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Wednesday, October 7, 2015


"I need resolution."

She looks at me with desperate eyes, and I understood in the deepest, most wounded places of my heart. She wants what I have asked for. What we all have asked for a thousand times when the gap between "is" and "should be" spans galaxies and eons outside our comprehension. But resolution does not show up. It would be nice to find it like the last Christmas gift accidentally pushed behind the tree and discovered neatly tied up and waiting for you hours after all the others had been opened. A surprise and a comfort. Your favorite uncle did not forget you after all.

I wish it was more like that. I wish I could progress through the stages of my life without dragging the past with me. Can't I leave these bricks behind? No! They are the last remnants of my childhood village burned to the ground! Can't I set these planks on the side of the path? No! Of course, not! They were all that formed the bridge to adolescence! Even when I try to set them down and walk away, I run back to them with tears and gasps of relief. They burden me, but they define me too. They hinder me, but I cherish them. I don't know how to walk without them. And I falsely imagine that resolution would be that one gift worth so much that I would not see the value of these bulky weights anymore. A replacement for the pain. Simple, neat, explained. An answer for the "why" and clarity for the "how."

Instead, I'm left with a tangle of threads chopped off at odd lengths and uncategorized with which I feel a pressure to invent something beautiful. Then I look around me and judge my craft in comparison to all the rest. No wonder I am stressed. No wonder I feel inferior and alone. I have not exchanged my yoke for His.

Life in Christ exists in tensions of un-resolution. I'm chasing Jesus while toying with the idea of sin. I'm loving one brother while I'm hating another. I'm hoping He will come today and wishing He would wait until I've finished a few things. I'm thrilled to walk with Him and hesitant to take another step. I am a self contradiction even as I claim logic to be my teacher. Paul understood. I hopelessly imprison myself unless I have considered Christ. Christ who is the gift most precious. Christ who makes everything beautiful from my tangled threads. Christ who sees exactly what I am in searing specificity and loves me still, so much that He humbled himself to die in my place.
(Thanks, Andrew Peterson, for your exquisite poetry highlighting this truth.)

I cannot wait for resolution before I take the next step. Such would be faithless unbelief in the God who says He is with me "even here." (Psalm 139:10) I want resolution and label it as a need, but God gives me something else. Something better. Because it is not resolution that replaces my burdens with hope. It is Him.