edits

first of all: Dear Ingrid
we can’t keep staying up this late. My ear sort of hurts. I think it’s related to lack of sleeping and some sickness that I am clearly developing by sleeping on that awesome bed with Frank curled up by my feet. I don’t think it has anything to do with the Enrique Iglesias song I turned up too loudly in my car on the way home tonight. Clearly, it is the lack of sleep.

second of all:
what I didn’t say in that last post about coming home. A friend from my faith community texted me as I passed Georgetown. I thought to myself (expletive) this is what I hate about being in community. This person needs a ride to church Sunday. And this person is going to send me angry texts when I don’t pick up her angry phone calls. And this person is going to be disappointed which is almost as bad as the angry phone calls. And this person is going to text you even more incessantly than he does already when he finds out you’ve run away. Not to mention this one is going to think you are weird. Not to mention this one is going to be wondering what could be so wrong in your life to think you’re doing this–she’ll sit you down and tell how bad things could be, that’s for sure. And all these people, well, they’re going to notice your empty spot at the table. So you better get on home. It took me until Dillon and Silverthorne before I consented to the community I’ve been sucked into. But turn me back around they did. (Peer pressure at its best)

and finally:
for real, I sort of think I want to go to Seminary. And I think, oh frick, I think I might be staying in the big C-O. How messed up is this stuff?

Eisenhower and Johnson

Last night I drove to the mountains. I think this has been a long time in coming. It has been a really good month, but it’s been long and hard too. There’s been so much waiting on my visa to go to Pak. It’s been back and forth. How many times have I called the consulate? How many times have they changed what they say about the timing for when it will arrive? Why does it seem like something stands in the way, fully and stubbornly blocking the path to age long dreams? And there has been so much going on with my friends. I’ve been drawn into a little community at our faith gathering. But no one there is perfect either. I can’t tell you the conversations I’ve had, all beautiful and filling. But how many times can the story change? How often will the same scenario come to pass over and over again, sure as the golden dawn comes? Why does it seem we hurt and hurt despite our many glimpses of glory? I love this mess, this chaos, this bedlam of people, emotions and faith.

But it sort of got to me last night, in the bad way. I got into my car with half a tank of gas, an extra pair of shoes, a purse full of books and pens and a wallet that could supply my needs to the tune of a few thousand dollars. I was wearing my new favourite sweater, the vest with which I am obsessed and my treadless, happily broken in sambas that are four years old this March. This is the problem of unemployment. I have no strings. I am not even staying with G and J right now. I am with Ingrid as my bed was needed for grandma and Ingrid had space, quiet and stillness for me to inhabit. She wouldn’t be home until 1am, not with her job, and she might not notice till the morning that my car had not arrived in front of the house.

So I started driving. Where does I70 end? Does it go to Salt Lake? Does it terminate in Seattle? Could I make San Diego and the coast by dawn?* It didn’t matter. I thought, at the junction, that maybe I’d head North. But North lies Loveland, Fort Collins, Cheyenne. It would take to long to feel lost. Or maybe it would be too fast to find myself awash in the empty wilderness. So I scrambled over in the traffic to the right hand land.

Do you know the rush, the soaring flight of that first uphill climb on I70 just past Morrison towards St. Marys Alice? Do you know the blinking tail-lights, glowing red like tear dried eyes as we clamber up the slopes in third or fourth gear? I whipped around that corner down onto I70, flew past trucks beginning the long ascent and joined the masses of people running, fleeing the city beneath us.

The crowd begins to thin out a little before Idaho Springs. It is only two lanes by then, and there are only the true who continue forward. They have snowboards and skis strapped to their rooftops. They have cases full of winter time clothes, trunks of boots and waterproof gear. I had a $7 vest into whose pockets I stick my bulky sunglasses. They drive pickups and SUVs with the best tires money can buy. They know what a 7 percent grade feels like when you’re out of control and they’ve seen the flashing lights of a runaway truck ramp be blocked by the semi as he goes flying up into the snow, desperate to stop himself. I have a little Hyundai and new tires that I abuse like a race car driver. I know how to downshift and not to ride the brakes. And that, I decided in the first ten minutes on I70 was plenty equipment and know how to get me through to the other side, wherever that may be.

But I thought, as I passed Georgetown, I thought I told Kelsie I was putting this to death. I was settling down, I was planting roots, I was facing fears of commitment and honest vulnerability. I told her I had longed for this, had waited for this, I was just terrified of this.

Roots are scary things. They grow fast; but they are difficult too. They are strong, they are a foundation, a bedrock to a life; but they are vulnerable and somehow easily torn up. But they are worth it, I think, worth taking the chance and worth putting in the effort.

I passed through that first tunnel, the one with rounded roof and snaking lights across the ceiling. I rolled down the windows and listened to the roar as I flew past that slow moving pickup from Missouri. It sounded like applause, like endless cheering. And then it was over and I was out again in the starry night, beneath blackened skies and racing cars. I thought, I should turn around. This is still low enough in the mountains that I know this area. I should get off at the next exit and go back home.

But home is out there. Home is Seattle. Home is San Diego. Home is Chicago. Home is Pittsburgh. Home is a dozen places and I wasn’t even looking for home at this moment. I just wanted away. But my mind kept lecturing my heart that this isn’t right. This isn’t what you do. You go back there, you deal with this, you stand in the muck and mire and you dwell in the junk and you make beauty out of it. You told Kelsie this was done. You know you can’t run. You know that moving won’t solve it. You know that leaving does nothing, it only creates another lost home, and you will carry the problems with you in the backseat with the registration forms for work on Sunday night. You will buckle them in like little children and by moving you will just nurse them towards adulthood. Go. Back.

But we were moving around corners now, and the silver white snow was real. There were flecks of it kicked up off the road that sparkled in my headlights. We had climbed up and up and I did not want to turn around. The lights from the other side were somewhat blinding as we wound in lanes that at some points seem to blur together. I could not always see well, so I kept my eyes focused on the car ahead of me, those round red lights leading me farther up and further in. The lanes shifted or disappeared altogether, thanks to the mag chloride that strips away the paint every winter and especially this one since the mountains have been hammered with endless snow.

I saw the Eisenhower tunnel coming and I sped up to pass a semi that had needled his way a little too close to my front end. The green lit arrows are meant to lecture those passing through that we are not to change lanes. The Eisenhower tunnel would be a catastrophic place for a car accident. So I rolled down my windows again and listened to the sound of the cheering crowd in the tiled roof, echoing between the fire doors spaced so evenly throughout the 1.69 miles (or 2.72km).

It was bizarre. I felt… free. And yet I felt trapped.

I knew I’d come back.

But for a few minutes that added up into 3 hours, I pretended I would not.

I hit Dillon and Silverthorne before I finally consented. I got into that right hand lane. If I hadn’t been blocked in by another car, I think I might have changed my mind. But I got off. I saw signs for Frisco and Steamboat. I thought to myself, just because I’m off I70, doesn’t mean it has to end. I could go to Steamboat. Maybe I could find the house we stayed in, maybe I should call the Collins. I could go the long way round to Frasier. I could knock on the door at the Jackson’s. They would let me in.

But I knew it needed to end. I’ve indulged the need for long enough.

This has to end. You said it would. You said it had.

You must, must, end this.

I drove up through Dillon for a little bit. I drove past a snowy bus stop. There were people there, waiting. Waiting like the rest of us. One held a guitar. Another had oddly patched pants that were baggy and his sweatshirt did not fit. There were people with back packs and another in a restaurant uniform that I could see beneath his thin jacket. They looked like Seattle-ites, somehow. Because they were people.

I went back down the hill. I got into the right hand lane, and with determined shifting from third to fourth to fifth and back down to fourth, I began the climb out of Dillon, out of Silverthorne, back up to the pass and from there down to Ingrid’s.

I flew over the Continental Divide where the waters change their course. I felt heavy. I felt empty. But I knew this was right. By now there was no radio and I had turned to the iPod shoved in the pocket of my vest. I had plugged it in with fumbling hands just past that runaway truck ramp on the Westward side of the highway. David Crowder came on, it’s strange to hear him so often when I avoided him after that epic freshman year in college when I listened too much. He spoke of a collision, and that’s what this is right now I think. It’s like a slow and steady meeting of all the things from past and hopeful present. It’s so damn messy, all of this. But it’s so perfect, so beautiful, everything I prayed for. I am scared, yo know. I am sad sometimes. I am hurting. The same things go wrong again and again. But somewhere, Jesus comes to heal our hurts, to bind up the broken hearted and bring us home to him.

I had to pull off in Silver Plume for a Starbucks. The barista was just a little too friendly, I wanted him to stop talking and just hand me my latte already! But then he made me laugh. While the blonde kid whose hair drooped into his eyes steamed my soy and measured out my vanilla, the dark haired boy was talking with a friend about how he had nothing to do that night. She told him to call some girl named Becca. As the floppy haired barista handed me my latte with a dutiful smile, the friendly one laughed and said, “but I don’t know if I want to make out with a crazy girl!” He caught my eye and grinned almost sheepishly as I laughed. “It’s probably a good thing to avoid,” I remarked and held my latte in the air to bid them farewell. “Happy weekend!”

“Drive safe!”

So I did. I got into my car after almost being run over by a fricking Hummer and I texted a friend. I was driving, I said. I was driving but I was coming home now. Bebo Norman sang to me about being the preacher who lost the faith. Being the promise I’m about to break…again.

I had to find my way across four lanes of traffic to the exit ramp for C470 where I followed a Dakota Dodge with a full cab and a driver who looked just like Jason. But I hardly noticed at first, while Crowder promised to be fully Yours.

Bebo’s right. I’ll break that promise, I break it every day.

But I promise, I am full of earth, but I’ll be fully Yours.

And someday, can I please come home to you?

 

____

*obviously not. I’ve done the Denver-SD commute. 6pm to 6am is not physically possible.

sidebar to non-Colorado people: Eisenhower=Westbound and Johnson=Eastbound

leather bound and plastic wrapped

this is from my notebook which I carry with me everywhere which is soon to be filled and then I’ll move to the moleskines Josh and Amanda bought me the day before Christmas. (This is a whole new level of procrastination on the part of my brother. I shouted what I wanted and where they were located in Borders as I walked out the door of the store and headed to Christmas Eve service… But hey. I needed them. And thank you for blessing me! because I got ’em). Anyway. It’s written in the guise of characters from the novel I just “finished” and am transcribing now. But I don’t know if it will make it in. I just thought, in case it doesn’t make the cut, a few of my friends ought to read it and be reminded that it’s all okay and we’re married and covenanted and that isn’t going to change.

David told me last night that GOd doesn’t forsake us, he doesn’t break covenants. He said I should know better than to suggest such things. I almost laughed.

But it is true.

God does not leave. I have strayed from the path, sure. But Abba has not. He stands and waits. It’s like he knows that I will come back. David calls it predestination, my membership among the elect–chosen fro salvation and heaven. But I am no Calvinist. My childhood among the Catholics says there are unforgivable sins. I was  raised in this teaching.

But there, I think the Catholics are wrong.

No one knows themselves well enough to confess all their sins. The measure of my uncofessed faults could fill the sea. And yet, Abba forgives me. Abba loves me.

I was baptized as an infant. I was promised to the Father and the grace of God was marked on me by water.

And when I met him in the cathedral at Christmas time, the seal was cemented and the covenant confirmed. David swore to me last night that God will not fail. He will not break covenant. NO matter my backsliding, my failure, my doubt, my fear, I will not be left. I will not be cast aside.

The world leaves.

Abba remains.

I run.

Abba waits.

With arms open wide, I am always welcomed home.

I was marked with water, saved by faith, burned in worldly fire and by God’s grace I am slowly coming home.

step, by labouring step.

I am coming home.

 

oh hey there spiritual gifts

I’m feeling chatty today.

I’ve had some interesting conversations with people recently about spiritual gifting. The two things we have all concluded (separately of each other):

we don’t nurture, encourage and use them as we should

[probably because]

we don’t like the ones we have.

I have compassion. You have discernment. You have shepherding. You have exhortation. You have… well… we aren’t really sure what you have because you’re just a super Christian. (or you hide well behind the facade) And then there are the jokes: I have sarcasm. You have emotional control. You have OCD. You have shyness. And you? Well, you have a mixture of emotional cutting and prideful self loathing. Good work team. Go get ’em.

But seriously, kids. We have these gifts that we are either born with or are imparted by the Holy Spirit at the moment of our rebirth. And we aren’t using them. I mean, she uses her discernment, sort of. Cause she prays, and she tells me that things are going to be okay. And that one over there, she uses her shepherding, cause she goes on runs with me and listens and tells me I should probably work on forgiving the five people I just complained about. He uses exhortation when he says it’s so not a big deal. And someday, you’ll use your super awesome Christian-y-ness in some way other than to engage in self loathing. So we’re using them, I guess. But sometimes it seems we are abdicating responsibility to the church. I don’t need to tell you to freaking calm down, because the pastor should probably do that. He doesn’t need to tell me to pursue this dream despite the obstacles because I can do it, in God I can do all things.  She doesn’t need to tell him not to leave, because, well, I mean, we hope he figures it out on his own?

What?

Since when has that worked?

When we try to figure it out on our own we get things like Mormonism. Manicheism. Brian McClaren-ism. Joel Osteen-ism. We call these things aberrant theology. We call them heresy.

I don’t like my gift. It isn’t fun. I had an episode last week. (we’re stealing the word “episode” from my friend who has bipolar. It’s the best word ever to describe what happens!) Episodes are crappy. There’s no point in lying about that. I was sick all afternoon and evening. I had a headache. I sat in the movie theatre and it took effort to focus on that massive screen. I told Ingrid about it. She sort of flipped on me. This is another crummy part of my gifting. Most people don’t understand, and they don’t like it and they tell me I have “unhealthy emotional boundaries.” Meh. That’s borderline heretical too, in my opinion. And yet, the episode was so good. It was such a powerful reminder of the heart of God.

I don’t like my gift because it hurts. She doesn’t like her gift because it’s freaky and sometimes disturbing to just know things about people. He doesn’t like his because it always comes across the wrong way.

But they are gifts. And to try returning them is rude.

We manage with what we have.

And if we would freaking pull it together and we would all participate instead of abdicating responsibility to “authority” to “others” to “family” to “whatever else there is” then we would probably do a lot better as a body. You need me, honey. Because you need someone who will weep over you. I need her, because I need someone to call me out on my sin. You need him because he will say the right word at the right time, no matter if it does seem odd to hear such encouragement from the soul of so rough and tumble a man. My friend Liz is right. If we’d just play our parts in prayer, thanksgiving and worship, we’d be much more a conjoined body knit and sewn together as it was always meant rather than disparate limbs that can only flop helplessly on the ground.

Buck up, church. Take responsibility. And just do something for crying out loud.

laughs

boy in forever 21 to girl:  I don’t know how to shop for girls. I mean, (helplessly) What do you people like?

text to Kyle: I was just informed by a child that you choose a career and then go on your honeymoon. “But you have to get married first, or a honeymoon is just silly.”

Caedemon: baby needs his pass-y-fi-yer. [I’m glad we made pacifier a four syllable word]

Kyle: I’m watching American Idol
Sara: Omgosh. I’m judging you. And not putting you down as a seminary reference.

Ghena: I hear something like that and I want to scoot away, just in case they get smited.

Kyle: I’ve been counseled not to seek beauty. (Proverbs 31)
Sara: Well, it’s a good thing we’re platonic. I mean, I’m really good looking. And good thing there’s nothing about husbands not being good looking!

Ingrid: why do you like him? cause he’s hot?
Sara: well, I was going to say attractive. but yes.

phone calls and hopes

It’s later than I planned on being awake tonight. I was meant to be asleep a while ago. I even took a nap around 9pm and then decided to wake up and go for a run at 1045. And I’m remembering Brett’s lecture not to go to sleep right after, because it’s apparently bad for my heart? It’s 1134pm by my cell phone with the picture of a NYTimes ad for Dispatch splayed across the background of my tiny one inch screen. And Dispatch is playing in my headphones as I scribble away on this post. How perfect.

Tonight I talked with a friend on the phone for an hour. I did a lot of verbal processing with her. I hate the phone, for those of you who don’t know me. I loathe calling people. I’d rather email, text or just man up and do it in person. But she called, and I wasn’t of a mind to ignore what was surely a response to my earlier text. She was on her way home, from dinner with a friend. She was at the gas station, buying cigarettes at a convenience stand, telling me how exciting her day has been since she hasn’t smoked a single one! It’s good. Sometimes, quitting is a process. She’s being lectured and prodded towards better health this year. Of course, a somewhat less stressful life might be helpful. But we manage with what we have.

I was being asked about a certain guy in my life who floats around in the edges of my imagination. I had not considered him very much until recently when several people had pointed out the way my ears perk up at the mention of his name, or the way I sort of giggle and shrug when the moment is just so.  (and by several, I mean one) It’s true. I notice when he’s not around. I notice what others say about him. I notice the way he moves between people, helps in the kitchen, loves on people who need it, all the while keeping his distance I stood near him recently and it was comfortable, does that make any sense? We didn’t talk. We were staring at the  football game that everyone was hollering about and with which neither of us were concerned. I had coffee in my hand. He wore a sweater that probably fits in his home town but was just the tiniest bit too short for Denver city fashion. We hardly said a word to each other that whole morning. But standing beside him, laughing with other friends, watching the way my community interacts with each other; it as a peaceful and easy moment.

I suppose in some ways, I am attracted to him. I talked about that tonight with my friend. Most of the reasons are just what I have observed and thus concluded in my mind. I don’t know him very well because he’s quiet and stands on the edge because he, like me, is rather new here. (And yet, who isn’t new in some way, shape or form?) And then, with wild gestures that my friend could not see, I expressed my exasperation over my feelings.

I don’t know him well enough to have feelings.
This isn’t the right time for me to have feelings for anyone.
It isn’t going to work out, what’s the use in having feelings for him?

And thus began the lecture.

Sara. You have worth. You have value. You deserve someone. You are a sweet girl. You crack me up. Don’t be so hard on yourself. There’s nothing wrong with you. Stop being so hopeless. Someday, you won’t be invisible to the right man. Don’t you know that? Don’t you at least hope that?

It’s true. Yeah. I hope that someday, I’ll be attracted the right person at the right time. It old her that recently, while spending the evening with one of my friends, I kept wishing he was someone else. Isn’t that ridiculous? But this guy I was with is interested in me (in a rather complicated and impossible sort of way). And yet, it isn’t right. I attract the wrong people.

married.
nonchristians.
old. as in, waaaay too old.*
looking for a one night stand.
no potential, maturity or vision.

And besides. I’m that girl. I am one of the guys. Brett’s band has been texting me all week about coming to practice on Wednesday. Because I get along with them. Because, in this nonmusical way, I’m one of them. I go bowling with them and then to Old Chicago’s at midnight while we have pizza and Dan drinks too much until last call at 2am. I took their pictures in the fall and I am sometimes introduced that way. “This is the girl who took our pictures on my dad’s sh—y camera! Amazing huh? Yeah, she’s great!” Or I’m the girl who gets stood up but who is made to believe it won’t matter, because she’s not a real girl, she’s a guy, and we stand each other up all the time and never care. Or I’m the girl who you talk to in between all your girlfriends, but when you get a girl, by god you don’t talk to me because she’s too insecure to imagine the fact that you might be seriously platonic. Or I’m the girl who just gets forgotten. I’m remembered for muffins (ai yai! delicious!) or theology or that damn fine dress I wore to Ahava fest (vavavooom matt!) or the fact that I live with a family of seven kids.

All these are fine things to be remembered for. Don’t get me wrong. I rocked that dress. I love the kids who climbed into my bed this morning to wake me up. I am going to seminary for theology. I like baking, I enjoy blessing people with warm gooey apple banana deliciousness on a snowy morning. But they aren’t going to get me anywhere.

Why doesn’t someone notice me?

Why don’t you see me? Why do you say you are fine being single most of the time, but there is this part of you that longs for relationship, compatibility? And when you say that, why don’t you do something about it? Me! I wanted to shout! I could have stood on the counter at that Chipotle where the little kid dumped his food on the bottom of my jeans. Me! Pick me! Or at least SEE me!

I’m like the walking dead.

We are peculiar people.

We laughed on the phone about it tonight, because it is ridiculous how this happens. She has a friend who is in love with another girl, who always tells her that they two are exactly the same. So why doesn’t he date my friend? How does that make any sense? Or why doesn’t he grow a pair and ask the other girl for dinner? Why do you waffle? Be a man! Make a plan! It was scribbled on the mirror at our apartment in Seattle when Aldrich couldn’t make up his fricking mind and I got off the phone and yelled it at my roommates and half of Ballard through the open windows over the canal.

It’s so messed up.

We’re so messed up.

There must be a song written about this somewhere.

Or a book.

Or just Genesis 3.**

swim until you can’t see land just came up again on my iPod. Maybe it’s a sign. I should go to bed. I should stop standing at the bottom of the hill, waiting for the landslide of rocks and hopes and fears.

But hope! My community has been talking about hope lately. Hope for future, for family, for relationships, for the kingdom. I have hope, you know. Someday, he’ll come along, for me and for her and he’ll notice me with the basket of muffins at his house and take them from my hands. He’ll not only say thanks, he’ll  bless me. He’ll hug me. He’ll ask me to dance in that fine dress borrowed from Abby and not even care that I have five or six left feet. He’ll chuck Grae under the chin and listen to her myriad stories, or tickle Thad and he’ll grin at me and say that someday, impatient though I am, I’ll be a good momma. He’ll think I’m crazy, because it’s true. But he won’t seem to mind too often. And though he’s a man and they’re made to be strong and stand on their own with fierce independence, he’ll open up and someday I’ll get to love him and bless him as he will have blessed me in the simple act of not looking past me to the blank wall.

Are you a man or are you a bag of sand?

Sometimes, as a stand in, I feel like a bag of sand.
Held on to for weight in the back of the truck in winter months to hold us steady on the ice.
Or let go of in summer sunshine as the hot air balloon soars to the clouds.

But today, I am human. And tomorrow too.

____

*J was 10 years older. that’s not too old. I mean men who could be my father

** “that chick you gave me…” thanks Matt Chandler. Love that paraphrase.

and a few fun quotes:
“I don’t understand why he wants to be my friend.”
“Yeah.”
“What do you mean yeah?”
“I mean, er, I don’t understand why he doesn’t want to be mine!”
“Right. That too.”

“I had to pace the whole time I was on the phone with him. My hands were shaking and my heart was beating so fast.”
“Aw, you’re cute.”
“No. I’m twelve years old. That’s not cute.”

“Who’s texting you?”
“My lesbian friend.”
“You need to be careful! (laughing) She likes you!”
“See?! (laughter) I told you I attract the wrong people!”

I blame the hour

for my frankness, but can I just say this?

 

You don’t have to move back. Trust me. I ‘ve done that. You know, lately, I want to get in my car and I want to drive away from all of this. You have no idea. Really, truly, you don’t. I know you don’t like it here. I hated it here. But give it a chance. It grows on you. Besides, you have people here. You have people who would love you if you’d just give us a shot.  Give us a chance. Don’t just stand on the side as you so often do, afraid to engage because you are convinced you’ll be leaving at any moment. It isn’t right. It isn’t holy to engage so half heartedly. I know you miss the open spaces, the small town, the friendly faces, the mountain. I know, because I have missed corn fields and pouring rain, tin roofs and roosters crowing. I have missed the grey ceiling, the redwood trees that smell so deep and rich as they rot into new earth on the riverbed. I have missed people, music, laughter, food. I know. I know.

It is a hard adjustment.

But give it time.

I want to ball my hands into fists and stamp my feet like a petulant child and whine at you: it isn’t fair! it isn’t fair for you to come here and then to simply leave so soon! It isn’t fair for you to let us know you so simply, so briefly, and then peace out without giving the city a chance.

Come on.

stay a while.

please and thank you,
sara

notes

Ingrid: You are somewhat infuriating when you are always right.

Mum: I had fun with you yesterday marveling over the obscene prices at Whole Foods.

Ghena: Can I hide away in your basement forever and just do laundry in between long runs on the treadmill?

B: I will not be your stand in. I will not. I will not. I will not.

 

Isa: Saya tidak selalu mencintamu. Je veux. Tapi aku butuh bantuan Anda. Yo tengo dos mentes, dos cerebros. Aku tidak bisa melakukan ini sendirian.
? אתה אוהב אותי

here’s to you

I was running on the treadmill tonight and thought about you. These days, that means I prayed for you. It’s this new thing I’m trying.

I was listening to David Crowder again. He’s been good to me after such a long sabbatical after I overdosed with him my freshman year of college. (He was the soundtrack to the novel I wrote that fall. My roomie was rather unhappy with me I think.) I don’t remember what the line in the song said to make me think of you, but I did. And it went something like this:

We have our junk, you and I. But I am learning that God does not fail us. He comes to bind the broken hearted, the bruised and weary limbs that have carried much more than they deserved. He comes to call up hope from depths we never knew existed. You know I’m writing to you, dear one, because by now you’ll have a single tear forming in the corner of one eye, or you’ll soon be writing me to say that I must weep for you, because you no longer can. I can weep for you. It will not be the first. But I cannot hold hope for you. I may only stretch out hands that are full of it and ask that you may latch on to what is offered.

He comes for you and me. He is like no other. Once before you were bound up and held prisoner but no more. There are those, like me, who will yet fail you. Do not take it to heart, for we are clumsy, fallible creatures who cannot hold our own lives together, and so many others slip through our cracked and broken fingers.  I can assure you, we do not mean to fail. But we did not mean to put him on the cross, and yet there he hung for you and for me.

But that is the beauty of it, the hard salted rub that cleanses though it stings.

He comes for you. He comes for me. He came knowing that we would rip and tear, but in his humility he chose to come. He’ll come again, I swear. This time to capture us in his train, full of power and glory, to a place where we hurt no more, ache no more and weep not for the loneliness of this world for we shall know it no longer.

He does not see our inadequacies. He does not see us faulty. He sees us: single, broken, lost and tired; abused, misused, forgotten and abandoned–but in his eyes he sees himself. He sees Jesus as Messiah, covering our naked debts and sheltering us in his glory. He sees us whole. He sees us righteous. He sees us pure. He sees us not as broken and misshapen. He sees us complete in his love, whole at last!

I don’t know much, love. But I know this:

He has not failed. He will not fail.

He will not fail me.

And by the mountains that are covered in snow by tonight’s bitter cold and blowing winds, by the mountains that stand to the west so proud and firm, by them, I swear to you.

He will. Not. Fail. You.