I have a rock from Emmett's graveside. Stained red from the Georgia clay, it leaves a rusty trail even now almost two years later as it bounces around my purse, makes it way to my gym bag, and then finds its way to my bathroom counter before repeating its endless cycle. This little rock has nothing to recommend itself. In fact it's rather ugly and dirty, with no happy memories in its favor. Yet it keeps following me around, and I find this little token of death strangely comforting.
I'm sitting at work. The time change means the sunrise coming through my window is spilling over my desk and blinding me if I look up. I left the light off in my room to soak up this anointing and bask in a moment of unexpected wonder and holiness.
Reading John Owen's work on indwelling sin has equipped me in ways to fight sin that I've never imagined. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suddenly holy. Indeed it is quite the opposite. I'm learning that sin includes so much more of my life than I ever thought possible. Lately I have felt my sinful nature raging out of control, but I think my eyes have just been opened to depths of sin I never knew were sin.
Still, this morning I'm remembering Hinds Feet on High Places, with little Much Afraid and her collection of rocks. This anointing, this path through death of self, though I've prayed for years to make my way here, is much less glamorous than I thought. There is much more dying and much less victory than I'd imagined.
I often feel my sinful nature rattling around in it's cage, raging that it can't get out because God himself is restraining it, since it's quite obvious I'm powerless to do so. There is great comfort in knowing that stronger arms than mine hold sin at bay. There are times, more rare than I'd like, when I laugh because I really know that all manner of things shall be well; when I can almost feel the other side of the veil, and the wonder of the new creation ushered in by Christ comes crashing down around me in overwhelming waves of mystery. Times when my soul flexes like a runner at the starting block, and I'm eager for the fight because I know it has already been won for me. There are moments when I palpably feel the victory beyond death, and I know that nothing, absolutely nothing is wasted. Even in the moments where I grieve deeply, I grieve with a longing so deep that I wonder how even God can fill and satisfy it, and I weep out of an overwhelming desire to go further up and further in.
So I find myself bouncing around in my endless daily cycles, leaving my own trail of Georgia clay, with nothing particular to recommend me to the world. At this moment, my anointing is death, and I find that also to be strangely comforting.