The only time I can honestly say I’m in neutral is when I’m going through a car wash. Maybe that is what neutral is all about.
My hands are off the steering wheel. My feet can’t touch the pedals. My attenae is down, and my side mirrors are pulled in. I’m being carried along in a straight line by an established track. By the end, my car will be cleaner than when I entered.
Will that be the end result of my life?
Will I be so confident in God’s track that I can place myself in neutral, take my hands off the steering wheel, keep my feet off the brake and accelerator pedals, put down my antennae, and tuck in my rear-view mirrors?
Will I let Him wash me? Will I let Him dry my face?
Will I let Him go beyond the exterior and wipe down my interior? Will I let Him suck out all the grit I’ve tracked into my soul?
Will I be willing to let Him carry me along to the end?
Let your eyes look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you.
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
and be steadfast in all your ways.
Do not turn to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.
Proverbs 4:25-27 NIV
I visited my aunt the other day. Since I was a little girl, I have thought of her as a kindred spirit.We often joke I am more like her than her daughter just as my cousin is much like my mother.
We love reading and books. In fact, she is more of a reader than I am. I’ve seen her devour a novel in a day while sitting at the kitchen table. When I lived with her during my college summers and the fall semester before I married, we often set aside our school assignments–she is a retired Spanish teacher–for our current reads.
Kindred Spirits understand one another. But, that doesn’t mean they always like the same things. My aunt loves gardening. I am a killer of house plants. Her favorite story to tell on me is when I came to her and complained, “My hands are dirty.”
Yet, the older I get the more I see myself in her. People gravitate to her. They tell her things they might not dare tell anyone else. I have found that same privilege extended to me, something inherited from my grandmother and my aunt. People just share things with me. It’s a sacred honor.
Kindred Spirits know this about one another, too. They share their pain in nods and winks, but not always words. Some things don’t need to be said.
When they are, they are poignant. As when my aunt asked me, why do I always give her reading assignments that make her cry? She knows. She just asks anyway. No kindred spirit truly believes she could be trusted with so much.
Which is why she is.
Another poem–and a personal favorite– from The Last Time We Were Children.