Starving

In that conversation the kingdom of God felt further away than ever.

It didn’t feel here, in the present, but somewhere in the distance – a mere dot on the horizon we will never be joined with.

When we speak, we speak not only for ourselves but others, too. And in her voice I heard the voices of a multitude, one as much as alive in Jesus’ lifetime as it is now. Like a game of tug-of-war happening across space and time. Because ignorance and hate don’t have boundaries: they are the same everywhere.

The exact shape may change but the meaning is the same. They can be dressed up and hidden behind jargon that sounds caring or looks good on paper but poison served in fancy cake is still poison.

 

She said why should any of it matter, we’re all humans. As though our shared humanity somehow wipes out everything else. Like cultures and societies and all the systems in them don’t exist; as if we weren’t individuals tangled up in all of this, trying to protect that very same humanity from the divisions that threaten to destroy it.

Knowledge puffs up, writes Paul, love builds up.

But how do you keep an open heart? How do you look at the future with hope?

 

I could have hung up. Could have put down the phone and walked away, from it and her, for good.

The conversation was going in circles and so felt pointless. And yet the fact that we were having this conversation at all means something.

Sometimes the larger picture obscures the details and the events of our everyday lives pass by in seemingly meaningless ways. Could this moment, then, be used for something good? If words can transcend space and time then maybe this small thing, here in the present, will help something larger to grow in the future?

 

The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, He said, the smallest of all the earth’s seeds.

What happens now may seem insignificant and yet I can’t help but feel life is progressing towards something. Like human history was always intended for this. All of these moments, all of us, will one day yield a crop of something good and nutritious. And only then will  we realize how starved we once were.

 

 

 

Travelling Light

Why is light given to one who cannot see the way, whom God has fenced in? (Job 3:23)

 

Night brings the light from stars already dead and day is but old light too.

And between the dead and the living, a dark expanse which only light can travel.

 

There is a storm outside my window and it has been there for days.

When you live next to a body of water, you can expect months of white and low grey skies. Roads closed in every direction and eventually you start to feel like there’s no way out. Like the earth has conspired to hedge you in.

This isn’t somewhere to be when there’s already a storm inside you too. When there’s churning and cold and you have to squint to see anything at all. It’s dark for days, sometimes weeks. Or longer.

 

No wonder you start to crave light and people are overjoyed when they begin to notice that come mid-afternoon it’s not dark yet. There’s still some light.

I find myself craving it about now. A light eternal, unlike stars or sun. A light without fire that consumes and turns all things to dust but rather encourages new growth. A light you can walk in, even if you only ever see the next step in front of you and not the end of the road.

There is meaning in the Light and I know this and turn toward it.

 

The storm breaks, just briefly, and a light streams in through clear window panes.

I open my palm to it, the cold in my bones dissipates. This Light, which cannot be held yet holds us all, reminds me that the dark is not all there is so long as there is Light to travel with in darkness.

 

 

Living It Out with Trust and Hope

There are bills and notices. Reminders and statements of what’s left and what’s left to give. And cars break and everything starts later than it should. No one says “thank you” or even notices what’s been done. There are still dishes and a meal to make and more after that.

There are times when it feels like too much, I forget who to trust. I am restless to get it right, to do it better. I forget that we, like those who received the letter, are holy partners in a heavenly calling.

The everyday is my biggest distraction. But it’s where I need to be and where I must live in God’s grace.

Always, when I turn to the word, I am reminded that faith is not just believing but living in patience, obedience, and with hope. Because what we have been blessed with is an anchor of the soul. And whatever I thought separated me from God, well, it doesn’t.

And when I need Him in a real and human way, I need only look to the one who reflects His very being. The constant and unchanging character of the one in who we live and breathe and find our rest.

This is what I must remember when I am falling or failing. Ruthless trust is the only thing that’s needed.