For me, this is what liturgy is. It is the guide-rope of centuries of Christian voices who whisper to future generations – this is the way out of the dark. Just hang on and follow it out.
When all you are longing for is daylight and the brightness of the sun, it is hard to remember that there is a light that comes in the darkness, too.
Sometimes the church tells me that I should not be sad, because Jesus is enough. My longings tell me that though Jesus may be enough, I do not always see Jesus clearly, feel him near. Jesus may be enough, but I do not yet have enough Jesus.
Sometimes life is like that. We have joy, but in a minor key. This life mixes up the best and beautiful with the ugly and evil of the world, and sometimes they play at the same time. As I approach Advent, the season of waiting and in-between, I want to be honest about the joy and the sorrow together.
It is a natural response to want to creep back into the safety of our tribes, to draw lines about what makes us ‘us’, and them ‘them’, but it is not the way of love. Love crosses boundaries and borders; it dares to stare people in the eye and love them for their personhood, their humanity.
God is love, through and through – daring, defiant, powerful love. God calls us to love others in the way that God alone loves: seeing them truly, loving them entirely.
That encounter stays in my mind, because it was some of the best advice I’ve ever received—quit while you still love it. I had felt the restlessness and I had tried to press it down. But God was in the restlessness.
I have a story about being miraculously healed, but I also have one about not being healed.
We want to focus on our achievements rather than our powerlessness. But this is not the way of the kingdom, and the cloud of witnesses tell us we are not alone.