Chances are, just like Joseph, we are the signposts stating that God is with people who aren’t always operating at the highest and most beautiful level. Yet he is with them all the same.
That is what the story is. We should let it be.
The language we use for the things that give us joy, that bring us pain, the way we talk about our challenges and struggles, they all draw an outline around the figure of our soul as we move through space. We often take these teachings to apply to individual speech acts. What I say, what my child says, what I respond to – and yet it has to be bigger than that. And it is.
Because we always learn our words in community.
A blue finch shows up and we may or may not see it. Sometimes we are blinded by the suffering, desperately searching for answers or a way out, and we are unable to turn and notice the beauty at our side. The divinity on display in a shade of blue that was sourced from a pallet that only exists on the other side of eternity.
My wife Holley spent the spring entry period battling a wicked sinus infection, a fact she shared with the walking parents in our neighborhood who pass by every morning with bleary-eyed kids in tow, headed to school. Our daughter, tall and wild and graceful, steps out the door as well to join the fray.
The weeks passed and antibiotics did their due diligence, until standing on the porch one morning a walking parent – a mom that we talked to often – saw us and said:
“Are you feeling better?”
Behind this perceived pleasantry is a hint of something more. We are part of a network, a neighborhood of houses and lives and spirits. Our kids go to the same school and we share geography, taxes, and sidewalks.
In that moment, a great secret was revealed: we were in some sense known.
Writing a weekly blog can be a tricky business. You want to bring the best of whatever it is you write, and there are times when issues are ripe and thoughts are flowing and you feel like some sort of conduit for God's revelation and inspiration.
And then there was this week.
So, in lieu of more eloquent thoughts - of which I have none - I wanted to give you some random things that have given me life this week. My hope is that they would do the same for you.
Sickness is the most human thing that we can ever experience. It is the reminder that tiny, microscopic organisms can wage war and actually take territory in our bodies. Then again, our bodies actually fight back and heal themselves, carrying out a deep divinity wired into them that says "Battle. Survive. Do not surrender."
There is an innate wisdom to sickness, and sadly I have a front row seat to three pearls of "sick wisdom" that I'd love to share with you. (Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash)
A longer post on why we need to take time to process our lives, rather than jump to a reaction and opinion. (Photo courtesy of Brooke Cagle/Unsplash.com)
A bit about Lent, moving, formation, and what happens in the "time in between."
An announcement about big changes and the lines we draw in life...
5 beautiful experiments to try in this new year.