A God that Weeps

I have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season!  I think we can all mutually agree we all do.  What I’m particularly struck with gratitude over, in this 11 o’clock hour, is the greatness of my God.

And I don’t mean greatness like He’s good or great to me (which He is)…but His majesty, His power…

The idea the kids’ song expresses, “My God is so BIG, so STRONG, and so MIGHTY.  There’s nothing my God cannot do.”

We all call on God for different things at different times ~ drawn to different elements of who He is – friend, counselor, savior, father, etc.

 

But today –

in the quiet and solitude of my own bedroom, alone with my Creator –

I call on the God who is greater than the crushing weight of this world…

the God who weeps alongside me,

weeps alongside everyone who feels overwhelmed and beaten,  who feels powerless in the face of evil

weeps alongside the mother who cannot comfort her babes

weeps alongside the dad feeling powerless in the future of his children

weeps alongside the vet sleeping too many nights on the same cold bench.

I call on the God who is bigger than all this, big enough to see all this.

 

Big enough to hold me, comfort me, and then nudge me – keep going, keep pushing, keep loving.

Keep weeping, bear witness, represent me, and do something.

  • S
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Getting to the Gold

Everyone knows the “golden rule,” whether Christian or not.  It has become a standard of common decency:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

But do we really do this?  Even when we think we do?  Not usually.

“American culture has twisted the golden rule into the silver rule: Do not do unto others as you would not have them do unto you.  And that one extra word – not – makes all the difference.” (Wytsma in Pursuing Justice)

This rings so true.  We’ve taken what should be the gold standard and have covered it up with silver…some good intentions, but not actually accurate

We tell kids not to hit because they wouldn’t want someone to hit them.  Don’t take toys from another kid because you wouldn’t want him to take it from you.  As adults, we do the same thing.  We try to avoid harming others because we don’t want them to harm us.  This isn’t the golden rule though; it isn’t what we are called as Christians to follow.  Really, we should be considering what we WOULD have them do to us, not what we would like them not to do to us.

I like when people notice things I do well and acknowledge it..so I should do that for others.

I like receiving random gifts, so I should give them.

When faced with real life, unforeseen hardships, I want people to anonymously step in.  So, so should I.

I like when people see me struggling and hold the door.  So, I need to make sure I am taking the time to do so.

I like when people take the time to stop and smile at me. So, I need to do so.

I like when people try to make me feel at ease. So, I need to try more to do this with others.

I like when people try to understand what I am saying.  So, I need to do so.

I like when people work to make things better, rather than stay stuck in one position.  So, I should work to do this.

by Leslie Sinclair
by Leslie Sinclair

This type of living requires more reflection and more intentionality.  It requires us to think and ACT for others – rather than accepting the passive role of avoiding acting in harm.  When we focus on the “not,” we giving our life to inaction.

I want a life focused on action.  That is what God calls us to – actively seeking Him, worshipping HIm, and actively serving others. I don’t want to not do to others, for others.  

I want to scratch off the silver to uncover all the gold underneath, waiting to be poured out.  I want to do for others and to others in every possible way.  

-S

Two Little Boys

I took this picture today.

imageOne of many. I’m a bit obsessed with capturing my children on cheap camera film (i.e. my phone)…although I’m seriously considering a Polaroid for a year project…I digress.
I took this picture and it’s all that is right in the world.

And I can’t help but place it next to another more popular image. All that is wrong in the world. A little boy washed ashore. And it’s not about politics, more about self reflection.child-s-body-washed-ashore-in-turkey

Two little boys. Worlds apart more than just physically. I can’t help but think of all the little boys not washed ashore,  but not upside down in carefree bliss.

Not making small stick forts in front yards. Not wrapped in a mothers safe embrace. Not reassured “you’s ok” as many times as necessary.

Because “you’s ok” isn’t their reality.

Lately, as I rock my babes to sleep I’ve been mourning those I can’t hold or even know. My heart is aching for this broken world, but mainly it’s affect on the little people.

And I don’t know where to start or what to do, but I know it’s more important than a budget. I know it’s more important than a tax break.

I don’t know where to start or what I can do, but I can’t rest until I figure out how. I can’t cozy into my small white bread, non-gluten, organic, cage free for the animal world…when little boys and girls are hurting.  Dying. Scared.

You’s ok shouldn’t be just for my kids. It should be an anthem for the world’s kids. Your kids and mine and every child in between.
image child-s-body-washed-ashore-in-turkey

Two little boys worlds apart shouldn’t be so different. Aren’t so different, except for one was born here and another there.

-J

Lest We Forget

As I’m writing this, yesterday was September 11. A day I’ll always remember. I was in middle school, sitting confused, wondering why some classes got to watch tv and we didn’t.

And then we did too.

I remember seeing the second plane hit. I remember thinking it wasn’t that big a deal.

photo 3.PNGAnd then it was.

We’re America.  We get things done and are safe.

And then we weren’t.

I remember watching the news that evening and getting extra long hugs and seeing extra long hugs on screen. However, I never anticipated that those hugs would turn back into self promoting, self seeking. Fear.

Maybe I didn’t pay much attention, or maybe I was just naive or maybe I was just selfish. But too often I hear fear when people speak. It’s hidden behind racist jokes, or police brutality (to and from), sexism, and fiscal confusion, the list goes on.

We aren’t a country united anymore. We were, for a short period of time, when danger was visible in a skyline.

When the ashes were still being wiped away.

We like to say ‘we’ll never forget’ and listen to saddening speeches and mourn for those lost. And that’s all good.

photo 2.PNGBut what about the fear being harbored, the hate growing bitter towards anyone or anything that threatens our cushy seat. When did we become apathetic towards evil, as long as it is on a distant shore?

Lest we forget that it could be us? It has been us before!

September 11 was a day filled with evil and pain and destruction for America, and part of remembrance for me is not forgetting that America isn’t a stand alone entity.

photo 1.PNGWe are all united on this planet, and while we have rebuilt and are forgetting what the danger felt like while still holding dear to ones lost…others are still crouching in fear, watching loved ones be lost. Trying to escape the evil that made a mark on us 14 years ago.

And the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing.

So get out there, a post on Facebook isn’t enough. Make your mark on the world  and make it a good one, in remembrance of evil, but with hope for the future.

-J