For the past few months, I have been serving with an outreach ministry at my church, Copper Pointe. It has been a tremendous blessing in so many ways. We are serving to show love, to be love, and to represent Love. Undoubtedly, it is a privilege to do so. After this month’s outreach, I was feeling conflicted or bothered or something that those words do not accurately describe. I was feeling the limitations of extending that love in the time and space provided. I was confronting the questions of equality and justice and the reign of darkness. I was coming to terms with the weight of the cross. He did not just carry it because I yelled at my kids or blurted an expletive in a time of road rage. He carried unadulterated pure evil to extents that I am oblivious to most parts of my sheltered day.
Unanswered questions arose again as they have when life disturbs the heart. I realize that there is nothing that separates me, the server, from her/him, the one being served except grace. I was blessed with a stable home, parents who amaze me with their constant unconditional love and abundant generosity, solid friendships, positive role models and mentors, quality education, and countless opportunities. I was given the grace to find faith. My blessings sometimes feel unfair. Others are born into vastly different circumstances. Parents, who are supposed to care and nurture, instead cruelly abuse and deeply damage. A lack of resources and completely different culture can almost seem to set one up for severely difficult outcomes. I think of Elisabeth’s recent time with the poorest of the world. Why were these children born on trash mountain and mine in a place where my older son schemes layaway plans for an iPad? These are moments when my receipt of grace appears to highlight the withholding of the same for others. I do not know what to do with that.
Last night was sleepless because of a crazy storm. Lightning lit up the sky like heaven’s strobe light went out of control. Rain (that’s right, RAIN) was pounding against the house while thunder boomed to further fill our eardrums. No wonder they call it monsoon season here. It was a miracle that the kids woke up in their own beds this morning mostly because my younger one somehow slept through it all. As an adult, I was amazed by it and wandered the halls to view the ravages of weather. There are times of peaceful sunsets, blue skies and chirping birds. There are also times of the absolute complete opposite. Nature somehow always finds balance. Plants, terrain, creatures and all adapt. We seek shelter from the storm. We learn to bask in the calm. We do not control the weather, but we have to trust in the One who does.
In these moments of agitation, I can at least be thankful that they exist. I would rather be bothered or conflicted or whatever can more accurately describe it than not. I do not want to be somewhere where there is no change in weather at all even and especially when it means temperate constancy. I do not want to remain in my safe shelter all the time. I believe these disturbances of the mind and heart mean that mine are expanding to His. The difference is that He is sovereign and can make sense of it all. The things I know in my mind to be true do not always compute to my human heart and experience. That is one sure constant in life. I am willing to grapple with it until that moment comes where constant peace is because all these storms have been forever quieted and made right. Until then, the struggle continues and I believe that journey is what it is all about.