Yesterday, I stood rocking a sick baby to sleep while her young mother kneaded bread in the kitchen, and I read these lines on our wall:
May God bless us with discomfort as easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that we may live from deep within our hearts.
May God bless us with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of God’s creations, so that we may work for justice, freedom, & peace.
May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war, so that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless us with just enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in the world, so that we can do what others claim cannot be done: to bring justice and kindness to all our children and all our neighbors who are poor.
This inspires me every time I read it, multiple times a week. It reminds me that our lives here–the discomfort, anger, tears, and ridiculousness–is a blessing, not a curse. It brings me to tears on the hardest days and prompts me to stay, stay, stay and love, love, love.
And this week, it nearly brought me to tears for places far outside of our street. I think of how this isn’t just here in my little border town, where I am treated differently at a police stop because of my skin. I thought of the racist struggles in America, as I watch my country fall apart from way over here. I think of ISIS and countries facing terror and fear and attacks daily. I think of upcoming elections, while one candidate is being considered for indictment and the other is…well, I have no words. I think of Brexit and the racism coming out of Great Britain.
There is always an us and them, whether based on race or religion or language or money or education or papers.
It is worldwide.
And then I heard Stephen listening to the news in the next room, and we learned of Dallas. And it just
I just keep praying this over all of us: that we would all have discomfort so that we live deeply; that we would have anger so that we work for something better; may we mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice. May we foolishly give ourselves for a little piece of the Kingdom to be here among us today.
And may we take heart, because He has overcome the world.