Once again, I’m delighted to welcome Margaret Kirby as my guest blogger this week. May you be blessed by her words as I have been.
Have you ever felt like you’re living in a book? I mean those moments when some small detail comes to your attention and you take a step back to look at it and you realize it’s somehow a symbol for what’s going on in your life in that very moment? I tend to think there are little details left along the pathways of all of our stories by an Author, trying to leave us hints and draw us back to Him. And part of living in the kingdom is walking with open eyes and open hearts, waiting and watching for those moments when His hand peeks from behind the next page over and we see Him touching the heart of our stories in the here and now. “You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain” (Psalm 139:5-6).
Some things are so wonderful and so lofty that they require looking up or else we’ll miss them. There is so much in the here and now, so much that we can easily close ourselves off to, if we’re not careful. I’ve been noticing how my busy schedule closes me off from noticing these details, and not only that, but the way I can easily spend a whole day thinking about my own affairs and business without ever really looking up– that closes me off. Sometimes I feel like the shoulders of my soul are hunched and overburdened and my entire self is fixated only on the ground in front of me. But “when I awake, I am still with you” (Psalm 139:18). When one of those little details comes into view like love notes left on my path, then I can finally expand my lungs and breathe again; it’s a catch of the breath, a beat and lifting of the heart, a waking up and I look upward with all my might, searching for the face of the One who left me that little love note on the ground. “How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand” (Psalm 139:17-18).
Recently, his precious-love-note-thought came to me in the form of a song. I was washing the dishes, thinking about a good conversation I had had the previous night with a dear friend, and the words came to me then, and with them the sense that I had been singing them in my head off and on throughout the whole day without really catching hold of them, without really seeing them for what they were: a reminder from the One writing my story to look up. And I held those words in my soapy hands, looking at the way they shone rainbow glints in the kitchen light as I stood there and gazed at them. It was the text of a song, “Fill this Cup,” that was resting in my mind: “I don’t know how long it’s been. I won’t step so quickly over this. Waltz across the universe, beauty more than I deserve. It’s right here, breathe it in, I’ve been missing all of this. Let the laughter sound again, let the light come rushing in. Catch the sun, raise it up, come and fill this empty cup” (by “The Dailys”).
There have been so many wonderful things happening in my life, but the busyness of everything has made me skim over some parts far too sweet for skimming. In that moment, I didn’t know how long it had been since I last looked up, and I didn’t know how long those words had been floating in my mind, but that was okay, because all that mattered was that they had roused me to breathe and to be, to watch and to waltz. And it did, it felt like stepping into a dance, stepping into a rhythm and almost a trance. I looked around me at my life, I got beyond myself to peek over my own shoulder and finally see what was truly comprising my life– not myself, but the dearness of sweet friends and family, the joy of good conversations and seeking to understand one another, the quiet silence of a moment in the woods looking at buttercups, and finding I was understood in full when I least expected it… and always the presence of the One leaving me love notes. Always. Beauty more than I deserve. It’s right here– breathe it in. I don’t know how long it’s been, but oh, I won’t step so quickly over this. Let me not step so quickly over this, sweet Lord.
Margaret Kirby is a junior at Samford University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in English with a double-minor in Classics and Philosophy. She is a member of Sigma Tau Delta, the Wide Angle editorial staff, and she sings in the A Cappella choir. Some of the things she loves most are the sky, old books, the smell of coffee, and the way food brings people together. She especially loves her Southern authors (mainly Sidney Lanier and Eudora Welty), and she also considers George MacDonald to be her grandfather in the faith. Her main purpose in life is to re-discover the magic of being a little child in the kingdom of God. So when she isn’t reading, writing, or singing, you can probably find her out gazing at clouds, wandering through forests, or looking for fairies.
You can find her on instagram @margaret.kirby.writing