We take one small step into November, a little brave, a little weary. We list all the reasons why we can’t believe true things while we roll up the towels for the linen closet and plan for the meals in our head. And then we listen, lips quivering, heart heavy with longing and hope, as the Lord says things like this: Return to your rest, oh my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. (Psalm 116:7). We know it’s true (ish) and we look for the bounty, but all we see is a pile of towels and dog-chewed sofa.

Hope and risk are syrup sticky. They tangle up the soul with fear and thrill and dread and peace. The dread comes when we forget to remember that the truth doesn’t always feel true. Hope is a liar and risk walks with a limp. She doesn’t look brave anymore, she looks wounded. And so we search for our comfort zones and look for a hiding place of safety. We grope for familiar and walk with our heads down low.

I feel it deep, this word return. There is no risk in returning because we have already tasted this home. And so He reminds us to come back to a place where we have been before. He is doing a new thing, but He is still the same as always. Trustworthy. Faithful. Loving and strong. There may still be a fear, but we have it confused. Because there is only one thing scarier than making art with our lives.

Not making art at all.