suffering in our stories

“Consequently, gospel stories always have suffering in them.  American Christianity has an allergic reaction to this part of the gospel.  We’d love to hear about God’s love for us, but suffering doesn’t mesh with our right to “the pursuit of happiness.”  so we pray to escape a gospel story, when that is the best gift the Father can give us.  When I was sitting on the plane thinking, everything has gone wrong, that was the point when everything ws going right.  That’s how love works.

The father wants to draw us into the story of his Son.  He doesn’t have a better story to tell, so he keeps retelling it in our lives.  As we reenact the gospel, we are drawn into a strange kind of fellowship.  The taste of Christ is so good that the apostle Paul told the Philippians that he wanted to know “the fellowship of sharing in (Jesus’) sufferings”.  It was Paul’s prayer.”

-Paul Miller, A Praying Life


my task

To love someone more dearly every day,
To help a wandering child to find his way,
To ponder o’er a noble thought and pray,
And smile when evening falls-
This is my task.

To follow truth as blind men seek for light,
To do my best from dawn of day till night,
To keep my heart fit for His holy sight,
And answer when He calls-
This is my talk.

And then my Savior by and by to meet,
When faith hath made her task on earth complete,
And lay my homage at the Master’s feet,
Within the jasper walls-
This crowns my task.

-Maude Louise Ray

…the wake of all the rushing

“Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry.

But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing….

Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away.”

― Ann Voskamp


It is my Lent to break my Lent,
To eat when I would fast,
To know when slender strength is spent,
Take shelter from the blast
When I would run with wind and rain,
To sleep when I would watch.
It is my Lent to smile at pain
But not ignore its touch.
It is my Lent to listen well
When I would be alone,
To talk when I would rather dwell
In silence, turn from none
Who call on me, to try to see
That what is truly meant
Is not my choice. If Christ’s I’d be
It’s thus I’ll keep my Lent.

-Madeleine L’Engle


Take these shoes
Click clacking down some dead end street
Take these shoes
And make them fit

Take this shirt
Polyester white trash made in nowhere
Take this shirt
And make it clean, clean

Take this soul
Stranded in some skin and bones
Take this soul
And make it sing

Take these hands
Teach them what to carry
Take these hands
Don’t make a fist no

Take this mouth
So quick to criticize
Take this mouth
Give it a kiss

Take this city
A city should be shining on a hill
Take this city
If it be your will

What no man can own, no man can take
Take this heart
Take this heart
Take this heart
And make it break

-U2, Yahweh

bread of the world

Bread of the world, in mercy broken,
Wine of the soul, in mercy shed,
By Whom the words of life were spoken,
And in Whose death our sins are dead.

Look on the heart by sorrow broken,
Look on the tears by sinners shed;
And be Thy feast to us the token,
That by Thy grace our souls are fed.

-Reginald Heber, Hymn: Bread of the World, In Mercy Broken 

lost hope?

“The most natural thing for us to do when we’ve been jolted (from the restaurant) into the alleyway by life is to think…

This is where my hope is lost.
My sweet dream has been snatched away with it.

The wild reality of God, though, is that this is where hope begins.

Hope begins when the memory of what was becomes a longing for what is to be restored.”

-Jan Meyers

think on me

Lord Jesus, think on me
And purge away my sin;
From earthborn passions set me free
And make me pure within.

Lord Jesus, think on me,
With many a care oppressed;
Let me Thy loving servant be
And taste Thy promised rest.

Lord Jesus, think on me
Nor let me go astray;
Through darkness and perplexity
Point Thou the heavenly way.

Lord Jesus, think on me
That, when the flood is past,
I may th’eternal brightness see
And share Thy joy at last.

-Words: Sy­ne­si­us of Cy­rene, trans­lat­ed by Al­len W. Chat­field: Lord, Jesus Think on Me