Wednesday, September 26, 2012

on being awake (there's no going back now)

maybe it's the man overdosing on heroin in our little parking lot at 3pm,
my children and i the first ones on the scene.

maybe it's the young guy in his fancy car, all business suited up pulling over for her,
half a shirt and baggy jeans, invisible shackles and not a hint of 'pretty woman' glamour-
and i'm not trying to judge him but i'm guessing he's the demand and she's the supply.

maybe it's the conflict, inevitable in intimacy, whether friend or lover (or both),
i'm faced again with my selfishness, my desert-heart and lack of everything good
(at least it feels that way sometimes).

maybe it's just my son's voice at 6am, offering a slice of playdough pizza
when all i really want to do is scribble in a notebook, drink my coffee, read blogs on my phone or
climb into bed and go back to sleep.

so very much of me just wants to go back to sleep:

to the comfy pillows of life before, when things made sense and it all equalled out
like my eighth grade algebra and the shiny fairness found in Proverbs, of
True Love Waits and it will be easy, follow God close and you'll be happy, healthy and wise;
the world in black and white and a bit of red, and I didn't know how everyone toils and spins and rages and weeps, i couldn't sense the blood on my own hands, it was all 'us' and 'them'.

i'm not sure what exactly woke me up, it was sometime in 2002 while i studied in the Middle East and it could have been the Kurdish village in northern Sy.ria opening their homes to us wandering off the bus hoping for some breakfast and free arabic lessons, or studying the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in cities and refugee camps over tiny tea cups, white beards and so many years of hurt.  it was my first experience in community with people who called me out and challenged my self-preservation, who sang my songs with me and held me as i cried again and again.  (some of these people are still in my life in such foundational ways.)  yes, i think it was 2002, I was nearly twenty and my feet were always dusty.

and since then i've been awake.  there are many, many moments (strung together for months sometimes) where i fight it, staunch in my grogginess, apathetic and refusing to admit the morning light.  but it's too late–my two year old knows its morning; he's woken up the baby.

there's no going back now.

as i embrace consciousness there is much pain and darkness, in myself, my neighbours (my street, our world).  so, so much.  but there is goodness waiting, there is grace.  there is freshly pressed coffee and mama-cuddles, the hope of honest conversations and my own conversion once again.  there is imagination and people power movements, forgiveness and mercy that covers justice.  and on the third morning, there is resurrection no matter how deadly the darkness, no matter how abandoned the people.  there is fish and bread on the beach except i'm not the one cooking breakfast and that's always the surprising gift of Jesus,

even when I, like his best friends in his loneliest moment,

just want to go back to sleep.

i wrote this for SheLoves Magazine's synchroblog on "awake".  what does being awake mean to you? 


  1. GAH, I just can not get enough of your writings. They challenge and encourage me. They speak my heart so more eloquently than I ever could. Thank you for writing, I look forward to reading each post, truly. Andrews always like "Oh, Becca wrote again? Ill leave you alone to read it." Good husband.

    1. edolbinaaaaaaaa! thank you. i wish i could be in on YOUR adventures these days. will you be back in BC by December? (we will be.) i look forward to catching up in real life someday soon. x