We went downtown for a romantic night out. It was nice. We lingered over dinner. We went walking on the Walnut Street bridge. The sun got lower.

As we headed home, the brake light on the dash blinked. Soon after that we were looking at the battery light. A couple miles later it was the ABS light . . . the car lurched. We pulled over.

Stranded in a parking lot fifteen minutes from home. Happy anniversary to us!

You know these moments. You've made a good plan and something gets in the way. Somebody gets sick. Something breaks down. There's a problem with the house. The rent on the apartment goes up without explanation. You find out your spouse needs a lot of dental work done. Somebody needs surgery. Stranded.

Our whole world looks stranded to me when I watch the news

That sounds fatalistic. I don't mean it that way. But I mean to be honest. Our whole world needs dental work. Our whole world needs surgery. There's a problem with our world.

We stood in the parking lot, hood of the car up, looking at serpentine belts and checking levels. The battery couldn't be jump started. We gave up and called for help.

We waited.

While we waited, we saw this.

We don't know how to fix it . . . we can't know exactly how to fix it . . . . but we can learn to see better. And that will help.

We don't know how to fix it . . . we can't know exactly how to fix it . . . . but we can learn to see better. And that will help.

Beauty hiding in our fear.

Beauty hiding in our fear.

Glory hidden underneath the broken things.

Glory hidden underneath the broken things.

Burning bushes everywhere.

Burning bushes everywhere.

"The Light shines in the darkness . . ."

"The Light shines in the darkness . . ."

" . . . and the darkness has never overcome it."

" . . . and the darkness has never overcome it."

I am devastated by what's happening across the ocean. I'm devastated just hearing about what happens a couple of miles from my home, my school, my everyday.

I am devastated by it, which is a good and right thing to be - because we are not meant to live at odds with one another. This is not what we were born to be.

I do NOT believe that God is doing this to us.

On a Christian radio station this morning I heard something that froze my heart, wounded my spirit.

The suggestion that God is hurting the world so that the world will learn better.

I still believe in a Good and Loving God. I know Him. He has been walking with me for 26 years and I know Him. I know that this hurt does not belong to Him. It belongs to us.

We waited there in the parking lot, watching the sun as it set. I was not happy to have a dead car. I didn't appreciate that the car had malfunctioned. 

But with my eyes wide open, I appreciated the sunset. And I found beauty in it.

I still believe that the face of God, the countenance of God, will and does "shine upon" the Earth. I still believe that God's light hasn't been overcome.

 I believe that we are hurting ourselves . . . but I don't believe God has left us.

The beautiful in the face of the ugly is where trust becomes difficult. We want black and white reality, don't we? We want that and still want our choices. We can't have both. With our choices, we have also brought in the grey. Holiness reaches through our mixed up mess in the world, and so nothing is clean cut.

It's complicated for us. We expect to trust only when we see that every detail is made right. Would I trust the shop where my car sits today if I expected that pieces of the car wouldn't run perfectly after they're done with it? No.

"This is my Father's World," but my Father loved us, the created people, so much that He allowed us to be here and to be ourselves. He loves us in such a way that we can make choices. And sometimes our choices are poor.

Sometimes our choices are good, too.

"God so loved the world" says an awful lot if you think about it. It says all of the good and all of the broken at the same time. 

That's life, isn't it?

All of the broken beautiful are here. 

We are cracked, like broken pottery, and God's glory shines in our brokenness. When we are broken hearted, devastated at the thought of somebody else's pain, we begin to work for the good in compassion.

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I still believe in a Good and Loving God. Watch for the good. Hunt for the good. Dig for it. And when you find it, raise it up and thank God for it. And watch it multiply.

I know that God can make it multiply.

Peace & Goodness,

OLL

 

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