last night as i went on my evening walk through the neigborhood, crunching my way through the crispy fallen leaves, i was in need of something. it seems rough patches are just that - patches. just spots, moments, days or weeks that don't seem to be going well, and the past few have been that for me. so, as i walked by the light of a bright full harvest moon and breathed in the sweet smell of autumn, i was looking for something to help me through this rough patch.
as i put one foot in front of the other, i didn't know if i needed guidance and direction, or correction and wisdom, or simply to be comforted. i tried to imagine what it would look like for Jesus to be walking with me. after having read The Shack, i was trying to picture how Jesus would look right beside me. what did I need him to be? did I need a wise and correcting father? did I need an open armed loving mother? did I need a silent friend holding my hand?
as i tried to picture what kind of Jesus i needed, it became painfully clear i needed Comfort. not someone to tell me what to do. not someone even to listen and help me process. i didn't need someone to tell me everything would be alright. i just needed Comfort. and i started to cry (once again for the umpteenth time in the past few weeks) because i realized i don't know what Comfort looks like.
i racked my brain for examples of pain and hard times when i had been comforted. and i could think of hard times, but i couldn't picture what Comfort in those times looked like. as i wept i realized 3 things: either i indeed was never comforted, or i was comforted and didn't know it, or someone or something tried to comfort me and i wouldn't allow it.
frankly, i haven't needed a lot of Comfort in my life. for one thing, life has been pretty good to me. for another, i'm a boot-strap girl. when life has gotten me down, i've picked myself up by my bootstraps without spending a lot of time needing Comfort. so, it doesn't surprise me that i couldn't call to mind a visible time that i knew being comforted.
so, what does Comfort look like? is it a hug? someone holding your hand? someone with gentle words? flowers? cards? a warm blanket and a pillow? i have had most of these things and more but have not felt comforted enough by them to remember a time feeling or having known Comfort - why?
and perhaps i surround myself with comfortable things because of the absence of Comfort i feel within. i wear sweats pants and ugg boots. elastic and scratchy fabrics bother me. heels give me blisters. my bed is my favorite place in the world with high thread-count sheets, feather pillows and a down comforter. i eat a lot of comfort foods. ice cream being the most filling. i drive a mini-van, because of its ease with 2 small kids. any free money i have is spent on organizing things because i love being surrounded with order and comfort.
so, is it possible that i have been comforted - but not by a person, a touch, or Spirit, but by things? and is that of my own doing? has Spirit tried to reach me and i've built an untouchable wall?
how fascinating to me that i crave Comfort (i.e. after church on sundays, i run home and take off my heels and tight clothes and put on flannel). but yet, can't think of one time where i have known Comfort.