Day after day I decide my approach, my knack, my fear. I give pleasantries to my worries and anxieties and head out the door for another day, another time, another downtrodden walk toward what feels monotonous and obtuse all at once.
There is much to be frustrated, angry, bitter about. There is much that makes me long for a vase to throw at the wall. Some days feel like a blow to the face. Other days are like a blow behind my back. And yet I remember that we are all facing blow after blow, unless we are living in a whole other world altogether. Frankly, I wouldn’t want to be hidden away from reality and away from you all.
The togetherness is what makes it sweet amongst all the bitter, bitter fruit.
Navigating the parameters of a pandemic, racial injustice, changes in my personal life, unknowns, motherhood, choosing schooling for my children…It is a never-ending cycle of grief. It’s hard to spot until it hits me in the gut. Some nights I lay in bed and wonder how this is real. How the world flipped upside down. How my world changed. How much I long for what was. Grief tangled with stress, partnered with change is like a cocktail of unknown proportions, forced down my throat as I’m shoved back out into my life and expected to exist as happily as ever after.
The trick to navigating the cycles we’re in (for me) is processing what’s happening before me. Cry when it’s unexpected. Speak when I want to hide from it. Face what feels unsurmountable. I don’t know what’s best for anyone, let alone myself. So I lean to my left, cradled in the arms of God hoping He is strong enough to withstand my overwhelming sense of doubt. How did we arrive here? Who are we? Why does the Church sound like this? Why am I exhausted day in and day out? Will we make it to the other side?
It is all far too much for one person, and yet it is our call, this wild. This is an untamed reality we are in where fear is at the summit, and we often venture to the top expecting our words to ring out in piercing truth. But we have missed it. The Church forgets that where the world weeps, there we should be. We think we should be above the fear and pain as holders of everlasting truth, but we forget that we are not the Source. We are not the hope. We are not the bearers of ultimate truth. We are not saviors by any means. We are broken people who were lucky enough to be drawn in by a mighty God. And He sends us that we might be His meager hands and feet, showing a semblance of His glory when we can get past ourselves and actually reveal it.
This is not what I wanted. I wanted a different reality. But this wild is ours. To crawl away or hide from it, to smite it as though we are too holy for it, to condemn it is to discredit your witness. It is harmful to the witness of our beaten, murdered Savior for us to cry above the world without crying within it. The pain is palpable if you open your palms to it.
I could tell you anything. I could give you any piece of advice and hope you take it, but I won’t. The work of the Holy Spirit is beyond me, and He will convict hearts that are soft enough to listen. You best trust that if you haven’t felt an ounce of conviction for some time, it’s because your heart is like stone in your ribs, sinking slowly and weighing you down with every step.
I see it in the words we tout on social media, our soapboxes of our own creation where we think our words must be heard and hold the greatest value. We forget the greatest work is in loving our neighbor. Instead, we chastise them and berate them for not rising to a standard they don’t know exists.
The world quakes and moves, whether we are above it or among it. It would be a shame to excuse ourselves from the pain of our surroundings simply because it isn’t our pain. It would be a travesty to ignore the reality and history of others because it doesn’t affect our life. It would be a sin to ignore your brother or sister just because they don’t know Jesus like you do.
This is the wild you were called upon to enter. Resist the urge to build hedges around yourself from the people who are craving the acknowledgment and love they need.
The call of this wild is yours to know and yours to step into. If ever there were or is a time you are needed, it is now.