June 21, 2009
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Best selling Christian author Kathleen Norris writes, “Once when I was sunk deep in lethargy, I received a copy of an article about my writing in which the author termed me a ‘a docent of hope.’ How strange it was to be reminded that the books I had written over the past decade…were out there in the world, proclaiming good news while I sat stupefied, unable to write even a postcard. The disparity was grim, but funny: God’s grace working despite my weakness, or maybe because of it.” (Acedia & me, pp. 228-229)
I don’t write this from some ivory tower position. I write this from facing the same challenges of making sense out of an imperfect world with imperfect people just as you do. I recall one afternoon last week when I pondered over some broken relationships between Christians of which I’m aware. I visited and prayed with four people in the hospital or at home struggling with physical ailments and much pain, and one person with the pain of deep grief. Life’s not always fun.
I’m reminded of what Mother Teresa wrote to her confessor in 1979. (Don’t worry, I’m not at this point, just wanted to give you a great illustration of what we’re considering.) She wrote to him, “Jesus has a very special love for you. As for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great that I look and do not see, listen and do not hear.” (quoted in A Great and Terrible Love, Mark Galli, pp. 61-62) People are surprised that the saintly woman who gave so many people help from God often felt helpless in connecting to God herself.
You can take comfort in the fact that your struggle to find joy, meaning, satisfaction, and strength to deal with this day is a normal struggle! I know, I face it too. Everybody does.
But we can expect God to see us through it! I can tell you this “despite my weakness, or maybe because of it.” This blog is just one beggar telling a bunch of beggars about a morsel of food that’s available.
God loves us! We are in His presence! He will sustain and guide us! — What a morsel of truth to chew on today!