The holy & the hard.

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We sit at the table, worn thin from walking so precariously around one another—like on glass, dancing around all the issues because none of us have the language to talk about them, to talk about the pushing away, the protective walls we’ve built, the angry outbursts, the tears at the breakfast table, the locked doors, the concerns about affection, the trauma, the loss, the worry of getting it all wrong, the fear of rejection, the bonding process, the emotions that fly rampant with no regulation to properly communicate them. We’re frayed, all of us. You can see it in the red splotches in our eyes, hear it in our wavering voices, see it in the way we fold into each other, or fold into ourselves, as if we’re pieces of paper, crumpling between someone’s fingers. If only we could talk about the pain of trying, trying, trying so incredibly hard, so incredibly much to give our love away to a heart not yet able to receive it. If only someone understood that. If only someone could possibly see just how gut-wrenchingly hard this all can be at times.

Hard, hard, hard; a hard day, a hard week, a hard season. Hard hearts. Hard conversations. Hard consequences. I remember that Jesus once spoke to a crowd about a kernel of wheat falling to the ground to die. I have to hope that something other than split-open seeds and frozen earth will be our harvest. “Unless you understand what growth looks like, you might mistake it for complete destruction;” I hear her teacher’s voice ringing in my ear. Could it be true? Can the hard things somehow be transformed? Can they be made…dare I say itholy?

I search the scriptures hungrily, find the breaking, the dying, the pouring out. The hard.
The bread. He breaks it – and feeds the multitudes. The oil jar. She uses it – and finds it never again runs dry. The manna. They use it up – and it is enough. Love/pain. Nothing/everything. Death/life. Hard/holy. Both/and. Isn’t this the very truth he has taught me?

But how do I love when I’m continually rejected?
And then, quietly … How did he when I continually rejected him?

Maybe this is my lesson for the Advent season. Maybe the transformation comes only by leaning into the hard instead of bristling away from it. Maybe I can choose to sit down in the dark for a little while and still trust the light will break in; softly, quietly, gently, like a child in a feeding trough illuminated only by a star.

5 Comments
  • Terry Goodwin
    December 3, 2019

    Tis the season to take the time to sit quietly , reflect and wait. He is coming.

  • Edda Horsburgh
    December 3, 2019

    That was truly beautiful.

  • Brenda Kropp
    December 3, 2019

    Very thought provoking. How did he love me when I kept rejecting? But he did and I am now his. But I always was his. And now I see why he never stopped.

  • Mary
    December 4, 2019

    This was what I needed to read. I have had very similar thoughts this past week. It has been so tempting to give up and then I remembered Christ never gives up. When my heart is hard he never turns away, he continues to reach out to me in love.
    Thank you for sharing. The Holy/hard is both/and I can trust his process even when I don’t understand.

  • Lynn
    December 5, 2019

    My sister and her husband brought my nephew here from Ghana four years ago. I shared this with her. Peace to you this Advent.

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