When we are overwhelmed by the contemplation of our own suffering, when the future looks black, we can know that we have a Saviour who experienced those same feelings. There is no shame in feeling that we just cannot cope. Some things are too big to bear alone.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure that confession would be quite so popular – “1. yelled at my husband before 8am. 2. hated twenty different people on Twitter for being rude. 3. didn’t read the Bible because I couldn’t be bothered #3badthings”. I don’t think it would catch on, somehow.
I wanted her to tell me how to ‘do’ Benedictine prayer. But this is not a ‘how to’ book. It is a story of searching for God in the middle of the ordinary.
When I look back on 2013, it feels surprisingly full, and I am so thankful for that. But I am also feeling the need to rest. I see the ‘one word’ exercise as a conversation between this year and the last, which is why this year’s word is ‘retreat’.
We sing our songs, and we think of a gentle mist, but the way that God’s righteousness comes is through a storm, through the sharp smacking of water and air onto a shocked and complacent earth.
I was too ill to speak to anyone, so they could not love through words or presence.
Our church loved us with food and ironed clothes.
Waiting for Jesus is something we do as we go about our daily lives. It is not an airport lounge. It’s a very long third trimester.
We too are refugees. We travel and pass through this world, but it is not our home (1 Pet 1). Even our bodies, they are not permanent, they are our temporary, make-shift accommodation (2 Cor 5).