Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Usually.

Usually, I write at the end. Usually I like to sit down at the keyboard with a nice, neat package of thoughts that will knowingly end with a conclusion. Usually.

But sometimes, that's not how life goes. Sometimes life comes at me in such a way that the neat package I aim for isn't in the foreseeable future. And so sometimes, I write pre-emptively.

This is such a time.

I wouldn't call myself a pessimist. I really wouldn't. I don't only see the lousy things in life. And I really don't try to spin everything in a harsh light. But it happens. So I would just like to say that this is not my sometimes seemingly pessimistic nature talking.

Lately, I've been so engulfed by despair. There are days... weeks... months even that feel like the only things to know about are the awful things. Not even the weather has anything pleasant to offer. This is where I find myself. In a pit. A deep, dark, sad pit. I have been overcome with grief for the world and for groups of people that I don't know at all. So many stories keep coming to my knowledge - via Facebook, my news page, friends, etc. - that were full of circumstances that I just can't even begin to wrap my mind around. Those stories where you just can't even utter words because they are insanely inadequate for the amount of pain that exists. Being a mother has amplified some of these stories a million-fold because all of a sudden it's occurring to me that these stories are of people's children. Each story happens to a person with a mother. And somewhere that mother is aching for the pain of her child. And somewhere another mother is crying with her. That mother is me. Just cryin'. Cryin' all the time.

So there I was with this pit and the grief and the crying and as hard as I tried to pull myself together, I couldn't. The despair in the world right now is overtaking my emotions. It's filling up all the unoccupied spaces in my mind. And it's getting so, so hard to see the light. And then, shortly after I confided in some friends I hear resounding echoes of the same feelings. It's not just me. We're here in this life as Christ followers. Meant to be walking in a life that is full of light. We are the light on a stand! We are Hands and Feet! But the pit is overtaking us. The hope. The light. It seems, well, dim. Far away. For the first time in my life, I'm struggling to reconcile the brokenness of the world and the goodness of God. I don't even like typing those words.

There is this, however. Since saying it out loud it has been made clear that this is a cry of many hearts. Maybe a cry of an entire generation. Maybe a cry of much, much more than that. A cry for Hope. The devil would have us believe that there is no hope left to be found. He would have us thinking that Good News is a thing of the past. I know in my heart that is profoundly false. I know that I have experienced the goodness of God over and over again and I KNOW that He wins. But now, in this particular season, where bad news and hard stories just keep coming in waves it's hard to remember.

So here is my plea. I believe that this stirring in me and the stirring I've heard in others is a stirring of Hope. I believe that Jesus wants to make things new and I believe it starts with me. With you. And because I have no solo ability whatsoever to accomplish anything even remotely close to bringing Hope to a hopeless generation I'm praying. That's it. That's the place I've arrived. I'm putting it out there on the world wide web (well, the 5 of you reading, at least. hi mom!) and asking you to join me. Even if it's just ten of us. Maybe we could pray into the Hope of Jesus being restored to a broken, sad world. Together. I think that's the idea of this life anyway. Restoration. Togetherness. You know, those things. And in doing so maybe we will stir the hearts of others. And maybe that stirring will be the thing that starts it all. Do you think that's possible? For just a few of us to start something huge? I do. I think we may never even know it, but it might start with us. Because isn't the truth that even the smallest moves we make in the name of Jesus have everlasting effects in the Kingdom?

I told you. No neat packages on this one. But I do feel like God is leading me along. My confidence is in His faithfulness. And I know this isn't a typical post, but I wanted to encourage you and ask you to lean into Hope. Pray into it. And we'll see what great things are in store.


3 comments:

Ronda Seward said...

I wish I wasn't the first to comment :) I'm so thankful that in your angst you are turning to the Hope that is in you. I will pray with you and for you, as always. Let's see what God will do with our offering.

Amanda M (NNU) said...

Claire -- thank you! Your mom shared your post with me and it resonated with thoughts/feelings I've had in recent weeks! I will join you in prayer! May HOPE be our guide! (Amanda from NNU)

Ronda Seward said...

Brent Peterson just read your post and sent me this e-mail.

"This is the cry of lament that still clings to hope."

This is what all of Psalms and much of the Old Testament is trying to teach us.

Love you
m