a week ago, I sat down after an exhausting shift and needed to write. it was long past a safe hour to be writing (some days I look back at what I've written and make myself promise to never publish a blog after a certain hour when good judgement, discreteness, and proper grammar are tucked safe in bed). so I saved a draft and decided this was just for me.
but after returning home a week later, and experiencing all the deeper last friday's emotions, I decided to pull up the unpublished post. perhaps God knew I'd need these words today. and how God-like, that though I didn't know it when I wrote this post, Aron was assigned this topic of care to preach on this weekend. his sacred echos are everywhere, when we still ourselves.
i worked today, and most shifts i find myself diving head-long into such broken lives and broken hearts, i come home heavy in the chest. my week is insulated and cozy, busy raising right two children, feeding my husband his meat and potatoes, and if he's lucky, bread to boot. but fridays are real, and they are raw, cutting me to the heart. i think God wants it that way.
the Lord has been flooding our lives with the hurting and sick: sick of heart and sick of body and sick with sin and self and pain. and the demands on our finite resources can feel overwhelming, so we give what we have, do our best to point them toward the Healer. offer prayers in faith and a beating heart that hurts alongside theirs, struggling as it is to just keep pumping life. some days we wake to find we are the hurting, sick of heart and sick of self. and in these moments we are finding his grace sufficient, his love enough for one more day. and his children, alongside of us offering love and forgiveness and truth - are life-giving like the leaves that paint bright the fall-gray sky.
not long ago, my husband reminded me that Jesus thrice asked Peter to feed his sheep, to care for his flock. jesus himself equated our care of the hurting and hungry, imprisoned and sick with our treatment of God. and so this calling on each us of to care for one another, it is serious and sacred, and I must say of so many of you, that you do it so well. my family and i have known first hand your cups of water, mercy to parched hearts, your feeding and clothing and pouring out of self for our sake. Jesus knew of the wolves that would come and that life's storms would threaten to rip us one from another, tear us to pieces at times if it weren't for each other. and so we were created for this - me for you and you for me, us for Him. a beautiful web of communion and intimacy, made stronger by our vulnerability. we share with one another our hurts and our needs, trusting our name and our concerns are safe on another's lips. and as we do, a culture of authenticity rises. where real people with real problems confess and confide - and love each other anyway.
abiding trust ties hearts one to another as we mutually expose what lies inside (though oft a painfully difficult process), and authenticity becomes the dialect of the land. true intimacy soon follows, its partakers finally experiencing a taste of community in its intended glory.
i can't speak for you, but as best as I can interpret my own heart, I was made for this: for intimacy with my Maker and intimacy with his creation. the path toward such beautiful relationship with God and with man is paved with shortcomings and confessions, honesty and affirmations, selflessness and grace, forgiveness and acceptance, and over all: love. In my own fragility, I fear I am not capable of this, but praise be that:
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. (2 Peter 1:3).
and so it is with his power that i will wake tomorrow and offer my heart to him - and to you, flawed as it is. and for just one more day, i will walk by faith when the road ahead is dimly lit and unyielding. i will drink of mercy, of forgiveness, of grace to try again. and i will offer you the same. for he who has been forgiven much, loves much.
humbled to journey with you,