Keeping Life in Perspective - Again
The wild fires in California are still uncontained.
Hundreds of thousands of people have had to evacuate their homes.
Flooding in many areas of South East Asia.
At one point, over a million people in China had to evacuate their homes.
A woman at a friend's church buried her 3rd and last surviving child last week.
Cause of death for all three: untreatable cancer.
A homeschooling family of nine (seven children!) that I mentioned over a year ago.
The father is still out of work.
I find myself praying the same prayer dozens of times each day.
"Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy."
I remember the story of one family whose house burned down earlier this year. They packed whatever they could grab and evacuated. They came back to nothing. The insurance check arrived. They decided not to rebuild. They asked themselves a powerful and life-changing question: who needs all that stuff?
That family of nine has not missed one meal or mortgage payment. Friends and family have left countless checks, supermarket gift cards and bags of groceries. Two weeks ago, that family hosted a "Celebration" party. They wanted to celebrate the goodness of God even as they await His provision of a job for Dad. They continue to pray for mercy, yes, but they also give thanks for all that they already have received.
That bereaved mother, what can I say? What can she say? Not much. There are no easy or pat answers to the questions she must be asking of God. But in every moment of her sorrow, she has been surrounded by friends who know enough not to lecture her or try to stem the tide of her tears. Friends who show their love and support and who live out the love of God simply by showing up and being right there if she needs them.
I am grateful for the repeated reminders that it is only
His mercy, His comforting presence,
His peace that passes all our understanding
that sustain us.
That strengthen us.
That keep us all from being consumed.
"Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
and grace will lead me home."