When I wake up in the morning, I have my routines and all the little things I feel I have to do. Wash my face, brush my teeth. Make some coffee, and while the machine is working I put away dry dishes, and tidy the living room. Take time to pray, and commune with my Father, and enter into God’s presence. As I do all these little things on the road to my quiet moment with The Father, I find my mind is bombarded with thoughts. I am one of those that does not need any coffee to “wake up.” But I have to try really hard to push all the random thoughts away, and to say in my mind’s eye and intent – touch me not; I have not yet ascended to the Father. By the way, whenever I think of that passage, I am struck by the gentleness and loving heart of Jesus, speaking to Mary Magdalene. He doesn’t just focus on what he is doing, and what he needs. He just died a horrible death after being pinned to a cross for hours, after a long and torturous trial. I can just imagine how much he is wanting to go home; to see his father, and to find himself in the arms of the One that makes all earthly trials worth the effort. But there is Mary, needing him. So he takes a minute, in the middle of all that, on his way to The Father, to care for Mary, and for the rest of the disciples. “Touch me not,” he says,
“For I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
That bit – that he takes the time to include her and the disciples in what is happening, moves me. My Father and your Father, My God, and your God. He has not forgotten her, nor his disciples, and all their needs. You are my family, and I am always caring for you. That’s the kind of God we have. Isn’t he beautiful?
Anyway, my mind wanders. As it does in the mornings. My heart’s intent is to keep my thoughts clean, untouched by the world; the media, the news, “The Facebook,” and emails, etc. As they come sailing in, I push all these glimmering vessels away from my port, as I wait to be able to come to my Father. And I wish that were the end of the story: I recognize what needs to be done, and I do it. (And the heavenly hosts cheer – Brava!) Mercifully I do generally remember, and recognize what my daily intention is. But then the world comes in. Little notifications on my screen, letting me know that someone responded to my email. Or to my text. Phone calls. Uncalled for thoughts, of every shape and size begin to flood the perimeters of my thought, interrupting my progress on the path to my Father. And the sweet picture I had in mind of a loving daughter (probably polishing her halo), finding rest idyllically in the arms of her Father with her coffee cup, vanishes like the mist that it really was. Most days my reality is rather different. The picture in reality is a little less peaceful… And a little more like that of a soldier on the battle front, running through enemy lines. Bombarded on the left hand and on the right, trying to avoid the snipers and land mines – running for her life, running to her life, to the arms of her Father. It is a slightly different image than the perfect one conjured up by my mind’s eye. Why do we always do that?
But back to Mary; I never noticed – how many things are more visible as I come back to them – that she is coming to Jesus as soon as she can; on the first day of the week. And while it is still dark – so the very first thing in the morning.
“I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not.” (Song of Solomon, 3:2)
Not finding him in his grave she is alarmed, she goes and gets Peter and John. They all go to the grave, and confirm that he is not there. So the men leave – what can be done has been done. Perhaps they go to figure out what to do next, or to their own weeping for the loss of their master. But Mary’s heart is full of sorrows, and she is hungry still – bleeding still. She is searching for comfort, for something to heal her broken heart, to fill the emptiness, to make her life right. Then – she sees the angel.
“Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord.” (Jer. 29:13,14)
Our Father is beautiful, and he loves us. He knows our frame, that we are made of dust. That we are children, and we are not good enough, or strong enough. He is good, and He is strong, and He has the strength that His children need. He is what His children need. But most of the time we are forgetful, and we get carried away with the things of this life, the affairs of the day, and the thoughts of the Father fade by the wayside. That is the reality many of our days. But no matter; we must simply keep on “keeping on.” We continue on our mission, and on the road towards the Father, no matter how many times we trip or fall. His love, and His Grace are sufficient for us, and He will get us through the enemy lines. He will help us to become who we need to become.
“But from whatever quarter come our troubles, whether from the world outside or the world inside, still let us pray. In his own right way – the only way that could satisfy us, for we are of his kind – will God answer our prayers with help.”
– George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons
-Father, give us the strength of will and intent to stay on the road to you. Help us not to get distracted, and when distractions come, help us to push them aside as we focus on what is needful; to spend time with you. To sit at your feet, and learn of you. You are meek, and humble of heart, and you will bring rest unto our souls. Thank you for your love. Help us to love you too, and to let that energy of love turn into obedience and faithfulness to you, your Heavenly vision, and your words.
~ Beth 🌸
If I have you with me, I’m never alone; and two are better than one. Isn’t that right, Bear? 🐾
Just a little flower, turning her face to find the sun. I don’t always feel his rays on me, but when I do, the warmth and the feeling is simply wonderful, and I never want to be in the shadows again. Isn’t he lovely?