In noisy bustling houses, we've poured more coffee and settled in close.
|Photo Credit: Ell Brown, Creative Commons cc license|
I watch them, my growing kids, and my heart swells with love so much it hurts and thrills me. These four that we get to call ours now -- they bring such joy. We delight to spend time with them, we love that they like to hang out here, and we are always honored when they ask to talk.
And I hear it, in my suddenly choked up throat in Sunday singing this week, how the joy and sorrow can be intertwined so deeply. Who ever said that life was simple or easy? Joys don't negate sorrows. Joyful hearts don't preclude the hard things in life. Standing, mouthing worship lyrics this past Sunday, I spoke them to Abba God, because the hards were crashing in.
Faces and names rose up in my mind, my heart sad with them. An acquaintance's suicide on Christmas day, her present from me still unwrapped and ready; her texts still lit in my phone. We waited her arrival in vain. Another friend watches handfuls of her blonde hair fall out from chemotherapy, her small children and husband looking on. Other family friends watch brain cancer steal away their dad's personality, saying small goodbyes each day now, even though he is still there.
And at home with journal and Bible, I stretch toes, twist ankles in habit therapy, and write out your words too. Seeking you out, speaking out the hard, naming the many good, stating again and again that you are good, that your character and promises are enough, that you are faithful to sustain, to be There, to walk with us through the hard, to carry my friends through their pain and yuck and sorrow... this is my therapy to untighten the hard, to loosen the tough, to move into the pain.
Joy is still there too. I watch blankets of snow drop silence and beauty, coating trees in white wonder. Slim black-capped chickadees and charcoal dark-eyed juncos dive-bomb red cranberries in the snow on my deck. I write out your words, seek You, and lean into the habits you've been teaching me, reminding my heart. You are trustworthy, you are good, you are here, you walk with us. Your heart can be trusted and you sustain and fortress your people.
And it slips joy in.
Hey, is reading the Bible more consistently one of your New Year's resolutions? Join me Monday nights, starting Jan. 6th, as we dive into the New Testament in my Cover to Cover Bible study group. Registration closes this week, so sign up now. It is open to all, and Village Schools of the Bible offers financial aid too.
Join me? I can't wait to dig into the fast-paced true accounts of Jesus' life and death here and to watch the exciting urgent action of the early church growing, fleeing Roman emperors, and building lives centered on the truths and joys that surmount everything.
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