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.
There are times when faith seems like a sturdy house, and other times when faith seems like the tiniest rowing boat, lost in an ocean of uncertainty. This week, my social media timelines are full of people feeling overwhelmed, either by life or by faith.
When I was thinking about Bible verses for when you are feeling overwhelemd, 1 Kings 19 came to mind – Elijah running away from his people, his mission, and even God.
There are times when life is a whirlwind and we are whirling within it. Our days had been full of flurry and preparation and whirlwind and now we sat, waiting.
“You can’t explain it, why it didn’t bother you last year, but now it bothers you all the time. You feel a tightness in your chest. Your faith, once so freeing, now feels like it is suffocating you.”