The sky was red last night. Gorgeous streaks of what my fourth-grade self would have described as neon watermelon (it was a colored pencil name – mid 90’s, era of the neon…until now, of course) swirled among puffs of deep soul blue and quiet gray. It was glorious. Gorgeous. Breath-taking. And I took pictures, because that is one of my favorite ways to express all the joy and love that is inside me during such moments. And I did a couple step-hops as the neon watermelon swirls got deeper and brighter and less watermelon-y and more…indescribable. And I ran from one side of the house to watch the sunset over the mountains to the other side, to watch the sunset over the city. And every atom currently making up my body felt loved, and overwhelmed, and accepted, and beautiful, and…. And I am full.
As I watched the sunset, the phrase, “The sky is red Momma, why is the sky red?” kept coming to my mind. My last year of college (so, a while ago) I wrote a one-act for my college’s final theatrical fling of the year – called Drop Dead. It’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-that-I-got-the-privilege-of-participating-in-three-wait-four?-no-I-can-only-remember-three times. I wrote one acts for all three times. And the last one act I wrote I don’t remember as vividly as I remember the first one, but I know it started out with a little girl and her momma staring at the sky, with the girl asking her momma why the sky is red. The point of the play was a bit about perspectives, and a bit about arguing with God, and a bit that God really does have a plan for all things.
I’d re-read it right now, but I wrote it on a different laptop, and I don’t have the jump drive with me that I saved it onto when that computer died.
But it got me thinking about sunsets, and God, and love, and how He really does have a plan for everything, and how He’s in charge.
Recently, I’ve wondered a bit if He does. I mean, yes, I know, God’s in control and has everything covered. But, as is always the case when what we know in our minds is challenged by real life experience, I’ve had to do a bit of trusting that it’s really true, and then releasing worry to God, and praying my heart out.
Because, see, I’m rather human, and I don’t understand everything. I mean, how does free will work? If God loves us, and if He’s constantly pursuing each of us (I’m not much of a pre-destined-er) in the best way for us, what about when we don’t want Him to pursue? Does He still pursue our hearts, just more gently, more from a distance, more from the shadows? Does He let us go about our lives, doing what we want, in the hopes that our empty lives will draw us back to Him? Does that tactic work?
How does this work? If true love really does allow us a choice, how do we express that choice? And then if God is love, than He respects that choice…. But then He also knows everything, and is outside of time, and knows how it all plays out…so if He knows that you say you don’t want Him now, but you will in five years, then what?
I don’t know. I trust that He loves each of us, and that He desires each of us to enter into the relationship with Him that He originally created us for. He wants us to be the best, most fulfilling version of ourselves. And I’m not sure I’ll ever know – or ever really want to know exactly how He handles every little detail. God is God, and I am not. And He is love, and good, and righteous, and merciful, and graceful, and just. And patient. God is sooooo patient. And I trust in that – even when it’s easy to trust that because the skies are full of masterpiece red and orange and yellow and purple swirls.