Out of the Thunder

We live in a thundering world.

More and more, it seems everyone has a cause – or an anti-cause – to which to win the masses. We must stand against this, for that, and so on and so on. We must do great things.

But I can’t.

I used to think I could, used to dream of all the great things I would do when I was older. But now I think, more and more, that I wasn’t made to save the world. Jesus was. Not me. These days I’m pulled, with a tenacious persistence that I want to lean into, toward little, quiet things, like a cup of coffee with a dear friend I normally see only in passing.

I don’t want to add my voice to the thunder. In all the noise, I want to be a still, small voice… because that’s what I find I yearn for more than anything. I want to shut out the thunder and speak grace, but first, I want to hear grace.

I want someone to whisper, “This is the way; walk in it. Yes, right there. By grace, your steps are sure.”

The truth is, life is hard enough as it is and before I can enlist in an army to save the world from itself, I need to trust Jesus to save me from myself.

I need Him to guard my heart from discontent and doubt. I need Him to teach me how to cherish my husband when he’s working late, to nurture my children when day has surrendered to dark, to love my neighbor as I’m wiping cat poop off yet another shoe. I need Him to teach me to see beyond the messy uncertainties of life in the making, to trust that all is not vain, that glory comes in the end. Like the father who couldn’t see how his son could be made well, sometimes I need Jesus to help my unbelief.

I’m thankful, so thankful, for the people in my life who get this and who have been honest enough to admit it, the people who have assured me in my teary confusion, “This is the way; walk in it. Yes, right there. By grace, your steps are sure.” I’m thankful for the people who have been Jesus to me in a million tiny ways without even knowing it.

So if you want to run ahead, to save the world in a silver cape, go. The world needs the love that compels you. Most likely, I won’t follow, but that doesn’t mean I don’t see the beauty in your passion and give thanks for the difference you are making.

If you push me from behind, I’m liable to dig my heels in and maybe slap you in the face. Remember, I’m still learning to listen to that still, small voice, and sometimes my hearing is very bad.

But if you can ignore the dirty dishes and half-completed tasks and sit with me for an hour, a day, for the rest of our lives…

I’ll let my coffee grow cold as fellowship warms our souls.

And maybe, in the quiet of our still, small conversation, we will change the world.

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