Susan's Thursday morning note November 8, 2007 “Lean Hard” poem (Giving God our burdens)
Good morning! The air and fallen dry leaves outside this morning make me desire solitude. Walking on a path in the North Woods where all you hear are leaves snapping as you step on them. The silence of the woods in the late fall. Where you know that around the corner is cold and snow, but for a short reprieve, just the silence of the woods. That’s what looking out my back door right now does for me – the crispy leaves…the silence…the still still air. I love the silence in the woods. The silence is so strange, because you know you are surrounded by so much – within your glance if you knew where to look. Such a still silence.
This last week a friend gave me a piece of paper with the following poem scribbled on it. Do you notice the difference in reading something in handwriting rather than e-mail? For some reason just that difference in receiving information gives more appeal to me. Makes what I’m seeing more “real” – not part of a screen. Why do we not make ourselves write each other in longhand? It is so much more powerful. I’m the pot calling the kettle black on that last question. Here is the poem. I just think it is beautiful, and hope that you can write it out for yourself and keep it in a favorite book.
Lean Hard Child of My love, lean hard, And let Me feel the pressure of thy care; I know thy burden, child, I shaped it; Poised it in My own hand, made no proportion In its weight to thine unaided strength; For even as I laid it on, I said I shall be near, and while she (he) leans on Me, This burden shall be Mine, not hers (his); So shall I keep My child within the circling Arms of My own love. Here lay it down, nor fear to impose it on a Shoulder which upholds the government of worlds. Yet closer come; thou art not near enough; I would embrace thy care so I might feel My Child reposing on my breast. Thou lovest Me? I know it. Doubt not then; But, loving Me, Lean Hard.
Isn’t that beautiful? To lay down our burdens, for he knows our burden already. Such peace in that knowledge. I love the lines, “Lay it down, come closer, you are not near enough.” I remember my mom told me when she was so sick that one night she was crying in her bedroom and the Psalm that came to her was, “and under his wings thou shalt trust” (Ps. 91). I’ll never forget that she never lost the peace that she was given that night as she cried out to God. I wish there were holes in the knees of my jeans – to prove that I kneeled – I just don’t understand why I don’t make that drop more often when it is only a one-foot drop. The burdens are not ours to bear alone. We do not have to share them with each other, but we do need to lean. That is a choice that we make. Try alone and get nowhere, or lean. One other strength my mom left me during that time of her being so sick…she said, “Susan, if you question God you’ll just get a headache, but if you trust him, he will bless you.” Bless me with his presence. I come to the garden alone…and he walks with me and he talks with me…. –
Go take on your week with all of these promises. We can all at least walk to our mailboxes and hear the leaves cracking beneath us. May not make the North Woods this week, but we can give ourselves the silence, even for only 5-10 minutes per day. It’s our conscious choice to do so. To lean hard and make ourselves seek solitude. For then we will have the strength to live life to the fullest. Have a great week. Thank you so much for your support and encouragement! Susan