I’m not a fan of a lot of greens. Some of them are just plain bitter. They might be good for me, but tolerating them as part of a meal is a little hard to stomach.
Unless you put them in a blender with things I like. Fruit. Almond butter. Greek yogurt.
Smoothies make a lot of nasty things taste better.
I’ve been living in the midst of a smoothie for days. It’s not over. Some positive experiences mixed with the bitter.
My grandson, Landry, finally came home from the hospital. So many graciously prayed for him, and I’ll be forever grateful for the intercession. It was a reminder of how wonderful community is when folks are hurting. How the faith of many can help the faithlessness of the one.
These first weeks of May are also heavy with sadness, for me and many whom I love. During these two weeks we smack into the first anniversary of the deaths of two very fine young men. Their deaths were untimely. The loved ones and friends they left behind are still experiencing grief and loss. Their memories are becoming sweeter, but the reminders of their absence are constant.
Life is full of the bitter and the sweet. Mixed together, it’s more palatable. But when a huge dose of the bitter comes through, it’s enough to make you gag.
It’s a challenge to embrace the good and bad, the soft and hard of life. One moment I’m unbelievably joyful because Landry came home. Healthy and whole. Ready to begin his life.
The next moment, I’m filled with sadness over the loss of Grant and Bryan. Two young men moving into adulthood with hopes, dreams, families and friends who loved them well. Life for them here has ended.
Life isn’t fair.
Saying that out loud gives no comfort. It’s a statement filled with frustration that won’t go away.
Does this make life futile?
It’s holding the tension of the exquisitely joyful and the unbearably painful at the same time.
Which is a lot easier to say than do.
I’d much rather be joyful. I don’t like pain.
I don’t live in that tension well.
It doesn’t make me a hypocrite.
It makes me human.
Jesus can handle whatever I’m dumping on Him. He’s my enough.
I’m well aware of my weaknesses, my fear and worry, how I try to control that which I can’t.
I know my own darkness. My anger, impatience, critical spirit, selfishness.
Jesus gets this about me. It doesn’t shock Him, catch Him unawares, scare Him off.
He’s in it for the long haul with me.
He’s not a crutch. That would be an inanimate object or practice of my choosing that gets me through hard times.
Those are often called addictions.
He’s the God who chooses to come alongside me in relationship, sharing my pain, rejoicing in the good.
Life’s tension comes from living in a broken world and wanting better.
Jesus’ answer? He offers His living water to sustain me. The only reliable chaser to the bitter smoothie of life.
I understand so little. But He’s shown up for me, time and again.
Cheers, my friends.
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