I’m writing this up in my childhood tree fort. I don’t know exactly why I’m up here but the sun is shining and a breeze is making the wood frame creak a little. It reminds me of summer nights spent up here, playing my Gameboy and falling asleep to the wind slowly rustle the leaves. Life was so sweet and simple. I was completely oblivious to deeper, soul-level questions because, well, I think my soul was doing just fine. I was a child, and Jesus said that children have a pretty good perspective on life.
But then this world started to tear my soul open some. Life began to hurt and Gameboy’s and sleeping bags and rustling leaves weren’t cutting it anymore. I should say they aren’t cutting it anymore. After seeing things like ISIS and Baltimore and federal level 4 kids who haven’t experienced family or home or love, I think to myself Can I do anything today that will actually matter? After feeling fear and loneliness and a broken heart, I ask Is consistently being loved a pipe dream? And I’m only 20! I feel like my soul has been torn and my mind spilled over, yet I’m just a white, middle class kid from the burbs of Minnesota. I can’t imagine the pain of those in Nepal. I can’t fathom the heartache of losing a spouse. I don’t know the misery of poverty and oppression and persecution. There’s an entire world of suffering out there that I haven’t come close to touching.
But it still hurts… This little life I have, it hurts. My soul aches with feeling incompetent and unproductive and meaningless. I fear that this summer will be hollow, days coming and going senselessly.
And while I may see this world in chaos and my soul might be writhing with unanswered questions, there is still laughter and family and a breeze making the wood frame creek a little.
I may not have all the answers, but there’s a lot of goodness in searching for them. I might struggle to know what to do with myself from day to day, but when I just take a moment to notice the sun setting through the lime-green leaves or hear the birds singing their summer songs, I find some rest. And it really is mysterious rest. A rest that is content being in process – broken, longing, confused. A rest that pushes through all the thoughts plaguing my mind to find a Dad waiting for me with open arms.
Maybe it has to do with being like a child again. Having faith in the people that love me so that I can relax and fall asleep to the wind slowly rustle the leaves. Trusting Dad so I can take a deep breath and simply be thankful for the grace that is blowing through the cracks in the wood. And know that this is enough.
And I think I just have to get used to this – being in process. I’ll never know what tomorrow is going to bring. Some days will be good and some bad. And that’s ok, right? Because in the end we’re all just kids, and kids don’t worry about what Dad’s got planned. They just know that if He could build this awesome tree fort, He’s probably got something even more amazing up his sleeve.