“It has always seemed to me. ever since early childhood, amid all the commonplaces of life, I was very near to a kingdom of ideal beauty. Between it and me hung only a thin veil. I could never draw it quite aside, but sometimes a wind fluttered it and I caught a glimpse of the enchanting realms beyond — only a glimpse — but those glimpses have always made life worthwhile.” — Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery
Spring is arriving this year in slow, subtle ways. A day or two of sun. A day or two of cold. Today the rain is almost invisible, but steady. A lowering mist, if you will, covering the grass, the tulips, the small buds breaking through dry stem and dark earth.
Words fly across my screen and desk so frequently that most of them go unnoticed. But yesterday that line from Anne of Green Gables stopped me and I read them, and re-read them, and felt that sort of knowing that all other knowing can’t measuring up to.
I am easily dismayed. I am prone to turning my eyes down and absorbing the weight of a world with home and hearts I cannot change. I lay awake at night spinning each broken moment from the day, wondering how I can possibly be the savior. (Of course, all this worry reveals to me that somewhere along the way, I convinced myself that I know how things OUGHT to be instead of accepting what they are.)
But I can’t fix, change or control anything. And what a relief, I am not called to be a Savior to anyone.
So today, when the earth expands and breaks, and just like my heart, it soaks in every little drop of what comes, I find kinship in the beauty and ache of it all. My iPhone plays a quiet tune through the speakers, the puddles splash wildly into the mist and I find myself in tears here. Here in this one chair in this one home sitting on this earth that is waiting for resurrection, I’m crying. It’s not for sadness or for grief, at least not my own. It’s for the whole of it all, and I see that thin veil waving slightly in the breeze. I feel a bit foolish when I realize I’m crying because it’s all so beautiful. All of it. Somehow, it’s all stealing my breath and heart in this moment, and I’m just overwhelmed by this tiny glimpse. The beautiful things are a shadow. The rain becomes a story. The worries and fears are just stark differences to what God promises. Somehow, I see in 30 seconds how things could be, might be, will be and I’m just a stuttering, crying fool. An infinite beauty lies just behind that veil, and in that instant, I saw two little words on my own windowsill: “Full cream.”
Yes, I think. The richness of feeling and experiencing all things — in ache and life, in death and birth, in hope and despair. Grace — the gift and the living is the richest drink. The Gospel — in all it’s simple and profound power — is the richest full cream, and when it’s consumed, it alters everything. This earth is not just soil and sky. These emotions are not just ache or joy.
It’s all a part of this greater story, and I know this ground beneath me has been feeling it for milennia. I do not own her or claim her, but steward her, and today I see in her the Creator. I see the signs of something else waiting to be redeemed.
I do not want a watered down life. I do not want a half-mixed perspective. I want the beauty, the kingdom, the full. I want the cream, the fat, the richness of a life that allows me to feel small and seen, all at once. This is not about things, money or success. This is about a Kingdom and a Gospel much much bigger than me, much more eternal than me, much more effective than me. This is the decadent goodness of my God who waters the earth, nurtures the broken reeds in our hearts and tore that thin veil in two.
I want the full cream. And if this makes me a fool, crying in the wingback chair in her living room, so be it.