because I had to address the world as it is and share those things this past Sunday with the people for whom I care at St. George. It would have been easier to just ignore the changes and hope things go away but a good shepherd has to talk about the wolves when the wolves are really out there, the hard things, the challenges, and the places where difficulty may lie.
Obviously I don’t have all the answers and part of this is because I’m not sure what the questions are going to be. How has our culture changed? What things realistically are dangers and what things are things we can simply ignore? How will things change and how will they be the same?
I have to admit that I’m not still at peace with things. I feel challenged. I feel a deep sense of loss. I fear that some harsh things could be in store. I’m not always at peace because I feel like a stranger in my own country, someone who has just been told by the powers that be that I don’t matter, don’t belong, and that who I am is completely expendable for the greater imagined good. Friday did all that even though I was expecting it.
We as a Christian community really do have to “wake up” and realize that the world around us in this country has changed There are new rules, new rule makers, and the days of living a Christian life as a sort of respectable middle class veneer are over and done.
And yet in it all I am developing a growing sense of peace. This peace is not about some wishful illusion or whistling in the dark but rather about a rediscovery of what really matters and who, and Whose, I really am. In the whirlwinds and fire a still, small, voice is emerging and it is a voice of hope, not in the world and those who temporarily rule it, but rather in the One who created it and still guides it.
That still, small, voice, is reminding me that this life is not all there is, and that my life is caught up in a larger story that will, by God’s grace, end well. That voice reminds me that I am loved, no matter what, and nothing, and no one, can remove that love from me. Those quiet whispers call me to keep my eyes on Jesus so I can walk above the storm.
I can’t say I’m all the way there, yet. Still, I know that every step I take toward Jesus is a step closer to peace, understanding, and even the ability to thrive in times I couldn’t imagine when I was a child.
Here I am God, jostled a bit but still standing. Challenged, for sure, but holding on. Believing but asking for help in my unbelief. All I know is that I want to be wherever You are because that will be a good place, a safe place, and my home.