow room to spread out and both work from home. My oldest is suddenly trying to finish her freshman year of college online, and my third grader desperately misses her teacher and classmates. We have family members in the highest risk category, and there’s not much we can do about it. My sister and her family are stuck in Thailand for the foreseeable future, and some of our closest friends are in such a remote overseas location that they won’t have access to emergency medical care until international borders reopen.

I’m frustrated. I’m angry.

I’m afraid.

So I attacked the grass. It’s been unseasonably warm recently, and the lawn has become a miniature jungle. Usually my husband tackles the first mow of the season with our gas-powered mower, and then I keep it up through the rest of the spring and summer with our little motorless push trimmer. But this morning my husband had to brave the marauding hordes to find groceries, and the grass was sitting there, brazenly pushing skyward without my permission. I had to conquer it the hard way.

Like Sly Stallone on a rampage, I gritted my teeth and shoved and bellowed, gradually beating the jungle into submission, swath by stubborn swath, going back to take out individual blades of grass where they foolishly stood their ground beside their fallen comrades. I growled at creation spinning out of control, grunted my breathless lament at the world’s brokenness. I toiled and sweated with Adam, groaned and labored with Eve.

And then I was quiet. Two geese flew over, just above the trees, followed by a silent heron gliding down to dabble for fish in our neighbor’s pond. They didn’t know the world had changed. Neither did the low clouds that started to drip liquid grace, softening the ground. Softening me.

I’m not always great at being still. But maybe that’s okay.

Because as I wrestle for dominion over my little corner of creation and I moan my grief and anger and anxiety over everything I can’t control… God is still who He’s always been.

He is still God.

This virus wears an arrogant name, like it’s somehow in charge. Corona and crown may share the same Latin root, but we know who’s actually sovereign. Our good God, who wears the crown now and forever, isn’t even a tiny bit intimidated by this pompous little challenger. His authority is unshaken, and His victory is secure.

Jesus is still the Way, the Truth, and the Life, who has conquered death and every evil, spiteful design of the enemy.

The Holy Spirit is still our Companion and Comforter, the Giver of peace that passes understanding.

Our Father is still the Healer, and He’s still drawing His people and His creation into complete wholeness.

True stillness during this season won’t come from slowing down because of quarantines or cancellations or travel bans. We can be rooted in one spot and still be tossed around by our own restless hearts. The only anchor that can hold us stable when creation writhes and thrashes is the stillness of God.

He hasn’t moved.

He isn’t going anywhere,

And we are still firmly, securely cradled in His strong hands.

3 Comments

  1. Rhonda
    Mar 21, 2020

    Stunning. Thank you for naming this angst and futility and wring out hope so well.

  2. Lindsay
    Mar 21, 2020

    So good, Friend. I did the same thing today… except I destroyed mountains of excess from my master bedroom closet… the excess is too much and causes daily anxiety that I so often don’t notice because of the distractions… I took out my anger on the “junk” that has sucked the life out of me in so many ways. So glad to know my sweet friend is open enough to encourage me in transparency. How does the lawn look now? Less jungle-like?

  3. Julie Davis
    Mar 22, 2020

    I love it, Beth! Keep writing… 🙂

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