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  • Katie Smith

Faithless Wind--blown down by breeze

A breeze blesses hot skin. A feeling that the Lord is with you on a hot day. A gust tears away everything in its path. A feeling that God is against you.

The whispering winds of Baja lull the boys to sleep in rocking rhythm. I, on the other hand, am wide awake, aware of the powerful noise. I hear howling. They hear sweet nothings. I wonder-- will a window shatter? They wonder-- when can we have a snack? I wonder-- will our belongings be shattered? They wonder--can we pretend a tornado is coming?

There's a feeling of chaos living in fragile and temporary environments. Stability is missing, yet God feels more stable here. He is literally our only rock. The vulnerability of living in nature spotlights our lack of faith. When did mine shrink? Or has is always been so small?  I'm fighting the wind rather than moving with it or letting it glide over my back. If I run into the wind I feel it fight back, but when I turn the corner, it dies at my back. Then, I see how little power it actually had. I just had to turn around and stop staring in the wrong direction with watery eyes.

Blurry vision camouflages reality. The forecast keeps predicting without the "godly exception." The locals say this type of wind only happens once a year. What are the odds of so many things "strangely" occurring as we live here. It's both incredible and overwhelming-- both heavenly and hellish. But then, I see people sleeping in tents next to us , and mockery melts my fear. God places people near us to hold our hands and shift our focus as He shifts the wind. Then, the wind hits our backs, and we don't have to fight anymore.

It reminds me of Puritan poem, The Valley of Vision:

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,Thou has brought me to the valley of vision, where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights; hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory.
Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high, that the broken heart is the healed heart, that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, that the repenting soul is the victorious soul, that to have nothing is to possess all, that to bear the cross is to wear the crown, that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells, deepest wells, and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine;
Let me find Thy light in my darkness, Thy life in my death, Thy joy in my sorrow, Thy grace in my sin, Thy riches in my poverty Thy glory in my valley.

God keeps stripping me with the weather. There are more layers to peel, but I have to acknowledge the grip I've been trying to have on the wind and realize I'm holding nothing. I'm holding onto a past pattern that gave me the illusion of control. The easy technology that gave me the perception of preparation. When we have control, comfort, and convenience, we fear the wrong things. Perhaps now it's not so much fear as it is lack of predictability.

Constant noise-- wind and otherwise, constant movement-- people and places, and a constant lack of certainty. Everything, even the weather is constant, yet unpredictable. It always was before, but now I see it from a new vantage point. In all the unpredictability, I see my need for grace. I see my need for Jesus--more real and more involved in our lives now than ever before. It's the paradox of life, "to have nothing is to possess everything. Thy light in my darkness, thy glory in my valley." The fruit of faith grows best in windy, war-torn soil.

Weathering Carefully and Carelessly

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