So here we are, traveling through Lent together. I’m not sure if you are reading daily meditations, spending time reflecting and repenting, or simply trying to survive. Maybe all of the above.
Today, as most days, I’m reading headlines that could drive me berserk. I hate reading the news these days. I can’t understand the decisions and choices and behaviors of our government. They look like insanity to me. They look like we’ve abandoned compassion. They are not the choices I desire to see for our country.
Today, a guy I know and care about very much wrote me to say he has made many mistakes and had many mishaps but God taught him that he is nothing without God. When I’m watching people self-destruct, which I swear is all too freaking often lately, it resurrects my hope to hear someone say, “I get it! I’m done hurting myself! God is rescuing me!”
Today, my neighbor shared how nervous and excited she is about getting baptized in a few weeks. She’s getting baptized in a few weeks! We’ve prayed for her and loved her and God moved in her life in these past few months and Zap! I don’t know why some people finally get hit by the Holy Spirit. I don’t know how the whole dance between us and God works, when people who have heard the same message finally experience it and know God’s love. But I really like seeing it happen!!
Today the news from Syria:
This morning, as many as 100 people were killed in an alleged chemical attack in the Idlib province of Syria, southwest of Aleppo. Many of the dead are children.
Reports from the attack site describe hundreds of people passing out and going into convulsions. Many of the victims reportedly suffocated to death. There are also allegations that local medical centers were bombed after the initial attack.
I don’t know this organization, but this is where I first read the news and they may be doing good work. We have to find some way to respond. //www.preemptivelove.org/syria_chemical_attack_children_are_dying_we_are_responding
Jesus Christ, have mercy, on them and on us.
Today I walked to school in the April heat of Nicaragua, whichis roughly an oven set to “broil.” Today I greeted a bunch of people and prayed for them. Today, as most days, my old man on the corner friend said, “Va pues, Amigito.” Since he stands four-foot-nothing, I especially enjoy that. Just about the time I thought I would melt, a friend stopped to give me a ride.
Today, I told my Bible class that Jesus loves the poor. I shared Henri Nouwen’s quote:
We talked about how we are called to love people who are suffering, broken, and in poverty because that is when we recognize our own brokenness and poverty; that is when we experience our own need for God. We started studying the parable of the dishonest/shrewd steward. They were baffled. That’s exactly what I hoped, because what good is it to study only passages they already understand?* I really love this class.
Today, our basketball team won again. Everyone who knows me at all knows I like to win, but here’s the thing: our guys work so hard! Not one of them slacks. I’m truly enjoying coaching them. Coaching is a redemptive experience in my life. Plus, our boys are hilarious! (But don’t tell them, it’ll only go to their heads.)
Tonight, I went to a meeting with my daughter to hear about what we need to do to prepare for senior year. Senior Year! My miracle girl is going to be a senior in high school! I’m sure it may hit me to be sad at some point, but tonight I’m just rejoicing that we’ve gotten here, a 17-year miracle and counting!
Tonight, after I ran up and down a basketball court on my forty-eight-year-old legs, I stood outside dripping sweat and talked with one of the guards at our school. He’s 53 and has a 7-year-old son, which beats my age spread! We talked about staying young to raise energetic boys. We talked about the faithfulness he’s see from God in 26ish years of working at our school–he’s been there since the beginning, second longest-term employee–and the blessing of God in his 27 years of marriage. We laughed. I still speak brutally awful Spanish, but I can have a half-hour conversation and laugh and ask him to repeat himself only a few times and get all the important stuff, even when my brain is slowing down.
Tonight, my daughter and I talked about how to deal with stress, how to “give it up to God,” as my mom would say.
Tonight, we bought tickets for our visit to the States. We are so incredibly blessed and so well off to be able to do this every year. It is inexpressibly strange to live in an impoverished country and be able to fly back and forth to the U.S. I will never resolve the dilemma of their poverty and our wealth. Today I had enough to eat and I don’t know if my neighbors did. But we live here. Every day I see where I am poor and broken, as well.
Today I dealt with bad thoughts, but less than usual. Today I was rested after, for me, a good night’s sleep. Today I loved my kids and prayed for them and not once did I raise my voice at them.
Today I walked with Jesus.
How was your day?
*We also discuss how knowing can be the enemy of learning. When we think we know, we’re no longer open to seeing new things.