Written on April 27, 2016.
In a not so long ago (last week), juxtaposed between the birthdays of two people (me and my person) in a land slightly far away (New York) a moment kept safe for twenty years was unfurled like a banner opened upon the wind. The hoped for harvest sprang from a tiny seed planted when our plot of land was but a few pots on a porch. It came as the once bound, bounded into bounty on the day that our land had grown beyond what our eyes could see.
Our getaway was glorious with treasures of wide walks and deep talks, fantastical foods, an opulent opera, a splendid spa and a carriage and its kingly horse, Kevin. And yet, that is not really the story of today’s telling. For my heart is full this day of the Keeper.
As we rode home upon puffs and beams, testimonies toppled of all the times He has kept me. There were the two times I almost choked to death, once on a butterscotch button, the other on a cherry sour ball. The holy heimlich came the first time from my dad, the second from my basketball coach. Was I actually eating a cherry sour while playing basketball? Alas, I was. My first attempt at multitasking. Pretty massive fail, lol.
There was the time my horse penned me on the barbed wire fence and no one was home to hear my shouts and hollers. And there was the drive-through I created in a barbed wire fence with a go cart. A few fender benders followed. And yet, each deliverance found me unscathed and with only a few scars (go cart, barbed wire, one hundred stitches).
Those few and far betweens were small alongside the bumping and bruising choices of mankind that held little love and mean memories. Yet. Yet, I was kept still and still. Held by lavish love and rewritten redeemed.
And then and through, were the times He kept me from myself. All the minutes I wouldn’t let be moments because I wanted His will my way. The ticks and tocks where I kept getting in the way of His keeping. Afraid to be captured when He simply sought to captivate. Yet. Yet, He wouldn’t let me go. Arms stretched wide as a cross for the embrace of return, not dissuaded by the empty as He awaited the full. He keeps coming even if I kept running.
And then He iced the cake and decorated it as He showed me something I hadn’t seen. Through vale and upon mount, He uncovered a place of me occupied by Him. He unveiled it and I revealed it day by day. For I am a keeper too. It is the gift He begged me open a year ago. A beauty bestowed that I couldn’t turn away from.
He said it was a present to bring me present. A “rest of my days” endowment if I would but spend it. And it changed absolutely everything. This wrapped in a bow, knock at my heart was about the keeping and caring of me. So the days to come would be the adventurous epics written in the then for the right now.
I had tried it all before. Tried really hard. Fell short by many miles. And then I saw, trying doesn’t include Him. It is without. It is what led to Adam and Eve’s stumble and tumble down. For the tree was the first time they did something without Him. They stopped keeping and started trying.
And so I chose to stop trying and return to keeping. And before I knew it, I had kept something for Him and with Him for many a day (365 to be exact) and monumental moments. Fail was swept from my vocabulary by the broom of faithful. He kept me and I kept Him. With. Together. Without washed clean.
And the “rest of my days” have been found healthier, hopier and happier.
Invite Him to reveal to you something you have been trying instead of keeping. Journal your transition as you return to keeping. And leave some space to return with the testimony of the “rest of your days.”