You all know I like to get my zen on. I like my yoga and my mindfulness and my visualizations and intention-setting. So you can imagine my delight when good friends share their visions. My friend Lindsay emailed me this visualization she has been using and I absolutely love it:
I am in a giant throne room – I guess – a palace type place. God is there, in human form, sitting on a throne. You can’t see the throne because God is just enormous. Like, stretching to the sky, filling the space; He is just huge. I stand in front of Him and my head comes to His feet–that kind of big. In my vision, I am carrying these big boulders. I lug them to His feet and I place them down. The boulders have words etched on them, whether written or engraved. The words are things I need help with, things the last two months have brought to light (some general, some specific). When I first starting visualizing this, I would lug the boulder in and I would place the boulder down. I could see the words very clearly, and then I would turn and walk back through the door.
I was laying them down and that felt good enough.
But lately, I have realized something more. I laid the recent boulder down and then, instead of turning and walking away, I looked up and started climbing. I am climbing up His robe or whatever He wears until I am in His lap. And then I just lay in His arms. It is the safest place in the world, the safest thing I can think to do. It makes me cry now. It is so good. I think of that Phil Wickham song “Safe” and I think this is what that must mean. No one speaks. I just curl up and lay there. I am comforted and safe.
There’s been a lot going on around here lately, the details of which are a post for another day. Suffice it to say that I’ve had some boulders that I’d like to be rid of STAT. So, I’ve been trying to use this visualization, hijacking Lindsay’s zen.
I enter God’s palace…
At first I pictured it like the Lincoln Memorial, but I didn’t like how cold it felt. So I had a little imaginary Joanna Gaines come in and make it cozy. A fireplace here, cedar beams there – expose the shiplap. Ahh, that’s better.
I enter the palace and it smells and looks amazing.
I enter lugging these heavy boulders, engraved by my own clawing, controlling fingernails, probably…SELLING THE HOUSE….STARTING OVER…FINDING A NEW COMMUNITY…BALANCING MOTHERHOOD AND CAREER…They’re heavy and annoying and dirty. So, with a one-two, heave-ho, I heave them at His feet.
The social worker in my mind notices a few – ahem– larger stones there… you know, POVERTY and DISEASE and THE BREAKDOWN OF THE NUCLEAR FAMILY AND ENSUING SOCIOECONOMIC REPERCUSSIONS and I linger by God’s toenails, chiding myself for being such a weak and whiny little baby. Buck up, soldier! You should be able to handle a few stones! God obviously has His hands full, so channel your inner Jillian Michaels and pick those rocks back up.
But the Smeagol to my Gollum pipes up with “But, Master said ‘Come to me, ALL who are weary and heavy-laden’…”So, instead I choose to ignore the giant rocks and place my comparative pebbles on top, where they’ll be more easily noticed.
I am not a muscular human being, so I am weary from hauling the darn things. But I use the last of my strength to grab a chunk of robe and I begin to climb. My upper body sucks, so I use my weirdly strong legs, which have served me so well in the past. I awkwardly donkey kick my way up, up, up to His lap. It’s safe and cozy and I’m tempted to just watch the firelight flicker on the reclaimed wood rafters until I fall asleep, like Lindsay suggests.
Ahhh, just forget it all.
But I am not so mature as all that.
I am not so trusting. I have hijacked this visualization and there’s no turning back now. Zen, schmen, I can’t just lay down and sleep in safety.
I take a page out of my toddler’s book and I yank as hard as I can on a fold of the robe and shout
HI HI HI HI HI HI HI HI HI HI HI HI HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII
Look at me! Notice me! Help me! Comfort me!
I reach up through the radiance and searing beauty and I grab His face – whatever it is that it looks or is like- and I pull it down to my level, just like Aidah does when I’m distracted.
HI HI HI HI HI HI HI
I’m your kid! Your creation! Your joy and treasure and responsibility! I’m tired and hungry and thirsty and I need you!
Look at my boulders down there! Show me what to do with them!
And like the annoying kid I am, I remember every offhanded promise He’s ever made and I hold Him to it verbatim and full-volume:
YOU SAAAAIIIID to be strong and courageous. Over and over you say FEAR NOT.
YOU SAID Fear not, for I have redeemed you. I have summoned you by name and YOU ARE MINE….
YOU SAID whether you turn to the right or the left, you will hear a voice behind you saying this is the way, walk in it.
The Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion
He works all things together for the good of those who love him
Plans to prosper and not to harm you…
I sit it God’s lap and demand His love and faithfulness and attention because I’m His kid and that’s what kids do. And because I know that in a way, my demands are a form of faith. If I didn’t think His promises were true, I wouldn’t be so enraged when they seem withheld. If I didn’t think He truly loved me, I wouldn’t ask for anything.
And you know what? As bizarre a turn as my visualization has taken, it’s become weirdly affective. I’ve been picturing it during my meditation for weeks now and I feel a renewed sense of peace and trust. If only because it reminds me that although I am not in control of much, I am in control of my perspective. Even amidst my frantic, I-believe-forgive-my-unbelief demands, I AM MAKING THEM FROM THE SAFETY OF HIS PRESENCE. I AM LOOKING DOWN AT MY HEAVY BURDEN, NOT CRUSHED BENEATH IT. I move from controlling to curious. From #99problems to #notmyproblem.
Even when I am shouting and crying and incredulous and indignant…even then, I’m shouting because I believe He will listen. I’m riled up my His seeming distraction because I deeply believe Him to be good and just and faithful. I remind Him of all of His promises and I end up remembering all of the other times He’s kept them, even in the most mysterious of ways.
He is the God who wastes nothing.
Even these boulders.