Married just over a month now and we are experiencing the first “out of town family visit”…well I guess that’s not technically true since Shawn’s parents visited a couple of weeks ago- but since they live only 5 hours away by car and my parents FLEW 5 hours to get here it seems a lot more like an out of town visit…at any rate…its… interesting.
If you look up the meaning of my name on babynames.com it will say that Katharine means “pure” and Rachel means “lamb”, but I think beside my name it would be more accurate if it read “control freak” – rather than soft picture of a lamb, the more honest picture would be of a sergent- marching around with stiff steps, ordering the masses to behave as I see fit. This is a terrible [and telling, I am afriad] story my mom often repeats…”We were afriad Aaron (my younger brother of 2 yrs) would never learn to speak because when they played Kate always told him what to say next” Sad, but true. Welcome to reality of life with Kate.
So here I am- watching my family interact with my new husband- and inside I feel like a nervous wreck! Beth has spent lots of time with Shawn, but everyone else hasn’t. And I have to tell you, I never noticed how different they are…that is my family of origin and the new one Shawn and I are building. I know its partly the whole Midwest-West Coast difference (which is very real, if you haven’t experienced it yourself)…and I know its partly the fact that Shawn grew up an only child and there seems to be an ever-growing number of us…its a lot of things. But I couldn’t help thinking today when we ate lunch how LOUD we are… I couldn’t help taking note of the fact that Shawn sometimes seems too easily bothered by ruckus. The whole morning seemed to be a ping pong game in my mind- I would see it one way and then the other. I felt like asking everyone to “please run all comments through me first before speaking them”-just to make sure no one would be offended or annoyed. Let me tell you, IT WAS A MENTAL WORKOUT!
I gave up around 3:00pm. And the day was great. My dad and my husband bonded over fish and fixing our house and dealing with women like my mom and I. The boys played X-Box and it was a wonderful day for everyone. Even me. That is, once I let go.
And I got to thinking tonight while I should have been strategizing for the game of Acquire [that I miserably lost]….I got thinking about how silly it was that I was trying to protect everyone from each other…when everyone really wanted to just enjoy each other. I was protecting people that didn’t need or want to be protected. They wanted to bump into each other (maybe awkwardly at times) and find the boundaries of each others’ personalities and learn how to interact…
I wonder if I am that way with God..? Does my need to protect and plan and arrange go that far? Do I think even He needs me to facilitate His interactions? Sadly. Yes. Yes. and sometimes Yes. Sometimes I think the God of the Universe needs my help with people. Needs me to soften the blow of His wildness. Needs me to explain His words. Needs me to arrange the conversation so it works out nicely.
Wow. I want to unlearn that notion. I want to learn to let the wildness of God bump into people without me as a buffer. To let them awkwardly fumble and stumble into His personhood. I want to learn to let God just BE.
After recovering the Arc of the Covenant (in the Old Testament it was the place where the Presence of God resided) from their enemies, David and his men went back home… David, a very flawed man but one who most obviously loved His God, was dancing joyously the whole way back- beside himself with gladness to know their God was back in their camp. The Arc was being carried on a stand of sorts pulled along by oxen. An ox stumbled slightly and the Arc must’ve teetered to some extent because Uzziah reached out to steady it and….well, the Bible doesn’t make it frilly so I won’t either- He dies instanteously.
He forgot the holiness of God and took it upon himself to “protect” the most un-protectable Being. He momentarily forgot the God he was going to ‘steady’ had a voice that shook the mountains – a voice that had spoken air and light into existance. He thought the clay needed to direct the Potter. Uzziah and I are from the same bolt of cloth.
By the grace of a listening and transforming God, I WILL leave behind my role as protector- of my family, my husband, people who don’t know my God- and especially my notion to protect that very same God. Amen. So let it be.