Saturday, 07 May 2016 10:28

Breathing Room

Written by  Priscilla K. Garatti

The day was mild, spring elbowing its way in.  I caught the startling wisps of green beginning to appear on dark tree branches, and sunlight dappled the pathway my husband and I walked to buy our tickets for a boat ride down the Seine, enjoying one more day in the "City of Light."

The boat wasn't crowded, so we sat alone near the back, holding hands and lost in our own reverie as we cruised down the peaceful, gray-green river.  At one point I happened to notice a balcony of an apartment building.  The balcony was constructed of wrought iron swirls, simultaneously delicate and sturdy. Almost all the apartments in Paris have balconies, but this one was different in that the windows were open.  I could see sheer drapes billowing in the breeze.  I imagined the owners desired for that spring air to bring refreshment and fragrance to an apartment shut tight all winter.  Lookng at the open window gave me a desire to simply sit on that balcony, sip a cup of hot, flavorful coffee and look out at the tranquil river.

I suppose what that balcony represented to me was a longing to have breathing room. I have trouble seizing breathing room for myself. My world calls out to pay more attention to its whims and words and worries. I know its language well.  I speak fluently and get caught up in its drive to produce, its lists and tyrannies of the urgent, people pleasing and duties to keep up "religious norms."  But there is a different language--a Kingdom language.  It is foreign.  My lips don't quite fit around the contours of its new sounds--sounds so beautiful that they emit a fragrance--the scent of the most exquisite perfume--like jasmine blooming. This language is the sound of rushing, cleansing waters and the sight of cerulean skies and pure white clouds.  I want to abide in the geography of this language and let it become my mother tongue.  But how?  Oh my God, how?

I sensed the Lord answered my question with the consolation that only the Holy Spirit can provide.  "Ive been waiting for you.  I've been whispering this language to you all along.  It is your mother tongue. You've just been speaking the foreign language so long now that you've become thoroughly immersed in it.  It's familiar.  But you're hearing the new language now.  Sure it will take practice to keep listening and speaking it.  But you'll get it.  You'll get it back.  You spoke it as a child, so it's not that hard.  You're built to speak it. I'll give you plenty of margin to learn and speak this language of heaven, It's okay to take the space you need.  Take it, please.  Take it.  This is the latitude I've given you.  There's plenty of it.  My supply is unending.  I am relentless in my desire to provide all the breathing room you want."

And so, metaphorically I sit on my balcony overlooking the Seine, the breeze warm on my cheek, the Eiffel Tower just there to my right, a symbol of God's unending strength and mercy.  There I sit studying the Kingdom language, increasing my fluency.  And this relentless margin that God provides is all that I want--what I crave--what I long for.

What is it that you crave most, dear reader?  Our kind and generous God whispers that you can ask Him for it.  Please do.

He's solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul,

An Impregnable castle:  I'm set for life.~Psalm 62:2 (The Message)

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What Readers Are Saying

In Missing God Priscilla takes a brave and unflinching look at grief and the myriad ways in which it isolates one person from another. The characters are full-bodied and the writing is mesmerizing. Best of all, there is ample room for hope to break through. This is a must read.

Beth Webb-Hart (author of Grace At Lowtide)

winner"On A Clear Blue Day" won an "Enduring Light" Bronze medal in the 2017 Illumination Book Awards.

winnerAn excerpt from Missing God won as an Honorable Mention Finalist in Glimmertrain’s short story “Family Matters” contest in April 2010.