Longing

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“But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today a student poured out his heart to his classmates

And it was full of the questions and sorrow so many have felt these past days

The loneliness of the worldwide quarantine

The fear of Covid-19

And the aftermath of a tornado in our city

So many hard things, so much loss

The keen pain of an 18-year old who will no longer walk the hallways of his beloved school

No less real than the pain of a 50-year old who just lost his home to a storm

It struck me today that lament can be a gift

Permission to grieve

To cry out to the Lord in the darkness

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“Do you feel the world is broken? (We do)
Do you feel the shadows deepen? (We do)
But do you know that all the dark won’t stop the light from getting through? (We do)
Do you wish that you could see it all made new? (We do)” -Andrew Peterson

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My work complete for the day

The stillness of the coming night drawing me outside

Shadows deepening and the light almost imperceptibly fading away

Across the fence a rabbit sitting still

The fading light reveals an abandoned bird’s nest in the grass

A tiny oak sapling only hinting at the mighty tree that will be

The sunset makes the treetops glow

And ivy, impossibly green, contrasts

Against the red of the abandoned trebuchet

Even the garage door

All white with tiny windows

Glows in this waning soft light

Beautiful

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“Is all creation groaning? (It is)
Is a new creation coming? (It is)
Is the glory of the Lord to be the light within our midst? (It is)
Is it good that we remind ourselves of this? (It is)” -Andrew Peterson

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The neighbor’s mailbox lantern glows brightly

A lovely shape

And the few remaining dogwood flowers

The only ones left after the storm

Seem to float delicately on their stems

Our dog is content

And I think, not for the first time,

How dogs are so much better at contentedness than we are

Happy to have a human to love

To roll in the grass

And to sniff things

We can learn a lot from dogs

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“Is anyone worthy? Is anyone whole?
Is anyone able to break the seal and open the scroll?
The Lion of Judah who conquered the grave
He is David’s root and the Lamb who died to ransom the slave” -Andrew Peterson

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I feel strangely content tonight

But I do not feel whole

I feel the brokenness of our world more than ever

And my own jagged edges

This has been a season of stripping away

Our idols revealed for the empty things they are

Our tendency to drown out the quiet with so much noise

So much constant entertainment

So much that is busy

When the noise abruptly cuts off

The friends closed off behind their own doors

Even their smiles behind masks

The longing remains

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“Is He worthy? Is He worthy
Of all blessing and honor and glory?
Is He worthy of this?
He is” -Andrew Peterson

The wise words of a colleague coming back to me again

This longing is from God

And it is not meant to be filled with anything other than Him

This longing reminds us

This broken world is not our home

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Does the Father truly love us? (He does)
Does the Spirit move among us? (He does)
And does Jesus, our Messiah, hold forever those He loves? (He does)
Does our God intend to dwell again with us? (He does) -Andrew Peterson

I lift my hands in worship

Surrendering

Repenting of all the wasted effort

The lost time

The missed moments

In the midst of sorrow my heart sings

“Is He worthy? Is He worthy
Of all blessing and honor and glory?
Is He worthy? Is He worthy?
Is He worthy of this?  He is” -Andrew Peterson

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And now the lantern seems brighter

As darkness covers the world

And I’m reminded again of the words of Dr. King

That only when it is dark enough can you see the stars.

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