Taking a Great Big, Deep Breath!

Far – far too often life just plain hurts.  Sometimes we hurt for ourselves.  Sometimes the pain we feel is physical.  Our pain can be fleeting but incredibly intense.  Like when we hit our funny bone.  (And we all know there is absolutely – positively NOTHING funny about hitting your funny bone!)

Sometimes physical pain lasts and lasts and lasts.  And we must learn how to cope and live with the pain.  We have discover how we will endure.  How we will find joy and meaning in life – even when it hurts – a lot.  I know that so many folks in our Christian community live with chronic ailments.  Personal experience has taught me that living with chronic pain is hard – hard work.  You have to dig really deep.  Some days you have to dig so deep you are pretty sure you might just end up at the center of the Earth – right there in the iron and nickel alloy core.

Sometimes the pain we must confront is emotional or spiritual or both.  Our hearts are broken.  We experience incredible loss in this life.  Loving people means being so very – very vulnerable.  People hurt us.  They disappoint us.  Sometimes they break our hearts by being just as human as we are.  Sometimes they break our hearts by getting sick.  Sometimes they break our hearts by dieing.

Sometimes the pain we feel is because our hearts are breaking because people we love are hurting.  This pain – this empathy – hurts too.  It can take your breath away to watch a loved one hurt or struggle.  We hurt because our loved ones hurt.  To know that your sister in Christ is heartbroken can break our hearts too.  To know that your friend is reeling makes us reel too.  To know that your brother in Christ is aching makes us ache too. 

I was having one of those days today.  One of those days when my heart was breaking for someone whose heart was breaking.  And like everything – it seems to be so very much worse because of COVID-19.  Because we can’t throw our arms around each other.  Because we can’t offer a hug or a shoulder to cry on or a hand to hold.  Because phone calls just don’t seem sufficient. 

I was feeling so frustrated with the stupid virus.  For the way it feels like COVID-19 has robbed us of so much.  For the way that it feels like it has robbed us of community.  For the way that COVID-19 has made such a stinking awful mess of our lives.  And then I looked up and I saw this . . .

A cross – thank you Lord. 

Thank you Lord for being patient with me.  For being gracious to me.  For being so incredibly merciful!   For holding us all in the palm of your hand.  For the reminder that you are with us always.  Thank you Lord for hanging in there with all of us and for never leaving us alone.

I grabbed the camera and went on a scavenger hunt a while back on an afternoon when we needed to use our seeing eyes.  William and I looked for crosses and we found them all over the place!

I encourage you to do the same. 

Look for crosses . . .Look for them in your house. . .Look for them outside. . .Look for them in the grocery store.  They are everywhere!  Just like our God is everywhere.

You are all in my heart, thoughts, and prayers.

In Christ and with Love –

Pastor Kerri

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