Day 7: Flame
I keep staring at the bush, waiting for something to happen.
Anything. I am waiting for anything to happen.
I try not to move. I don’t want to disturb what might be coming. If it’s in the stars or the sun or the wind or the moon, I don’t want to be the one who messes it up, who derails the perfect moment of clarity I have been waiting all this time for. What a waste, right? To have waited so long for IT, just to mess the whole thing up at the last second.
I think back on my forefathers and imagine their journeys, their suffering and their perseverance. I think of Moses, who had his burning bush moment without even asking for it. Who stumbled upon it unwillingly, who denied it and tried to give it to his brother.
I am not like Moses. I am eager. I am headstrong and impulsive and excitable. I want this moment, and I’m prostrating myself on the ground begging for it. I need to know where to go from here so I don’t mess it up along the way. I need direction. I need a name. The kind of name when people utter it and look at me, they think, Yes. That is who she is destined to be.
Day after day I’ve been coming here, watching this unremarkable, dog-eared bush and waiting for the moment it bursts into flame–my flame–and displays the divine providence of Yeshua over all that lives and breaths. But mainly over me, because this is the moment that will illuminate my existence and make a way for my footsteps into the future. Steps I will surely not falter on.
But why on earth is it taking so long? I mean, I know about timing and everything. About patience. But it’s been days now. I’ve been staring at this bush, waiting.
Maybe it’s the way I’m sitting. Or how fidgety I am. Or my breathing is too loud and it’s disturbing His gift to me because His gift is beautiful and rare, an ethereal dove finding land for the first time in ages and you don’t want to crush it or hurt it or move too fast, because everything is threatening to it in its simple purity.
Turmoil rolls around in my chest. If my breathing is what’s making this take so long this bush is never going to catch fire.
I shake myself from the thought. I wouldn’t be sitting here waiting for the defining moment of my entire life, the compass that will carve out my destiny, to have it all destroyed because I’m breathing too loudly. Right? Surely, I can’t destroy my own future. I’m waiting. Waiting people can’t mess things up.
But I’m not moving until I get my answer. Even if it’s been months of sitting in the same spot, waiting for the flames. I do have to admit that staring at same bush day in and day out is getting boring. I can only count it’s branches and leaves so many times, and it’s not exactly located in the most beautiful of places. I stare at it, trying to find some hidden meaning in its rickety branches. All I feel or see is that it’s hot and dry, and silent in the way that silence lays across your body in a blanket and does not want to be disturbed.
I have asked Him why this bush in particular, but I don’t get an answer. I keep asking anyways, hoping He will get tired of my questions and speak to me. But I can’t out-patient Him, so if He waits, I wait.
I put my chin on my hand, determined and resolved, and the wind picks up around me. Well, not around me. Within me. I can feel it inside my rib cage, I can can hear it in my blood.
You will not find what you are searching for here.
The wind carries His voice and fills my hollow spaces.
I want to roll my eyes, but refrain. I’ve been waiting too long to move on empty handed.
“Well then, what’s the point of this?”
I don’t have to, but I ask aloud, hoping that my voice will incite something more tangible from Him. A burning bush, for instance.
The bush remains frightfully plain and inflammable.
You are waiting for your burning bush moment, but now is not the time, and here is not the place.
“Then why am I here?” The irritation in my voice is palpable.
The wind within me laughs, unfurling in a cool breeze that soothes my aches and pains. It is not mean, but amused, which I am not sure I find amusing because I’ve spent the last month staring at a ragged bush for nothing. Is it too much to ask that I get what I’ve been waiting for?
Now is not the time for your burning bush moment, but it will come.
I feel myself wilting. I am parts anger and sadness, disappointment and shame, but mostly I feel wholly defeated.
“This doesn’t make any sense. I don’t know what to do. Just tell me what to do.”
I know I am pleading. My voice is a whisper and as I hug my knees, the ground beneath me does not yield to my folding body. It is silent for a moment, but I am not alone. The wind gathers me up and His voice fills me, expanding and pressing against my muscles, my skin. I am tingling and shaking all over, and tears begin to wet my cheeks.
Live.. Be in Me in all you do and your burning bush moment will arise at the right time. But it will never come if you sit here waiting, because you will never arrive at it. Be free and live. I am with you.
My tears come faster now. I am becoming my own shallow pool in the desert. What He says makes sense, I feel it’s truth resonating in my bones, but something in me is still clinging to doubt and uncertainty. I am so afraid that sometimes it paralyzes me and I am rendered unconscious. I feel it creep up behind me, with it’s tiny mouth and gluttonous body, whispering that I am unworthy, that I will surely disappoint, that I will never amount to anything.
And again it comes, soft, but strong. He does not need to be loud for His authority to prevail. When He speaks, all must bow. Do not be afraid, for I am with you.
My insides melt and the chilling fear becomes slush being shed from my body like winter giving way to spring . His voice rises, louder.
You will continue to stare at this bush for as long as you insist on it. You can wait as long as you want, but you are only prolonging it from coming in the right time. For now, it is simply a bush, and you are waiting for nothing. It is time to move on from here.
I hesitate, still doubtful.
Why do you doubt? I am with you, you cannot fail. Do not rob yourself of your future. All that I have for you is ahead. If you wait here for it to catch fire and illuminate your path, you will be waiting forever. I have given you all you need. Go.
I nod, and peace adorns me. My body hurts from sitting here so long, anyways.
“Okay.” I say, aloud again.
The wind smiles around me and the bush disappears into the indigo sky, leaving a path through the desert open and clear. One last time, He speaks, and His voice is so loud that even earth and the rocks cry out.
I will show you the way.