It is now time to leave my cocoon. While I Sabbathed and was quiet, I learned a lot. God grew, challenged, and met me, yet some crevices in my soul that had been there got worse and bigger. Still, some of those broken places, He wove over with His grace and filled me up with His Living Water. I am both broken and whole, a reminder of His continual grace and the grace that is to come.
There is no denying how very hard this time has been and often continues to be. Watching the pain of actual death for some, sickness for others, loss of jobs, school children bereft of friendship and learning, people scared and incredulous, rancor in the streets, families split because of opinions, and so on, has been one of the most difficult things I have ever experienced. I know this experience is not unique to me-- it has been a lot for us all.
In this broken, I have waged my own war-- one of fear, rage, submission, and hope. As a germaphobe, I have written previously (see here-- worry-hard-fought-faith-and-coronavirus.html) about how hard a pandemic is for me on a very basic level. But, the emotional stress of it all has been more than I could anticipate. I have been afraid for myself, my family, and all I love. I have been judged, and I have judged others. I have been frustrated by my viewpoints and the differing ones of others. I have sought Him and left it there and then taken it all back again. And, I have learned that He is my Rock in ways I never knew I needed.
Yet, through it all, I have felt called to carry space for all I encounter to breathe, to be who they truly are. These fraught times have taught me how much discipline it takes to let someone else be safe with me, even if I disagree with them about a certain issue. In so doing, I have found some precious friends who have done the same for me, even while knowing we deeply disagree in our perspectives.
It is simply hard work to love this way; it is bloody, Cross-work. It is some of the hardest work I have ever done.
Humility is a bitter pill to swallow, and most in our culture do not cultivate its fruit. I am first in need to lay my own self down in these ways. But, when we do, when we do, pathways of freedom and grace begin to form. Love begets love, humility slays pride, and peace covers fear.
A beautiful lesson I have learned in this is regarding motives. When all of this began, I think I would rush to wonder about someone’s motives if their views were different than mine. In that, I judged. Over time, God has revealed that I always must trust people’s hearts that I know, just like I want them to do so for me when I make them wonder. It has been one of my biggest gifts in this season.
Can you imagine what our world would be like if we gave each other the benefit of the doubt—that just because we disagree does not change one iota the depth of the other’s love, character, integrity?
So, how humble are you and I? How safe are we for our friends? Can they be real with us, or do they have to hide their real thoughts because they know we can’t handle them?
I invite you to take up the cross of humility with me. This does not mean our opinions will change nor that we won’t share them at appropriate times, but may we do so with our souls prostrate before Him. Let us be humble together, for we follow a Savior that was humble enough to submit to death on a cross for us. May we, too, take up our cross and follow Him.