difficult

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They held feasts in their homes on their birthdays

Tragedy comes in different packages.

It’s a suicide bomber at a Parisian concert hall. It’s a phone call that dad has brain damage from a slip on the linoleum. It’s a cursory glance at the Bible instead of a long drink. It’s an alcoholic beverage or a frosted sugar cookie or one more click on the computer even though you vowed to stop and “just do today” in God’s grace. It’s realizing that you got something really, really wrong.

For Job, tragedy was a gaggle of breathless messengers who delivered the worst news of his life. I wouldn’t ever be able to hear running feet the same way again if I had been him.

His life had been idyllic, blessed by the hand of God for being obedient. And yet, in his sovereignty, God destroyed his life: his children, his material wealth, his personal wellness.

Friends came, sat in silence for an eternal seven

They held feasts in their homes on their birthdays2019-10-08T02:29:19+00:00

She had a four-bedroom house once

“I left him four months ago.”

I don’t know how much of it is real, but the Lord has led me to talk and pray with M several times while doing street evangelism. Her life is incredibly broken, marked by abusive relationships and disease and too many children left to fend for themselves while their mother tries to beg a few dollars.

Women like M make me want to curl up and weep. I cannot fix her problems, and so I want to run away. I have none of her problems, and so I feel a sense of shame. But still I sit with my legs politely folded as she updates me: how she might be getting housing soon, how she’s so excited (she then proceeds to pull out photos of her children). And I give her a dollar and encourage her and then our group pulls her into our circle for

She had a four-bedroom house once2019-10-08T02:29:19+00:00

“Wake Up, You Need to Make Money”

M and her family are missionaries in Africa. Their life has been characterized by moves and shifts, encountering the most broken people, and utter reliance on the Lord.

She didn’t finish her degree at Bible college and is in the process, after almost 20 years, of completing her last two semesters. Because, hey, there was no money, and then they got good jobs and had kids, and then they moved overseas where ministry happened. Now she walks into brothels and shares the Gospel and rescues babies from their pimps and brings them home.

We were eating dinner at Dr. G’s apartment, and I was fascinated by her story. Her husband’s business is what completely supports her ministry to these women, and because of his connections, he’s been able to get them out of trouble on many an occasion.

She said, “What God redeems, he uses.” Her husband’s terrible childhood and exposure to the

“Wake Up, You Need to Make Money”2015-09-28T05:00:25+00:00

Wanted: a way to see beyond my sunglasses

Everyone wears sunglasses of perspective.

It’s hard to value your own at times. The big trendy thing to do is to take pictures with kids in Africa and/or post a Bible verse/indie song lyric on Facebook with a #vscocam landscape photo of some obscure beach. Meanwhile, back in the backwoods, God is moving quietly and has me singing in church on Sundays, hosting a couple ladies’ breakfasts, and selling toys in the next tourist town over.

Is this as exciting as spending my summer feeding widows in Guatemala or travelling the Southeast putting on Gospel camps for kids? Is it as meaningful as interning at a megachurch co-leading worship or studying abroad in the Mediterranean or serving at a family camp in Michigan?

God’s Word tells me the answer is yes. When I started working fast food at age 14, this was a verse I quickly memorized and treasured:

“Whatever you do, work at it

Wanted: a way to see beyond my sunglasses2015-07-19T00:28:05+00:00

Adventuring

Life has been full of adventures lately. Yet, they’ve all been marked with hard edges.

This past week, I’ve been out multiple times for multiple occasions. It started with a visit to my grandma’s. It was lovely to see her on MLK day, but the lunch was dotted with notes of depression — my grandpa is slowly fading from dementia and lies sleeping in the nursing home down the street. All I could do was hold his hand, really, and sit on the mat next to his bed that the staff keeps there in case he falls. My grandma puts on a brave face, but I know she is crying inside, too.

Donuts and coffee at Glazed and Infused on Friday. Eric from Massachusetts and I needed to catch up on life, and I’ve been trying to grip my mornings with a tighter hand  anyway. We rode the El and it was

Adventuring2015-01-25T03:17:33+00:00