I ran into a friend today. We’d met at church a few times and our families had crossed paths once at the local Dunkin Donuts. He’d been dealing with some health issues. I asked him how he was feeling and he said:
God is good.
This friend works in the city of Reading, Pennsylvania running a halfway house for men dealing with a variety of addiction and legal issues. We’d talked before about the book I was writing dealing with poverty in Reading. (You can find it on Amazon here and the kindle download is only $1.00)
As he walked away, my mind went back to when we’d first met. Just after our pastor was involved in the motorcycle accident that would take his right leg and kill his wife, getting plowed into by a driver under the influence on a warm night last June.
I remember his tears. He said to me that, just maybe, a group of us could visit and sing to Pastor Bryan from outside his hospital room.
Something in the sincerity of his voice from that moment still brings tears to my eyes.
And it shows the hardest part of faith.
All of creation, from day one, points us towards God. We matter. We believe we matter and this places meaning on our lives.
We sing songs outside hospital rooms because our voice matters and we want to show love. We run halfway houses in the midst of one of the poorest cities in the country and work with men we may never see again, because we can make a difference.
We get up in the morning because we know something better is coming.
This positive result only happens if we matter.
The knife-edge falls with suffering. If we matter, then why do bad things happen? Why car accidents that kill spouses? Why child abuse? Why war, famine, and desolation?
Humans hurt each other on a daily basis. This world groans with imperfections, longing for the day the universe is back in alignment with the Creator.
Suffering is a mirror. Our weakness is our target. Our pain is a sign that we mean something. We hurt when we break because we are designed to be whole.
The fulfilled promise, the tight rope, the parted Sea is the glorious power of the love of God.
I believe God is for us. I believe this world needs more love and less condemnation. I believe these words matter because someone out there will bring up WordPress on their phone or computer and come across this post and understand. They’ll identify with it, at the end of their rope, and know things will be okay.
I believe I’m not perfect, that I’ve screwed up more times as a husband and father than I can count but I know I’m surrounded with a loving (and patient!!) family.
I know I’ll get it right someday.