Posted by on April 28, 2017

Observations from a recovering mind.

I’m home. Sick. Mostly recovering. And making sure none of my coworkers catch this.

Our grand adventure in Budapest included days and days of high fever and sickness. But that wasn’t all. Not even close.

The best thing about the trip was seeing our youngest daughter. It’s amazing to watch someone you’ve known for so long soar to new heights—to witness qualities previously not noticed bubble upward. That was the biggest gift of Budapest – glimpsing this incredible person spread her wings.

But that wasn’t the only thing I saw.

I didn’t know as much as I thought I did.

Despite days curled up in bed fighting fever and sickness, my approach to life shifted from observer to participant. I’m still unwrapping this package so I don’t have much more to share. Except for the discovery that there appears to be a rather large chasm between knowing a lot about God and actually knowing him.

The first one doesn’t change a person, and the second will not leave you unchanged. I’m changing. And it’s both incredible and terrifying.  

I’m starting to understand how God is not a tame lion.

My previous comprehension of the Almighty has failed to experience this. I’ve pranced around as if I could understand him. Thankfully, being sick for a few days forced my blithe feet to the floor and enlightened me a little.

In the face of the unknown, I depended on myself. Or so it seemed. There was no holy pleading for help or plaintive whisperings to the divine. It was all me. Sick and feeling awful.

But he delivered me anyway. Through the triumphal prayers of friends, he erased the torture from my eyes and settled me into peaceful slumber.

God is not merely a loving friend, but also a fierce enemy. Enemy to the evil lurking under my skin that has poisoned me into thinking I could rely on myself.

He’s kind and fierce.

I can no longer attempt to figure out all that he is. Instead, I rest here – stand here in awe. He is who he is. And that has been and always will be enough.

I started this with how it was a gift to get to see my daughter – to see who she is, in action. That’s how I long to see God – who he is, in action.

Not me saying he’s strong and then defining that strength for him, but me standing there watching while he annihilates a room of monsters with one breath.

I saw him in Budapest. I hardly prayed. Didn’t read my bible. Didn’t help the poor. I fell ill, lost my piety, and fell on my back pleading to not shut my eyes to see whatever the fever would bring. And God Almighty was there. Silent and strong. He never left me alone, and I didn’t deserve that.

So, here we go. Back to life, but not back to the same life. I went through something during our little trial of sickness, and now I’m here fumbling to make sense of the next step, and how I can be different when nothing else has apparently changed.

There are no answers or lists or plans that I can make.

No, there’s just the repairing of my weapons with my ears ever listening and hoping to recognize the voice of Almighty God. 

Blessings to you, sweet friends. May your journey reveal more of our Lord to you. And please, feel free to share what you find out!

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Andy Lee
6 years ago

Oh Mary Beth! What a powerful post. I’m so glad you are okay and so excited that you’re at this new place with God. Looking forward to seeing you at BR. I’m sharing!

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