A season of lit trees and celebration was closing and I heard excited talk about picking your “one word” for the New Year. Piqued by curiosity, I reasearched and loved the idea of such specific focus instead of forgotten resolutions, unrealistic expectations and lists.
It seemed doable. Everyone was jumping in. So I followed suit and picked a word God had laid on my heart for months: see.
I thought about the ways I would explore the opposition between the seen and unseen in scripture and committed to searching for God’s light in the everyday. Driven by a desire to reawaken the wonder and the awe of his creation, I took time to notice things I’d often overlooked.
The crisp skyline of winter against the white, barren landscape. A solitary tulip peeking out from the frozen ground during the first glimpses of spring.
It was beautiful. I saw God’s grace in new, unexpected ways. But then another winter swept in and God seemed to hide himself behind a veil.
Clamoring for the peace of his presence, I prayed he would reveal himself.
Where are you, God? Show me your glory. Let me know you are here.
I perused the internet and found stories of terror and finger pointing. Then other news much closer to home hit. A friend was going through a personal tragedy and needed the support of our community.
In shock and grief I continued searching for the light and became frustrated. Both kids were sick, adding to my tiredness and defeat and I wondered why his presence eluded me. During a brief moment of peace and quiet, it hit me.
Sometimes we have to stop searching for the light to be the light.
Often, I think it’s easier to minister to those who are hundreds and thousands of miles away than those in my own backyard. Social media and the internet have made it increasingly easy to do so. And it’s amazing. It’s a tremendous gift. But it also can remove us from being a light to those who are right there on our doorstep.
It is much easier for me to click “send” than to sit in awkward silence or search for words to comfort a grieving mother. It is easier for me to sit behind a computer screen than to feel real emotion as someone weeps on my shoulder.
If I’m honest with myself, I know God calls me to the awkward. He beckons me to those who are lost and hurting.
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another.
Romans 12:15-16 NIV
Friends, God doesn’t call us to be perfect. He simply calls us to show up. And when we do, he meets us there.
Sometimes, we have to step out in faith even when we don’t think we have the right tools. Those are the moments when the Spirit steps in, takes our hand, and reaches through us. He reveals the Light in us, which was there all along.
We don’t see him, but we hope in the unseen.
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