Days of life over the past two years are as if I sit at a loom, with each day a strand. Back and forth, in front and behind the weft to create a pattern. Repeated day after day with varying degrees of difference; each one its singular but part of a larger whole. It’s an active and unending work, and I seldom step away to understand what is being made. Looking back shows a pattern formed with elements of beauty revealed that lend its way to the present. Looking back also shows the messy areas that are blurred time and memories, actions and days passed that I seldom remember a short while later. I stand too close to have perspective but am still able to feel its implications.
I wonder, how do you unravel what you are wound up in living? Understand the fibers that make up the garment of life you are intimately wearing?
And how do you see who you’ve become, both by the grace of the Lord and the shortcomings of self? And in it—to know your identity ultimately as beloved—yet, desire a deeper understanding of self as a unique creation still taking shape, refined day by day?
I watch my daughter, 17 months young, as she takes in more of the world around her and at the same time, becomes more of an autonomous self. She fake cries this morning when I don’t share my waffle quick enough for her. I look at her with eyebrow raised, and she stops and smiles knowingly. There is much shepherding from this point forward. She is a unique creation, beloved by the Lord, but young and unknowing of many things. As she forms and grows, the wonder of becoming is revived again.
We find our rhythm, day after day. I give, she receives; she gives, I receive. A cadence to our days, from sunrise to sunset. I lay her down each night to watch her sleepy eyes surrender, and for a brief moment I hearken back to the days where life felt light, sweet, and simpler—when the occupations of mind and heart were fewer. Seeing her live it makes it seem within reach again. But as I depart her room, my hands return to duty; my mind to preoccupation. I call to mind a truth of my faith that I hold steadfast: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside still waters, He restores my soul.” I need to remember the very thing I want to emulate for her is what the Lord has already given to me.
He is the Shepherd.
I am the sheep.
And in this moment, I invert my perspective. If the Lord were also my shearer, it means he knows when to keep me bearing my fleece, and when to take it off for it to be made anew again. What was cast aside in the shearing of my locks could be spun…like into threads to be woven through a loom.
A loom where He ultimately creates the garment of life I am intimately wearing. For now, meant to be bound together in what I’m wound up in living.
And in a season to come—with time, distance, and perspective—He will unravel for me to understand the present moments and what they have created.
Until then (and always, really), I am to press into my Shepherd, my Lord. I press into the moments I live and trust that the significance of them doesn’t amount to the sum or shortcomings of my own efforts—which I simultaneously wish could be both more and less. Day by day, I raise a daughter; an undertaking which supersedes everything else. And in all I want for her and with all the love I bear, it calls me to remember the reflection it is of the Father’s love to me, to us.
I am known. I am beloved.
He is Lord.
And even though I crave all of the perspective and understanding about this season’s weavings, those truths are ultimately enough.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.