looking through me

Tag: faith


I bite on expectation’s illusion, but often the flavor of my days doesn’t pan out as I assumed it would.

Like Monday . . .

Grandpa’s surgery was delayed several hours and then took much longer than the doctors anticipated.

As I waited for updates, an email landed in my inbox saying a friend’s grammy slipped away while her daughters held her hands—and no amount of expectation makes it easier to witness the fabric of a family forever altered.

My heart ached under the heaviness of the unexpected. I prayed over and over, “God . . . please . . . I trust you . . . help my unbelief . . . hold us when we can’t hold on . . . please . . . God.”

Later in the day, when my friend called to talk through the details of how to best mourn with her family—wear black to the funeral, but don’t send flowers—where was I? In the grocery store. I listened to one heart grapple with the unwieldy weight of grief as I collected ingredients to serve to other weary hearts.

Because in the swirl of unexpected, sometimes food is the best love I can offer.

So I plucked mint leaves, squeezed a lemon and grated parmesan for mint-pea pesto. I sliced mozzarella, pitted plums, toasted pine nuts and reduced vinegar for a salad. And all the while I begged for God’s mercy to envelop and nourish those I love.

In days filled with the souring of expectations, I can call my people to the table and feed them . . . and sometimes, that is sweet enough.


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In all my church’s imperfection—and we are certainly imperfect—I’m reminded of something that’s true of every church: we are sinners only called saints by the grace of Jesus.

There’s a lot of pain sitting in the seats on a Sunday morning. There’s a lot of pain sitting in the office on a Tuesday morning. There are a lot of hurts in leaders and laity alike.

But we are also a body. Together. And within that body there is not only the pain of the individual members, but the pain we feel collectively. The pain we share because we are a living entity.

As I was praying for us as a body, a sentence popped into my mind: some hurts won’t be healed here.

Huh. Not the answer about our church health I wanted. But as I sat with that phrase—some hurts won’t be healed here—another one interrupted it: that doesn’t negate our purpose or God’s presence.

Some hurts won’t be healed here. That doesn’t negate our purpose or God’s presence.

Those are weighty words. And they aren’t my words. Not by a long shot. I sat in silence feeling the heft of them in my lap, and then I started searching for biblical context to support them . . . or maybe even disprove them because, let’s be honest, I wasn’t jazzed about the idea that we’re going to live with chronic pain.

And while God does not hit me upside the head with a two-by-four or speak to me in an audible voice, He has a way of making His points. So He proceeded with the progression of simplicity from sentence to fragment to single words. Two of them.

Paul. Thorn.

Ooohhhhhhh. I realize Paul was one person. He wrote about a personal affliction to a church—a body of believers—so the context is different from mine as a member of a body praying for us as a collective entity. I understand this is not a one-to-one correspondence. I do.


Maybe these words are for this body, for us, too.

“‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Some hurts won’t be healed here.
That doesn’t negate our purpose or God’s presence.

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