I was just brushing my teeth… and I had a thought. I haven’t been to the garden in a while. My heart fluttered. How could I go so long without visiting? The garden, unlike the dentist, is not some place I’m supposed to visit every six months (though, if you’re like me, you’ve been meaning to call for the past year and just haven’t gotten around to it). No, the garden, isn’t somewhere I have to or am supposed to visit at all. And that’s a good thing, because… let’s face it: if someone told me that I needed to go, I probably wouldn’t. It’s like cleaning the bathroom. If someone would simply say to me, “Please stop cleaning the bathroom. Please don’t ever do it again!” I would. I would clean the bathroom. Probably that very minute. But instead, I’m always hounding myself to clean it – and well, I rarely do (I am being generous with the word rarely). Or… if my English teacher would have told me, all those years ago, to not bother reading To Kill a Mockingbird. To just take it home and look at the front cover and maybe, maybe read the back cover… but only if I really felt like it, then by golly, I probably would have scoured the whole thing from front to back. Curiosity would have got the better of me. But it was the exact opposite. And curiosity and wonderment had no part in it. As a result, I was drawn into the arms of Spark Notes. I didn’t even read the back cover. Oh, but I did watch the movie (sorry, Miss Aden… thanks anyways for the A though).
But as I said, the garden is nothing like any of the obligatory things I just mentioned. And so, as I set my toothbrush into its little tray and wiped my backwash off the mirror (just being honest), my heart was drawn. I could see Him waiting at the gate for me.
Do you hear that? He whispered. Hear what? I asked. Listen. Do you hear that? He continued. I paused and listened carefully. I could hear it. Something. Something which was very quiet at first, but became louder as I stood there. It was a rushing noise. Like water. And waves crashing. Then I could hear the pounding of rain and the boom of thunder and lightening. I looked around me. This wasn’t the garden anymore. It was a torrential downpour — in the middle of a huge body of water. I was sitting in a small canoe by myself, trying to paddle my way out, but failing miserably. The sky was so dark and the rain was so fierce, I couldn’t see land in any direction. I couldn’t see fifteen feet in front of me.
Where am I? I asked.
Political confusion, He answered.
We were back in the garden. The sun was radiating, casting warmth on my back. We were standing in a beautiful field of tall grass. I collapsed onto my knees — the way I always do when He speaks. The way I do when I want to ask questions, want to change the subject, but can’t. I know what He means. I’ve maybe never heard such a thing in my life, but when He speaks, darkness flees. Confusions flees. Lies flee. There’s no gray area. There’s nothing to question. There’s no confusion. His words cut like a knife — through everything that must be cut away.
I simply stood before Him, my eyes flooded with light, and nodded. Then I walked into His arms. He grabbed me and pulled me tight. I’m so sorry, Daddy.
I didn’t have to pull out a list and name all of the things that had vied to tug my heart away from Him — political opinions, strong political opinions, extremely strong political opinions. Pride. I hate pride. I would like to put another word in its place, but it’s really the only one that fits. No, there was no list. There was no naming names. There was just collapsing in His arms and forsaking it all instantly. How? I don’t know. It’s not that I had such restrain or resistance against these things that I could just drop them and not care to ever go back. No, I like my opinions. But I like Him more. And when He spoke, I couldn’t turn away. Not because I didn’t want to turn away. I was absolutely, physically incapable of doing so. His word cut through everything that would have kept me from Him, from truth.
The political spirit that looms over this country right now is very blinding. It’s exactly like the picture He showed me — of sitting in the boat, the storm so loud that you can’t hear, so dark that you can’t see anything — but yourself. Maybe I started out on the shore, but once I put my boat in the water, the tide pulled me out. I couldn’t resist it. The political spirit is strong, alluring, enticing.
Does this mean I can’t fight anymore? I asked Him this. And do you know what He said? No. What a wonderful Daddy! I can still fight. But He told me to fight from the garden — our secret place, where I can see everything clearly. He told me to stop fighting from that old boat that’s stuck in the eye of the storm. I can’t see anything out there. I can’t tell east from west from north from south. All darkness is the same at night.
So, I will continue to fight — for righteousness, for justice, for a godly leader who will pass righteous laws and stand for justice — for those who cannot defend themselves. 40 million of them. But I will do so from a place of far greater power and influence.
Help me, LORD. Please keep my hands frozen to the sword.