in the church parking lot

“They don’t tell you that being brave also means hurt.” God and I are back in my car on a Sunday morning. It’s before anything has happened in the day, but I’m dreading going in. “I don’t want to talk to you. Just so you know.”

We sit in silence, and I imagine He is waiting next to me. He isn’t impatient but we both know the clock moves its way forward and that soon, I have to hold sticky hands and smile.

“I don’t want to talk to you,” I begin again, but God is a bit too gentle this morning for me to keep my posture. “How could you do this to me? After all of it? How could you ask me to give that up? How could you ask so much of me all the time? It’s too hard. I can’t. And I know you say you’re Alpha and Omega, that in you my heart is safe and all of that. But where have you taken me?”

God frightens me out of talking. The silence in the car is so absolute I might have stopped breathing. My heartbeat has quieted to a dim metronome. The cars on the highway don’t notice, but I wonder if the trees in front of me have softened their blossoming, just for a moment, to eavesdrop.

“I told you it would be costly, Hilary Joan.” That voice. Always, that voice.

I turn in my seat, knock my glasses off and begin to wail.

“But where are we? Where am I?”

As if knowing that God and I have gone up to a mountaintop to look out over my life wasn’t clear enough, he offers me the metaphor. I type this and the silence deafen.

“Hilary?”

I keep typing, deciding that I will make this blog post about being brave and how it hurts, that I will make it about what I am doing, learning, how I have grown the wings and can fly now. I turn the radio on, and the sun creeps through the windows.

“Hilary.”

I pause in my typing, close my eyes.

“Remain in my love.”

I keep my eyes closed. The light tickles my eyelids and the birds have taken up a chorus about the coming morning.

But nothing more comes. The voice is gone.

remain in my love.

I sit still.

Love,
hilary

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