From Hidden to Risen


tasha burgoyne -from hidden to risen-3

“Quiz me on this rock,” he said, holding up a bone-colored, jagged- edge stone. I could almost see his words of response at the edge of his lips, ready. My nine-year old has always been excited about geology. Any mention from me is all it takes to open the floodgates of his excitement and stored up information.

“Did you know that some of the rarest gemstones are made deep down in the earth in the hottest lava?”

His question sticks with me. I didn’t know, or if I did at one time, I forgot.

Diamonds are made in hidden places, under the stress of extreme heat.

For the last year, my family has been in transition. All year, we’ve been given the task of building and re-building as we’ve grown from four to five through adoption. As incredible as the gift of adoption has been, the transition of this gift has required all of us to get to work down in hidden places.

It’s easy to acknowledge the challenge of any transition in the first, most obvious stages of change. But what about the challenges that take much longer to work through? What about the ones that don’t follow an easy timeline or a 3-step guide? Throughout our time of bonding and becoming a family, I find myself longing for us to emerge quickly from shallow soil and feel normal again as soon as possible.

Instead, God has been interested in making something new.

Early on, we narrowed our activities, adjusted our ideas about timing, stopped doing almost everything in the evenings and kept all other commitments to a tiny minimum. As the months moved on, we grew and progressed in tangible ways, but what I didn’t expect was the way the entire year would require a certain long-standing hiddenness. If I’m honest, this past year has felt like silence to me.

On good days, I remember silence doesn’t mean being unseen. On more challenging days, I wonder if I will ever recover. When I’m thinking clearly, I remember the people I’ve always admired most, the ones I believe and trust the most, are the ones who are familiar with silent depths that exist below shallow soil where the sunshine and spotlight are still in view. On weary days, I wonder if I’m forgotten.

I believe we were all made to rise and shine like bright light, but I’m learning places of hiddenness are often a prerequisite for great purpose and ultimate kindness. These places can show us how deeply we are loved.

There’s a long hiddenness that feels like empty space, but it is actually a shelter of divine nurturing and protection.

There’s great value in a silence that gives way to aching pangs of loneliness, because it’s there where we learn in great measure the God of the universe is still with us.

There’s beauty in the darkness where our sight for the future feels lost in transition, because our Creator alone has already spoken light and life into a depth of dark we cannot even fathom.

I imagine the Spirit’s voice urging me to ask a question about rocks with the enthusiasm of my son. Ask me about the rock where God put Moses while his glory passed by. Ask me about every stone I’ve made in the universe that is still deep in the making, known and seen only by me. Ask me about the way a diamond is made to brilliantly reflect the light.

Nothing can separate us from God’s love, and God longs for us to know this. God’s glory is passing by, we only need to rest and let the long moment do its work, however long. When we rise again, we will reflect the light we’ve come to know in ways we’ve never known we could. The very hiddenness I fear is the space where we are made new.