Flip. Flip. Flip. Through the photos of this summer and I wonder how I stopped blogging. Each picture is a story of a person, a place, an event that captured my heart, defined something about this God and how He uniquely interacts and journeys with each and every one of us. Who can NOT write that story?
Yet, as I let this summer roll over my tongue, there is a flavor that mars its beauty in the feelings of inadequacy that I carried into each and every situation. Wondering if I was good enough, organized enough, kind enough, smart enough. And the answer is ‘no’ of course. There is never enough time, patience, sleep, money, rest, relaxation to be ‘enough’ of anything when you travel more than 10,000 kilometers in a van through 11 countries with your family and others. And van and travel aside, would I still be enough? No.
I wrote one post this month. It was on marriage. It was a good one. Really nice, I thought. Authentic. Honest. Not the mooshy-gooshy kind but an honest whisper about the fighting and loving that comes with twenty-four years of marriage and ministry and four girls, and hours that turn into days into weeks into months of doing life together constantly in each other’s face. And how even then, God gives us a ‘I still choose you’ that threads its way through the ups and the downs.
I wrote that post and left it to simmer until the next day. It disappeared. Gone. Cyber-beamed to some unknown galactic wasteland. It took my will to write with it for a time.
Home now, finally, and sitting in an early morning yard staring at grass that is way to tall, maybe the will to write is returning home, like a hound that fights its way back.
It takes a while to stop moving after the constant clicking off of highway kilometers. It takes a while for your soul to settle back into a routine; to cook food and do laundry and feed puppies and put fingertips to keys and thoughts to paper.
And, there is something good and right about being honest, I think. In this world of falling airplanes and bloody rockets, ebola bedlam, and immigrating children, we need to take a moment to remember that we are not enough. We are not smart enough, organized enough, good enough, or kind enough to get to the core of the tragedies that mar our 21st century world. And, a solid, Christianly, evangelical next sentence would be, ‘but God is.’ Of course He is. But, sometimes that kind of thinking breeds an apathetic Christianity in me.
One valuable lesson from this summer is that people do not need me to be perfect, intelligent, or organized as much as they need me to be present. Now certainly, I need to grow in those areas. But, when I flip through the photos of this summer’s cherished faces, my soul nods in agreement with the smiles, and the laughter, and the hugs, and the tears, and the conversations. It grieves over the lost moments when my thoughts turned inwardly to self-centered inadequacies that stole moments like cyber-space stole my post.
We are not enough. True. And yet, we are all this world has got. Did you hear that?
God has strategically birthed us for this generation, for this time in history. He planted us here. Intentionally. And for better or worse, it seems that our God is a stubborn God who intends to wait for us, who intends to break down walls and silence wars and make a home for orphans, and visit widows when His people become broken and active. When His people become present in prayer and in person even though, in and of ourselves, we are never enough. Only God is enough. But, His kingdom breaks into the pain, the war, the sobs through His presence in us. ‘If my people,’ He says that.
‘IF MY PEOPLE’
IF. IF. IF.
There is a banged up, bloody, hate-spewing, desperate world right down the street from where I sit today. And I am not even close to smart enough, good enough, kind enough, or organized enough to put a bandaid on the hemmorrhaging artery. But, in the hands of a stubbornly loving God, I am all that they have got.
IF my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then, I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’