Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.

– Proverbs 3:5-6

If 2020 has not taught me anything else, it is that I am definitely not in control.


If I were in control

Nathan would have gone to Greece with his classmates

Would have wondered at the places where the Apostle Paul walked

And bonded with his classmates


Abby would have had her dance recital last weekend

Her first performance en pointe

My parents would have been there applauding

Hugs all around


Nathan would have taken Bri to prom

Such a lovely girl and sweet friend

And I would have taken as many photographs as my camera would hold


If I were in control

A man out jogging would not have been run down

By a couple of racist white men

And if they had done the deed

They would have been arrested immediately


Another man would not have been held down

By his neck unable to breathe

While onlookers watched silent


If I were in control

A tornado would not have torn through the houses of my friends

Breaking windows and destroying memories

Wind whisking them away


If I were in control

A virus would not have stolen the life of my friend’s mother

And my other friend’s brother

And a little girl in North Carolina I never knew


If I were in control

May would have been busy

Filled with all the things that usually fill May

An unexamined life

If I were in control


There would not have been the time

For so many in our community to bind themselves together

Cutting away fallen trees for those who had lost homes in the tornado

Making lunches for schoolchildren who didn’t have enough to eat

Marching for justice alongside our brothers and sisters of color

Finally speaking in the open air what has been behind closed doors for far too long


There would not have been time for my son to write heartfelt notes to his classmates

For our family to have dinner together

To sit together in the backyard

There would not have been time for us to get to know our neighbors

To laugh at the antics of their goats and snuggle with their rabbits

To literally smell the roses


There would not have been time for writing poetry

Or reading books

Not time to talk about race with my daughter

And white privilege and our responsibility to care

To help bring justice to a broken world


And if I am being honest if I were in control

The world would be even more broken than it is now

Because I am broken too

And only a perfect God can breathe

Beauty from ashes


If I am being honest

A world under my control

Would be even worse than the one that is


I know so many things are the result of the fall

And I see the fall in my own life when I speak harshly

Or think unkind thoughts about another

And perhaps I see the fall mostly clearly

When in my pride I think things would be better

If I were in control


Thank God He is not silent

He is not far removed from us

He is nearer than our next breath

He cares about the parents whose children refuse to speak to them

About the young mother who worries for her son

About the disappointment of the young man who lost his last 2 months of high school

He loves the single person who feels alone in this time of isolation

He loves the softball player who missed an entire season of play

He loves the family who lost more than just a house in the storm


Thankful such a God IS in control

One who is both perfect and who is described as love itself

Surrendering to such a being is not hard

Someone who loved me enough to allow his only son to die

Still the best story ever told


I don’t know what else 2020 will have to throw at us

Aliens maybe?  Or an asteroid or two?

I am praying for reconciliation

For true heart change in families and in our nation

I am praying for healing

Of more than just this terrible virus

But whatever it will bring

I know the One who holds the future

In Him I put my trust

heart of many colors
Photo by Sandy Spitler

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”  – Matthew 7:24-27

One thought on “Surrender

  1. There are no words worthy to express my appreciation for this lovely writing. Thank you from my heart.


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