Empty

This box signifies something to me–six months of sorrow, but more than that the Man who sets us all free

Stones

Impossible stones

Rolled away.

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All the cities of the world

When you were my baby you were always amazing, beautiful, lovable. So much so that I would spontaneously think you had all the cities of the world in your eyes, or put another way– I would give all the cities of the world for you.

I remember when I found out that the people who were taking you from me had a story pock-marked by leaving the laws of love behind.

I worried. I grieved. How would they be there always for you? How could they be picked over me?!? Crazy, messy, overextended, underprepared me?

I got the phrase all the cities of the world from Matthew 4–two heavyweights bargaining over the fate of the world. One aims to buy back his lost love the hard way, the other is trying to get him to take a shortcut.

He doesn’t.

There are no shortcuts to love.

Hold on my dear heart, Rapunzel. Love has always been on your side, even when all this feels so broken.

The rightful King of the world loves you so very much.

Moving Mountains

I have a hunch that when we get to Heaven we will realize that no matter how big, how wild, how impossible our prayers have been, we could have prayed for more.

Let me be clear: God does not answer prayers for evil. He does not reward our sin, cowardice, or avarice. He rewards the just, but if we pray along the lines of love, mountains do move.

Have you ever seen a mountain move? Have ever seen it lumber to the sea and toss itself in?

I have not. And as with these oh-so-solid mountains, many of the big-ticket items I have prayed for have been stolidly immobile for years.

Impossible things.

But I do worship the God of impossible things. His wry sense of humor, His unflagging love, His ridiculous, tenacious prophets, and His remarkable creation all suggest

Moving mountains ain’t no thing

For Him.

Veronica

When I lost Veronica–as I was losing Veronica, I decided I had to leave a trail of words so she could find me. This was back before the bloom of social media, so the trail of words was newspaper and legal-document based with a book of some sort when she grew up.

If anyone asked me, I would say that loving Veronica and having to figure out how to survive without her was the single most defining tragedy of my life. Defining in that it changed me. Defining in that it may have made me a better person.

The days and the hours right after I lost you were hell–actual hell. I wanted to die it hurt so much. I missed you, but worse than that I knew you missed me. I hated not being able to tell you why I was not there–that it had not at all been my choice to let you go.

This forced me to pray in a way I had never prayed before. I prayed for people to stroke your hair and people to sing you lullabies. I prayed for people to do things to love you, because I could not.

And in the process I realized that this kind of prayer was a form of metaphysical bargaining–God send someone to love Veronica led to God saying who will you love in return?

I loved youth group kids for you

I loved refugees for you

I loved drug addicts and the mentally ill for you

The snooty

The cowardly

And the messy

For you

I loved strangers for you

I loved pilgrims for you.

And the people who worked the drive through….for years they all were you–my lost baby in the world.

Because for the last 20 years all I have seen around me are would-be Veronicas.

Because that is how God sees me. He sees me through Jesus, His beloved lost Son.

So when you are afraid to call, when I have no address to send birthday gifts or plane tickets I marvel at what you don’t know about the treasure of love I have for you,

my baby girl.

Even So

I struggle with sadness (with good reason). The world is a dark place. Sometimes I will construct bits of words to hold off the sadness, things that are true but cannot fly or sing or curl up in one’s hands. We make words alive all the time–alive to life or alive to death, but not everyone can use words to make the dead rise or the sun, to speak worlds into being.

I know only One who can do that. Word of God, speak us all to life.

Nothing Wasted

Scientists (at least the social ones) love to navel gaze at the belly buttons of the religious.

I get it. We are a messy, heterogeneous bunch. As I get older I get less and less religious but more and more convinced in the power of the God of Love.

Take this week for instance. This week we threw our all at trying to save a litter of kittens from panleukopenia.

Wrenching.

When my children poured out their grief in each loss they said, I just want them to know that I love them. I just want her to know I love her. I just want him to know I love him. Or directly to the dead–

I just want you to know I love you.

When you believe in a compassionate, omnipotent God, getting love notes to kittens is no biggie. He keeps what we have committed to Him against that Day.

Even if the day is Friday.

Even if you thought the last one might make it through.

Even if the patient weighs less than a pound.

Impending demise might make some pragmatic, other it pushes on to say, no matter what

I love you

On earth as it is in heaven.