I collapsed in bed last night at 8:30 PM, eyes red and heavy from a superbly exhausting weekend that left me broken and poured out, just as I hoped it would. The IF:Gathering unraveled me, and my eyes burned from the splendor and surrender of it all.
At 3:30 AM, our now lion-sized golden retriever puppy, Douglas, woke me with his hiccups and hurling up of sticks he’d ingested earlier in the day. Twenty minutes later, he stirred and stretched out, dragging his paws and nails across the wall next to my nightstand. You’ve got to be kidding me, dog.
Around 4:15 AM, blood started pouring from my nose for no good reason, and as I bolted for the bathroom I noticed that our bedroom door was open just wide enough to spell jailbreak. With a paper towel jammed up my right nostril, I went searching for Douglas before he woke up the kids. I intercepted him mid-prowl in our family room downstairs.
Giving up on sleeping, I sat out the couch, wrapped one arm around Douglas’ warm belly, and grabbed my phone. This post from IF:Gathering’s Rebekah Lyons was the first thing I saw after the light hit my eyes:
Aslan is stirring, friends.
In the name of Jesus He’s taking us places we’ve never wanted to go. To the depths of our souls, with our woundings and our grief. And He’s meeting us there with the most precious reminder of all, “I love you so much I died to show it, so that you may be free.” Free from bondage and oppression, shame and condemnation. In the words of Shelley Giglio, “We are standing in the middle of a miracle.”
Our leadership team broke with tears of joy, perhaps with the angels in heaven, on Sat at 5 pm. And yet the numbers keep rising. As if God is saying, “This is only the beginning. I have much more for my daughters. Just watch and see.”
Behold, God is doing a new thing. He’s setting captives free.
That’s when I let go of Douglas, smashed a throw pillow into my bloody face, and fell backward to horizontal on the couch.
Aside from looking just like Aslan, God, my dog has nothing at all to do with this early morning ron de vous, huh?
I stared at the ceiling for an hour, trying to reconcile what’s next with what’s now. I have God-given dreams I want to flesh out, but I’ve also got dirty dishes to deal with, like, pronto. I have some probably-useful talents to lend to the kingdom, but I also have thirteen baseball games to get our boys to between now and next Monday. I have some words I know I’m supposed to write, but I also have, you know, actual work to do. The kind that pays money and stuff.
You hear what I’m sayin’?
I may not be able to reconcile what’s next with what’s now quite yet, but I will throw this out there…
IF: Jesus is stirring, then there’s not a chance in hell I’m going to be able to sleep through the rumble.
IF: he’s on the move, then heck yeah things are about to get all kinds of loud and messy and bloody and inconvenient.
IF: he’s calling us to bolt from our cozy covers to use our gifts and our guts to make his Gospel real to this world, then it’s going to cost us our comfortable Christianity. You can count on that, sisters.
Are we prepared for that? Something tells me we’re about to find out.
After all, “he’s wild you, you know, not like a tame lion.”