And today I feel sad. There have been so many good days lately. So many highs, and really not many lows at all. But as has always been true for my heart…. sometimes I am just sad. Sometimes there is just too much sadness in the world to ignore, and there is nothing to do but cry. Hurricanes, fire, goodbyes, anger, earthquakes and cancer…and my God that declares his everlasting goodness. Sometimes it’s too exhausting to think about, and It’s just time to cry.
Wise friends were talking to me about “with” yesterday. The idea that being with God is an all but lost concept in the sea of religiosity around us. I needed those words today. When I am sad I usually don’t want to pray. Kinda like that feeling when you are at a party and you see someone you know you need to talk to but for some reason you don’t. So you avoid eye contact and pretend that somehow amongst the 20 people in the room you managed not to notice each other. Until one of you caves. And there you are. Confronted with the person you need and want to talk to so badly but are desperately avoiding for one reason or another. God is in the room with me now, but I’m not brave enough today to say what needs to be said. To say, “Um… God…. the sky, that big thing you made… it’s really out of control — just in case you didn’t notice.” Or “You do know about cancer, right? Because it’s awful and it feels like you missed it somehow.” God can handle those angry words in His direction… but I can’t today. Today I am just sad. So that leaves me with “with.” With God and my glass of sangria, my yoga mat, and really long shower. With is okay too. Maybe God and I are that pair at the party the just kinda calmly sit next to each other on the couch, exchange a head nod and pretend to watch the game while the with does it’s healing. Because my rules tell me I should do this or that in order to get my faith act together. But today I am too sad. Not for any reason that affects me personally….I am not sick or in danger of hurricane… but good grief so many people are an it’s just too sad. So being with God is all I can manage. And I don’t think God minds.
My earthly dad is the most patient man I know. Growing up (and now) if I sassed at him, got angry and overreacted or lashed out…. he didn’t run from me. He didn’t hit me with rules or punishment. Often he didn’t confront me… he would just wait. Wait for me to come out of my room, or to pick up the phone. And he let’s me talk to him about nothing first… until I am ready to say, “You know what? I am hurting.” He would just let me be with him until that time came. Never getting mad or impatient. And my God’s love is like that too. He isn’t tapping his foot going, “Really? You ran out of faith again? Nothing has even happened to you.” He is just sitting here with me… waiting until I am ready to talk about how I feel.
Dads… the way you love your daughter teaches her (right or wrong) about the voice of God. Go tell her how beautiful she is, and how proud of her you are.
Daddy, thanks for always showing me the gentle and patient love of God. I love you with all of my heart.
Me and Dad last weekend. He was teaching me how to look for and plant buckeyes.
If you’ve never planted a tree, go do it.
*photo credit- @ZackRogers
*The book my friends and I were discussing is called “With” by Skye Jethani. I haven’t read it and don’t know if he would agree with my use of “with” or not…but they highly recommend it and I highly recommend them.