Friday, August 22, 2014

What To Wear When You're Lost

I spent this morning listening to grim stories on the news; filtering through headlines that remind me this world is broken, this world is hurting and raging and mostly, it is lost.

We need our Savior.
And He's here. Emmanuel.

But I'm lost in the lostness. I'm that child alone in the parking lot, looking for a familiar face, waiting for arms outstretched for me.

I don't know what to do about anything.
Does anyone? Do you?

I stir my tea and when the phone rings, I wish it hadn't. I want to ignore it, but instead I spend 22 unplanned minutes with a woman made of bricks, her pain and hatred and her need for love stacked edge-on-edge until it's almost all I see, it's all I can hear. She screams at me through the receiver because I'm the only one listening and she's mad as hell. She spits her venom here and I don't know what to do. I can't fix any of it.

I listen and in the end, I tell her, "I understand why you're angry," because honestly, I do. (That's where listening will get us. It will change all our plans and all our ideas. You've been warned.)

Today, this week, this month, this year, it's a long run of wounds.

It's a bruise the length of a little girl's cheekbone, faded down to a dusty green. I'm left wondering how long it's been there, who else has noticed, how does she stand in my kitchen and smile anyway?

It's a brother and sister on the news, holding up a memory with courage and hope while their hands wring in their laps. They plead with us to separate evil from good while they sit dressed in black, reminding us good still lives here, too.

It's confusion and fear and wanting to to be heard but believing it's a lost cause.

It's itching from the inside for change and waiting for marching orders but realizing we're all waiting. There's no megaphone, no map, nothing but the Gospel, so we take it up with trembling and do our best to hear.

And it tells us: Put on love in the morning, wear it around, wear it to bed, wear it out.

This requires action, not just thought or emotion. We can never outspend or outgrow it. It gets softer with time as our shoulders relax into its creases and we know, this is all we can do. This is the only thing.

It's simple and it's hard, but God stands on the scaffold right this second. The volume is cranked up but He's shouting anyway, because He knows this pain we feel. He gets our confusion, our anger, our anxiety, our despair.

We're reading all of the words and doing our best to hear every side. It's not such a bad idea. But His voice has got to be the loudest. It has to be the filter through which we hear or speak a single word.

Make allowances. 
And above all, wear love, be bound up with me.

It seems impossible that harmony might stretch around the frame I see today, but His word says it can, so I believe.

{Do you need a little more good news today? Read through the comments on yesterday's post. Dare you not to cry.}