The Holy Spirit is like the wind – invisible and hard to predict… You can’t schedule God in the same way you can’t schedule joy
Tag Archives | spirituality of suffering
I want to say it loudly: the claim that you will always feel God’s peace during suffering is a myth. No matter how mature a Christian you are, sometimes you suffer and God feels desperately absent. Sometimes there’s an explanation in hindsight. Sometimes there’s a lesson learned from it. But sometimes there’s just silence and mystery.
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.
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.
Have you noticed that the Church often talks about grief in the same way that we often talk about illness and other forms of suffering? We expect people to just “get over it,” that if they believe hard enough, all will be well.
I’ve recently notched up my 10th anniversary – but forget the champagne corks. There was nothing whatsoever to celebrate, either by me or those closest to me. That’s because this summer saw ten years of living with what Churchill called the black dog.
[Jesus] has appeared to me, again and again, in spit-up and poopy diapers, in weepy eyes and runny noses. He has appeared in the mess and the tiredness of it all, and said, Here, touch me. Put your hand in my side.