Over the last month, Blythe and I have been working on organizing a giveaway and scheduling book sales for all of Kara’s ebooks. It’s all being hosted on the Mundane Faithfulness blog. I’ll put the link at the end of this one so you can pop over and check it out.
But the interesting thing about all of this planning is that I didn’t think about the 2nd anniversary of Just Show Up being October 1st. That somehow slipped my mind in the midst of us working hard to honor breast cancer fighters (and all of those suffering). Those who have fought and won by staying on this Earth and those who have fought and won by going to heaven. Because truly both are victories. Even if it doesn’t feel like it to those of us left behind.
In the last three days, my Facebook Timehop—that stinking Timehop that always gets me—has been filled with book release parties and friends and gatherings. Pictures of all of us and pictures of Kara. And I just was blindsided by it all…even though we were doing all of this planning to celebrate her life. It’s funny how the mind can just shut off a portion of what it doesn’t want to deal with.
And so today, I finally let myself think about Kara. About the community of people that made Just Show Up possible. About the countless friends who took care of Kara and loved her through her sickness. I allowed myself that moment of yep, still miss her. The moment of wondering what she’s up to.
I talked to her about a few things. I haven’t talked to Kara in a long time. I suppose that sounds funny. Most people don’t talk to deceased friends, but when Kara first passed away, I would imagine conversations with her just to get her feedback on something. And today I found myself doing that again. I updated her on some things we have going on. I wanted to make sure she was okay with them. I needed to know that she understood. I came to the conclusion that she either understands or she doesn’t have a clue what’s going on down here. And either way we’re good, so we worked it out.
This month of honoring cancer fighters on Mundane Faithfulness is bittersweet. I want to celebrate Kara’s life and the lives of your loved ones, but at the same time, there’s just so much suffering that it can feel absolutely overwhelming. I talked to God about that this morning. I told him how hard it is to be down here and see and feel the suffering of dear ones. Dear ones who have lost their hair and who can’t get out of bed because their illness is so devastating. Who should be getting married and celebrating life and are just fighting for each day. Ones so much younger than me who have known So. Much. Suffering.
And then the Las Vegas shooting happened and innocent people were gunned down by a madman.
I’ll be honest—I haven’t been able to click on the links. Haven’t been able to look at their faces. I know some of you are doing that as a way of honoring those who died. I did that with September 11th. I couldn’t look away. But today it just feels so heavy that I’m afraid to peel back that veil. I’m afraid to see more suffering. That it will break me.
But some don’t have a choice. They have lost loved ones, and they don’t have any other choice but to be broken.
This world feels heavy. Too heavy. Hurricanes and floods. Countries that cannot get along. People in our own country who cannot be kind and just love each other for Pete’s sake.
When did we come to this? When did it all unravel so out of control? I think it was back in a garden. Right before one brother killed another brother. Right before the world crumbled and yet somehow remained.
And yet, Jesus keeps telling us that there’s hope. That there is a heavenly light at the end of this tunnel. I wonder if that’s really true, and I dip my feet into the waves of doubt for a moment.
But then I think of the miracles I’ve witnessed. I look back on all that he has done. And I remind myself that there’s so much I don’t know and can’t see. And I cling to that. I cling to Jesus.
He is my cornerstone.
Through the storm.
He is Lord of all.
Lord of ALL. Not some. All.
And maybe I don’t have answers for today or the next day. Maybe I don’t know how to make all of this better because I can’t make it all better. I’d like to. I’m a fixer. I’ve confessed that to y’all many times. But I can’t fix the shooting in Vegas, and I can’t fix the sorrow and suffering of my young friends as diseases ravish their bodies. And so I kick and complain and cry out to God. And he hears me. Not only that, he holds me. He brushes my hair back and tells me to trust him. He tells me that someday he’s going to make it all new.
And I tell him I want it right now.
But he doesn’t answer that demand. He gives me the same look that I give my kids. Just wait. Someday you’ll understand. Someday I’ll make it all right again.
I want now answers and he doesn’t give them to me. The suffering remains, the victims are still dead, and I don’t know what to do with that.
And then I realize that I don’t have to know. I can just tell him. I can tell him all about it, and I can take this weight strapped to my back and hand it over to him.
What is my other choice? My other choice is just to try to do it myself. I already know the answer to that. It’s not going to work. And so I choose him. I choose to believe in the someday. I choose to believe that he is with us.
And most days that is all I have. And that is enough for him. Jesus accepts me where I am. He didn’t tell the sinner next to him on the cross to get it together first. He simply said, you’re in. I’ll see you in Heaven. Today. Not after you figured it all out or paid penance for your sins or you arrive at a certain level of faith.
He loves us as we are. Doubters. Full of faith. Understanding tragedy or not.
And the only answer I’m left with for all of this, is dear Jesus, come.
Come. We need you. We need your comfort and your hope. We need you to wipe away tears and tell us it’s going to be made right one day. We need to believe in you. If we don’t, we’re left with nothing.
And I choose something over nothing.
For those who want to check out the 27 book giveaway and sale, head over to Mundane Faithfulness.