What would you say if you could speak to her?
It will be ok
She’s wrong; you are good
You are not dangerous
You are not trouble
You are not alone
You bring joy
What would you do if you could do for her?
Take her home
Delight in her and the simple gifts she brings
Smile at her; smile with her
And have peace.
A heart surrounded by boundaries
is still a heart.
Reinforced, safe, secure
A heart surrounded by walls
bears no resemblance to a heart from the outside.
Reachable only by a journey of trial and error
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
For years, this has been the verse that has sustained me. I found it in the Spring 2008 when I was in a time of crisis. Big decisions had to be made. Personal preferences were set aside for a greater good. My heart was crushed and in a slow state of repair. One morning as I sat, forcing myself to read Psalms, the words leapt off the page and into my heart and soul.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
It became my mantra. I carried it with me. I reminded myself of it daily. I shared it with others. When Emily’s body was badly injured in a car wreck, we claimed it as our own and even tweaked it a bit:
The Lord is close to the broken-legged and saves those who are crushed in foot.
We both knew we were really talking about both body and soul, though.
I survived because of those words. They were my comfort, my strength, and my reason. God was close to me. God was saving me. It didn’t matter if I felt capable or enough. God was with me and would take care of things.
Last summer when I got married, Debbie (one of our officiants) asked me if there was a particular scripture I wanted to use. This was all I could think of. During the ceremony, she mentioned that many of the people there knew how much those words meant to me, but also said she knew that God would find a new verse for me soon.
I wasn’t so sure. It had nothing to do with what I expected from my new marriage, but because those words were mine. They had been at my core for many years by that time.
But she was right.
Last week — just last week — I had a similar experience. I was looking for artwork focusing on joy and there it was:
The Lord has filled my heart with joy; I feel very strong in the Lord. I Samuel 2:1
Once again, words leapt into the center of my being and said, Yes! This is me! These are my words!
The Lord has filled my heart with joy; I feel very strong in the Lord.
God’s love is faithful and true. It has been with me through my brokenhearted years and has given me joy. I am strong in his love and joy.
Today is May 6. By midnight, my house will be full of family. My children will be home to attend family graduations and, thankfully, we will be able to spend Mother’s Day together. Jason’s parents and nephew will also be here for the weekend.
Before it gets lost in the busyness of this weekend, reflection on April is a must.
It started with a Barry Manilow concert for me and Jason. We were given last minute tickets and decided to go because Barry Manilow is such a class part of growing up in the 70s and 80s.
The best way I know to describe it? It was the whitest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Ever. I felt like I was in the Poconos in the 1950s.
The next week, Emily had our long awaited Mumford and Sons concert.
It was amazing. Fan focused. The presence of music filled the arena and my soul answered its call.
Later in the month, it was time for Peggy and me to go hear Glennon from Momastery, and the month wrapped up with a trip to see Sir Paul McCartney with Daniel.
- Trying to be perfect for God is like dressing up for an x-ray.
- Maybe we all feel like failures as parents because we have the wrong job description. Maybe we aren’t supposed to protect them from hurting. Pain is where we learn our lessons. Maybe we’re supposed to protect them from the easy button.
- I love Christianity because a girl like me can’t rest of karma. I need the grace. All about the grace.
- I’m a white, female Sunday school teacher. If you think I’m a liberal, you need to get out more.
It’s been an amazing April. I’ve said beautiful but difficult goodbyes to some wonderful students and have made memories with friends and family. I’ve been challenged to reengage my right brain and indulge in some creativity. I bought a new Bible in order to follow my internal nudge to be more focused in my spiritual development.
Come on May. What have you got for me?