“For now, we can only see a dim and blurry picture of things, as when we stare into polished metal. I realize that everything I know is only part of the big picture. But one day, when Jesus arrives, we will see clearly, face-to-face. In that day, I will fully know just as I have been wholly known by God” –1Corinthians 13:12.
“We had been hoping that He was the One—you know, the One who would liberate all Israel and bring God’s promises”–Luke 24:21.
This week, many events occurred which felt like bullets hitting my soul. Sometimes the snapshots of our lives bring us to our knees and we find God. Sometimes we just fall to our knees with the wind knocked out of us. Either way, we need to find the strength to get up, dust ourselves off and learn from the wounds of the soul.
- Jud’s mom died this week. So many emotions to process–I wish I could say the emotions evoke warm, fuzzy memories. Not much of that going on. Just tough processing.
- A woman I met last week died suddenly, tragically. My daughter talked with her daughter in a park several months ago and started mentoring her. The woman, her daughter and the woman’s mother had started coming to church a few weeks ago and seemed to have hope, joy and renewal. Now, Spring Break will have an ugly edge for the 16 year old who mourns her mother. More tough processing.
- World Vision changed their hiring policy to accomodate gay marriages. Then a day later, under pressure, changed the policy back to the original one of not allowing committed gay relationships. The tension and sadness overwhelmed me. Each side felt victory and defeat. Once again, an issue became about winning and losing instead of treating people well. Too much tough processing.
- Having inside information on a church’s upheaval that a friend attends weighs heavy on me. Hearing the ‘public’ side of a person and knowing the ‘private’ side creates sadness and a cynical environment for me. Enough of the tough processing!
- All the world problems of Russia vs. Ukraine, the Malaysia flight, the mudslide in the state of Washington. The processing continues.
Of course there’s more … because there always is more to every story. But not all the ‘mores’ are meant for sharing. I struggle to find the beauty and joy in weeks like this one. How do we take the snapshots of ugly stories and turn them into a bright-colored collage with witty captions in a photo album of life? Where are the pithy sayings that wash away the deep scars left in our souls?
Let us choose to not allow the story of our lives, our world, to end with the tragedies we experience.
Let us not allow discouragement and sorrow to imprison our souls.
Let us remember Easter and the message of Jesus’ resurrection–the story hasn’t ended yet!
Perhaps weeks like this one serve to remind us of the searing reality of the ‘not yet’ that Paul mentions in his letters. Perhaps weeks like this one can serve to remind us of how the disciples felt in the last hours as all their hopes came crashing down, and they dispersed as Jesus died. As we journey through Lent and look toward the promise of Easter, may faith, hope and love remain in us until more of Christ’s life is revealed in us.
I’d love to hear from you! Are you weary with the heaviness of your life? What has encouraged you when all hope seems lost?