Home or Away

Walk to the window. Lift the curtains. Look outside. Pay attention.

And pretend – pretend there’s a good breeze blowing gently towards you to wash over your face and leave you refreshed you can work another day without sleep and then open your eyes and laugh, laugh at yourself, for following through such ridiculous advice. You may have your laptop demanding a deadline out of you, your soup boiling over the stove, a meal waiting to be eaten, a friend staring curiously, or you may just be doing nothing, just bored and reading this piece. Whatever, if you didn’t do the exercise, you probably imagined what doing it will be like. You imagined the breeze from the beach you’d give everything to visit or the one that blows through your home and wondered how the breeze over your face and seeping into your dress could have felt like. You perhaps wondered what the coolness of it against your body would have done. And maybe you sighed from not having your imagination or you were satisfied you at least imagined it. Now, that’s what they mean maybe, when they talk life – life with God.

The past weekend, I went over for a retreat – a church retreat. On our way, I told one of my home-mates, the trip feels like a getaway experience. She agreed. We spoke about it briefly and let it slide. The thought slipped on me just then. But I think I had nurtured it inside of me awhile. I had looked forward to the retreat, for what more truths I’ll grasp to shape my walk on this earth and prepare me to walk the streets of gold with the Father. I was ready to get away and get more. We got to the retreat, the first night went great. I was elated. My dream was coming true. All of me was challenged to reach higher and I saw the possibility sermon after sermon, group discussions after group discussions. Then Saturday night came along. For me, it held even much better things. It’ll be the climax. And for most people, like my friends, I believe it was. My story was different.

My eyes were still closed, I was ready for the breeze but the breeze didn’t come quite like I imagined it. Here I was, seated on the best rooftop imaginable, waiting for that wind that’ll settle everything and give me the strength to go another day without a thought of sleep only to be met with rain. And I was so disappointed. I didn’t ask for the rain, I didn’t see the rain coming. It was supposed to be this light air, filled with all the goodness I have prayed for.

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So I went home sulking. I was sighing, wishing I never anticipated anything; that I never even went away. You know, you never expect God to come hard on you and point your flaws before the world when you thought this is the time to get better, to go further. The whole experience first feels like a bad jerk backwards, farther back like starting from square one. I’m day four after this experience and just yesterday, I realized perhaps I had the whole thing imagined wrong. My breeze did come, differently, briefly and it came to set me up for better than what I have imagined. Being shoved to the dreary place of facing your flaws when you think you don’t deserve it is not nice kraa. That’s never a breeze to imagine. There’s no coolness, just harsh hot wind, filled with sand, hitting you and throwing you off balance, off the neat track paved in your own mind.

And yet, over and over, since yesterday, I’m realizing an unrefined jewel isn’t attractive at all. If I’d be a royal diadem in His hands, for His boast, I’d be refined. And I won’t always get to choose when, where and how. But that’s fine. That breeze will soon come through as I strive to be more like him, that breeze called his peace will cool my insides and overflow to the out. So, don’t give up too, let’s keep imagining and when the rains come rather than the cool air, dry off and keep on. Home or away, our breeze is sure!

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P.S.- If you liked this piece, you may like Friendship 101.

©M’afua Awo Twumwaah 2017

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