The story of Humans in The World
reads like hope and redemption
because the Author of Life
lived the words that bring life,
creates order from chaos,
and knows exactly when,
where, and how
the story ends.
A Sunday Reflection
Water pours from flat grey skies.
Although the land is parched and
oh so thirsty,
we grumble at the inconvenience
of wet upon wet upon wet.
I read in Isaiah’s book:
“You heavens above,
rain down my righteousness;
let the clouds shower it down,
let salvation spring up,
let righteousness flourish with it;
I, the LORD, have created it.”
Yet we grumble against any
inconvenient truths springing
from God’s righteousness
because our declarations of rightness
water our wishes just fine,
thank you very much.
For all our watering,
we remain soul-dry parched.
We thirst in the midst of
abundant, righteous rain.
all who are weary and burdened,
which if we are honest,
is all of us:
fishermen and tax collectors,
doubters and zealots,
betrayed and betrayers,
women and children,
lame, blind, lost, bullied,
teachers, preachers, seekers,
carpenters, welders, garbage collectors,
doctors, mechanics, managers.
Regardless of skin colour,
earthly status or physical health,
or anything else —
the invitation is always, “Come.”
Come to me; listen and live,
follow and see what I, the Lord God,
have done…am doing…will yet do.
Come and find rest in me.
I’m noticing the fine details you have woven into your Grand Story, the one that begins and ends with you, but somehow includes plump pussy-willows and robinsong and purple prairie crocuses blooming in the midst of April snow. I love how these details matter to you.
I’m wondering if you were thinking in hyperbole when you introduced the stars, the galaxies. Did you craft their far-reaching layers just so that we would have a visual metaphor for infinity? You established the motif of light and dark very early in the story, but the way you nuance it by scattering a shimmer of aurora borealis across the night sky is an extravagance of poetic language beyond words. Was this to remind us that light and dark aren’t mere symbols for good and evil, but the foundational syntax of beauty?
However, I am somewhat befuddled that you would actually add characters such as myself into a setting so vastly creative and finely tuned. Pardon me, but don’t we just deface the setting, complicate your story line? Haven’t we pretty much blown up your original outline for how this should all go? Your devotion to keeping us in the story is staggering. In human terms, an author who inserts her/himself into their own story seems a bit narcissistic, in need of a cameo appearance so we don’t forget that they are the mastermind behind the craft. But you insert yourself into your story to remind us that we are necessary and dearly loved and redeeming us is the only way for the story to end as you have always planned. This has been a love story all along, hasn’t it?
Today, I see trees waving tiny new leaf buds and in that intricate detail, I glimpse the height and width and depth of your love and I respond with humble praise that I am here in this particular place, part of your ongoing story, flawed but not written off the page, a redeemed character within your story of redemption.
With sincere gratitude,
One of your beloved
Praise God for all things.
All things, God?
Barren trees with branches blown
down haphazard on dirty snow?
Skies of grey upon grey upon grey?
Leftovers for lunch and supper
and supper again?
Renovation dust populating
every. single. surface?
Cold hands, dry skin, tired eyes?
and unanswered prayer?
It’s easy to praise you for every
blessing that feels like a blessing —
retune my heart to praise you
for all the things that don’t.
how we do what we want when
we should do as you do
and want what you want.
How we act as if you are not present
when you are,
and feel as if we are all alone
when we’re not.
How we seek what should not be sought,
love the wrong things or
the right things in the wrong order.
How we run when we should
stand firm or
sit in comfort when we should
How we chose our own way
when you are The Way,
proclaim our truths when
you alone are The Truth.
Yes, I know you have noticed
all this and more
because there is nowhere we can go
where you are not,
no knowledge or wisdom we may gain
that you do not inhabit.
We are a mess.
You are holy.
Why on earth are you mindful of us?
I know the answer.
And it brings me to my knees.
We sing with expectation of you,
hope of all the earth
dear desire of every nation
joy of every longing heart,
but I wonder —
if we put our hopes, desires, joys
under the microscope of your Word
would we actually find you there?
Or only ourselves with all things
temporal, disordered, misplaced,
marred and scarred,
poor imitations and woeful substitutions
How tragic that we would choose
such trivialities, trinkets, and travesties
in place of the wonders of your
great, unfailing, eternal love
that reaches to the heavens
and into our hearts.
In repentant praise, we humbly
desire your will.
And yours alone.
Praise to you, the Word,
whose words are full of life
and healing, wisdom and
You speak words that cannot
be destroyed by lies or censorship
or even by time.
How amazing it is then,
that before your accusers,
you chose silence.
Not because you were guilty
with no adequate words of defence,
but because you were simply
a silent surrender
to fulfilling words already spoken.
I am not a physicist.
I am not capable of even an attempt
at reducing time into complex formulas
and many fellow non-physicists
would scoff when I acknowledge you,
for separating light from dark,
for ordering time into units you called
day and night
for establishing their rhythms into
seasons and years.
Time, after all,
belongs to the realm of physics
as something difficult to define
less difficult to measure as
we mark seconds minutes hours weeks
organize into zones
readjust to ‘save’ daylight
worry over waste
fret over scarcity
wish for speed or slowness
according to our whim and fancy,
seeking control when
time is ultimately
You are the one who has taken eternity,
difficult to define and measure,
taken it in your hand
and set it in the human heart
and even with its tug, its longing, its hope,
we cannot begin to fathom all
you have done
from ancient times to what is still to come.
From everlasting to everlasting,
You are God.