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Choosing hope.

I feel as if the whole earth is sobbing. And my own heart right along with it. 

I am sick to death of the COVID-19 virus and the destruction (of jobs and families and communities), division (of any and all of us as we disagree) and death (of far too many, because even one lost life breaks our Creator’s heart) it has wrought.

I am gutted at another earthquake in Haiti. Horrified at more desperate suffering for a people who have time and time again lost so much. 

I am sadder about what is happening in Afghanistan than I ever imagined I could be about a country and a people I have no real kinship to. While they fight for their very existence, for the very right to walk on the street or go to school, we whine about having to manage germs. 

I am appalled and grieved at my own country, and our refusal to band together against the common enemies of disease and terrorism; instead we choose, these days, the equivalent of eating our own young, as we rip each other apart across every medium available, insisting on tribal blame games that only serve as a well-displayed Achilles heel. 

I am brokenhearted at bewildered teenagers caught up in the seduction of TikTok algorithms and selfie likes; more homicides in my own hometown than we’ve had in any recent history; hungry children and shattered neighborhoods and homeless camps. 

And I am full up, deep in my soul, as we all are these days, with every day cares, too– the less global but no less painful stresses of family dysfunction and relationships and illness and finances and children. 

I feel as if the whole earth is sobbing. And my own heart right along with it. 

Nothing feels certain. Nothing feels solid. Nothing feels as if it would be okay to rest, just right there, for even a moment, without “right there” splitting wide open and tossing us into whatever heartache is next. 

Everything feels off. At risk. Unhinged. Not at all what God created it to be, and our own inability to express what’s on our sore and bruised hearts making it impossible for us to find steady footing anywhere at all. 

The full weight of the last 18 months (at least) is washing across me in waves as of late, especially as the uncertainty rages on and our own anxiety and anger with it. We’re so vulnerable, so riddled with fear. We’re so broken, so bereft of any sense of how we’ll ever get out of this cluster of time we’re living in. 

I feel as if the whole earth is sobbing. And my own heart right along with it. 

My pastor has been preaching from the Israelites journey through the wilderness these last several weeks. It’s so appropriate to these days we’re living it’s almost laughable–because here we are, wandering scared and confused and desperate and willing to fall for just about anything shiny if it promises us we’ll feel better as soon as possible. 

There is not a story that ever was or ever will be, y’all, that is not contained between Genesis and Revelation. Not a single one. “No new stories,” one of my favorite humans says, “only new people living them.”

And y’all? 

Y’all. 

Right there is the glimmer of light that might lead us out of this darkness. Because if there are no new stories, if it’s true–and I will stake my very life on this–that we are not the only ones, that in fact, there have been so many before us in equally as tight a collective spot, then it’s possible…in fact, it’s very likely…that this current pain will not last, that somewhere on the other side of it, no matter how God-awful it feels, there is something else…something new…something that tastes of mercy and promises healing. 

We’re up against giants, my pastor said this morning. And then reminded us that giants have come and gone before, and that what we can be sure of is that God has brought us this far, and so it can’t possibly be the end of the journey…only our next chance to choose hope. 

Our next chance to choose hope. 

If you’ve been reading along here for much of any time at all, you know I believe in clinging to whatever hope is available. No matter how small or insignificant or quiet it might seem. 

No new stories. A God who has brought us this far. 

#availablehope

I’ll do my damndest to choose it. Every chance I get.

One thought on “Choosing hope.

  1. Thank you, Julie. I, too, have felt like the world has been on fire. Not just horrible forrest fires in my home state of Oregon. But also health, political, rain, flood, race, you name it, fires for the last 18 months. I am grateful for your encouraging hope.

    Like

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