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.
The darkness that threatens to overtake me? The clouds that seem to suffocate? I am getting close to him. Over and over I am told that God is near to the brokenhearted, He saves the crushed in spirit.
Why do I like the one type of beginning, but not the other? Why have I always loved ‘back to school’ but hate the new beginnings that relapses bring?
The answer is this: one feels progressive, the other regressive. One is macro, the other micro. One is linear, the other cyclical.
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.
Jon had prepped the boy before the service by explaining what would happen: white dress, songs, vows, rings, and that there was a part in the service where the whole congregation would join in. “When the minister asks, ‘will you, the friends and family support them…’ that’s when you say ‘we will’, as loudly as possible,” he told the boy. These proved to be fateful instructions.
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.