Solace. It’s a lonely sounding word. So when it kept coming to mind as my word for this year, I balked. How boring. How lame. How unadventurous and ordinary. That won’t get you where you need to go to succeed. Sigh.
I looked it up in Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary (a gift from my kids for Mother’s Day) and it says: (v.) to take comfort; to be cheered or relieved in grief. (n.) comfort in grief; alleviation of grief or anxiety; also, that which relieves in distress; recreation
The past few years have been a whirlwind of adventure with high school and college graduations, two weddings, births (grandbabies), deaths (Granny and Mom), loss of friendships, job changes, political discourse, successes and failures…bringing with it highs and lows, tears of joy and sorrow, worry and angst, confusion and concern, highlights and darkness.
If I were to be honest, I’m tired. Bone tired. Down in my soul tired.
Maybe solace, comfort is exactly what I need.
I began to notice something back in December when I knew this word was supposed to be mine in the New Year. On a handful of occasions during a six week period I had different people ask me the same thing but from different angles. What are you doing now that you have one kid at home? You don’t work? Don’t you get bored?? What are you up to these days? Oh my gosh! What I wouldn’t give to be unbusy like you.
It made me doubt what I do…write a blog, farm a few chickens, grow a garden and take care of my family. It made me think I should be working, doing something big. I fail and succeed a thousand times if only in my own mind. Anybody else out there an over analyzer? I drive my own self crazy. That’s the way of things today, isn’t it?
The world roars “MORE” while my soul searches for simple.
One of my goals for this year is to read through the Psalms and Proverbs each month. David is awesome! A badass king of the warriors, slaying thousands of men one minute and an emotional crying-myself-to-sleep-heap the next. I get that. But David knew who to go to for solace…
My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. (Psalm 62:1)
That’s what I want. A soul at rest. That doesn’t come from doing more, being more, running more, working more, serving more. Solace doesn’t come from the world or food or shopping. No. It comes from God alone.
When my now five-year-old grandson was just a baby, we took him to see my Granny, his great, great grandmother. Arteritis had long since taken her vision. Dark shadows were all she could make out and those only on the sunniest of days. She kept her eyes closed mostly and relied on her other senses to “see” for her.
Oh I wish I could see him. Bring him over and let me feel of him.
So we did. We watched as she used her gnarled, arthritic hands to see him.
She felt of his chubby little feet first. Squeezed his legs, his arms. Felt of his torso and his frog belly. Then she moved to his face, taking special care to be gentle. She explored the shape of his head, the curve of his neck, his tiny chin and button nose. She felt his eyes, his soft baby cheeks, his tiny ears with the gentleness and intimacy of Grandmotherly love.
As she rested her hand on his leg she said, He sure is somethin’ isn’t he? I’m so glad I got to see him.
She saw him by being close enough to touch him, smell him, feel of him.
Time had slowed down, the baby was still (as if he sensed this old woman needed him to be) and we got to witness a beautiful few minutes between baby and great, great grandmother.
The world runs crazy after much of the wrong things. I’m guilty of it too. Chasing after people, positions and purpose wearies the soul. Sometimes we lose sight of God don’t we? When that happens, I want to get close enough to feel of him. I want to climb up in my Father’s lap, close my eyes, feel of His face and see that’s He’s something else. All else will fall into place.
Here’s to a year of Solace.
Fiercely for you!