The loudest demands are not always the most important demands. We have to use our ‘sacred no’ in order to do what is best. Or, as my friend Tara says, “say no to things so you can find your ‘hell, yeah!’”
I’ve learnt that while God is sometimes silent, He is never absent. He chose to remain silent over our prayers for a child, but He was always present with us—even when we couldn’t feel it. And I’ve learnt that a greater tragedy than a broken dream is a life forever defined by one.
How do you respond when the reality of your life is so different from your hope? Miller argues that Christians are to be different – it is possible to thrive in the desert, in the tension, pain and mystery, because God is with us. We see the huge chasm between hope and reality, and somehow walk in the middle. Prayer is the key to survival when you are in the desert.
I would tell you that God’s story for your life is always bigger than your most painful chapter, or even the one you are in right now. Just because you’ve suffered incredible loss does not mean that your story is over
The boy charmed all the waitresses by telling them how old he was in Italian and singing them nursery rhymes. I felt VERY smug as a parent, which is really what it’s all about, isn’t it?
My July was happy and busy (though it should be noted that I did next to no writing. It turns out I can either live or write, but not do both at the same time). Meanwhile, the world fell apart (Ukraine, Iraq, Gaza), and the Church of England accepted Women Bishops.
We think we know the momentous and portentous events of our lives, because we have them mapped out with the big things – proposals, births, funerals – but love and grief have their own rules, and they funnel their potency into the little details, the ordinary objects of life, so that we are caught unawares by our emotion even whilst we are going about our daily business.
There is a beautiful arrogance in the works of great artists, and I am trying to learn from them. The other day, I drew a picture of my boy. It wasn’t very good, and it made him look like decidedly simian. I frowned, then thought of Picasso: I wrote ‘My child as a monkey’, and signed my name beside it. If in doubt, just change the title and call it art.