We just painted and rearranged our bedroom and have yet to put up one bookshelf, so at the moment my journals are sitting on the church pew right inside our most frequently used door.
And today I thought I'd give you a peek into the journal I pulled from the pile.
But I digress.
The entry I noticed in this journal (in the black pen) was written on August 30, 1991. We had just moved to Sequim, WA (pronounced SQUIM for those of you not from these parts) from Tacoma, and were bunking with Beve's parents while waiting for our house to be completed. It was close quarters with the grandparents, but we've always felt so blessed that God gave us that time. A month later, while we were still in their home, Beve's mom was diagnosed with endimetrial cancer. A year later--on September 14, 1992--she died. So it was definitely God's hand that put us there for such a time as that.
But I knew none of that when I wrote these words. And I didn't know that Beve's dad would live another 20 years +. What I did observe was something I could have written today. In fact, it's unbelievable that I could have written it then rather than now, when I knew NOTHING of aging parents with cancer, Alzheimer's, etc. Or of my own personal adversity. But the Spirit knew. And I can absolutely attest that these words are true.
The older we grow, the more basic we become. We must work harder to mask the warts of self. Finally, set firmly, we stop masking altogether. Or maybe finally the mask just cracks and cracks until it no longer stays on our face. Younger people wonder then why we're so difficult, why we can't just get along and be pleasant, when we changed and got so crotchety when perhaps we haven't changed at all. When the very acts of life--breathing, pooping, eating--require notice and work, we cannot afford energy on politeness. The paradox, however, is that we keep trying and rather than recognize that we've dropped the facade, we assume it's the world around us--the 'other'--that has made us become hostile. It seems to me that the best way to get a true sense of a person's spirit is to see him/her at the ends of life. Look at a two year old and an eighty year old--they'll tell you the truth of themselves. They can't help it. At thirty-five, the game seems worth playing, the mask is made of concrete, the image worth preserving.
Adversity does the same thing, I guess. Maybe that's what God wants. He wants me stripped to self, no matter how ugly that is, in order to re-create what REALLY is rather than what I want to be, pretend to be. He wants that mask destroyed today, while I'm only 35, so that at 80, I'll be pure gold.
And that's what I want to. No matter what it takes.