“the hope of the afflicted shall never perish” – psalm 9:18
**i wrote this post before my last one, thinking the synchroblog was last week, so it’s kind of sweet to revisit it in light of last week’s wackiness. thank you for your love & encouragement & support & resolve to keep advocating for and living out gender equality in all kinds of ways. it meant so much to me to realize how many amazing people my life & blog intersect with and how important it is that we keep speaking out, sharing our stories, and fanning deeper and wider change into flame.
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note: this post is part of the april synchroblog, a chunk of bloggers writing on the same topic at the same time. here’s the video that inspired it. i always love reading the diverse posts. this month’s theme is focused on resurrection. you can check out the links at the bottom of this post; i’ll add more as they come in.
in the midst of lent on the journey toward easter, this month’s synchroblog is centered around resurrection & where we are seeing signs of life. it is very easy to live under a rock & miss what’s going on right in front of us. we get busy, we get distracted, we get focused (we get sucked into the internet abyss).
for me, it’s been one of the weirdest seasons ever, healing from back surgery & discovering what life is like with chronic pain & always-having-to-think-about-what-might-make-my-back-hurt-worse. it’s really a drag. but through it all, i am so grateful for all the ways i am indeed healing, learning, growing in the midst.
i am reminded, too, that God doesn’t promise perfect and complete healing. but he does promises hope. hope in the midst of pain. hope that there’s beauty to be found in the ugly. hope that there are always slivers of light in the darkness. hope that there is much to be thankful for. hope that we are loved, deeply, truly, madly, no matter what.
sure, there were lots of people healed in the gospel stories, but i am quite sure there were a lot of people who weren’t. there were still lepers, the crippled, the hemorrhaging , and hurting, feeling, struggling people with a whole lot of other ailments after Jesus died and during all of the times that the disciples were out healing people. we all still exist now.
i’m continually learning to redefine healing and the idea of miracles.
to me, healing and miracles are transformation or change. very rarely are they a once and for all. or a total 180 degree change that comes in a rush. rather, healing is an ongoing journey of shifting and changing, moving closer toward freedom, hope, love, life, peace. quite often, too, it is not visible to the un-Jesus-trained eye. we assume that when someone is still in pain that they are somehow not “healed.” when someone’s body is still broken, that somehow “healing” isn’t happening in other areas.
we focus on what isn’t instead of on what is.
we long for big miracles and miss out on the little ones that happen all of the time.
i believe in miracles. i believe in healing.
i just think they look way different than much of what i was originally taught (instant, big, and clear).
the other day i was on a walk & was feeling kind of whiney about my physical state, when i came across a man about my age, who seemed to have just lost his leg and was practicing using his crutches. there was something about that moment that got me all welled up inside, a reminder of how important it is to be grateful for the little things, like legs that work. and for me, right now, sitting again is a miracle.
here are a few other miracles i noticed around me in the past several weeks. i know i missed some, but these are some off the top of my head:
- friends learning how to live in intentional community who have ever reason to bail out, seeking counsel & support from other friends to find out a way to love & live with each other better.
- friends holding on to alcohol & drug & porn sobriety in the midst of big upheavels & lots of temptations to use.
- a friend who just celebrated 1 year of no smoking!
- other friends losing their sobriety but starting over again.
- someone anonymously paying a car repair bill for a friend who could really use a little reminder she’s special and valued.
- a single mommy who moved from near-homelessness to temporary housing to self-sufficiency, yeah!
- parents who aren’t giving up on their kids no matter how hard it gets.
- friends who are in the midst of their own pain quietly & simply standing alongside others in the midst of theirs.
- friends who have every reason to never set foot into another church, bravely walking through the doors, saying “i’m here because i need healing.”
- food, gas, cars & stuff shared, in all kinds of small & lovely ways. oh that is the best.
- (a new addition) – hearing stories of women who are leading & loving despite the obstacles & every human reason to give up.
some of these sound bigger than others, but they all have one thing in common–they are movement toward life. they are steps of courage. they are markers of hope. they are reminders of God’s spirit-at-work in all kinds of little and big ways.
to me, they are modern-day miracles.
the kind i want to celebrate & honor & remember because they are little glimpses God’s resurrection, in the flesh, now.
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link so far, check them out:
- Phil Wyman at Square No More – Apocalyptic fervor spurs benevolent giving
- Marta Layton at Marta’s Mathoms - Getting Out From Behind The Rock
- Mike Victorino at Simply A Night Owl - Crawling Out From Under A Rock
- John Paul Todd at E4Unity - Still Asleep In the Light
- Patrick Oden at Ravens - A Resurrection
- Brambonius at Brambonius’ blog in english - hiding the Resurrection life like a candle under a bucket?
- George Elerick at The Love Revolution - (for)getting the resurrection
- Liz Dyer at Grace Rules - I Will Answer That Question In A Minute, But First, I Want To Talk About Jesus
- Jeff Goins at Jeff Goins Writer - Resurrection
- Tammy Carter at Blessing the Beloved - Rock and a Hard Place
- Christen Hansel at Greener Grass - Resurrection Rhythm
- Alan Knox at the assembling of the church - Living The Resurrected Life
- Christine Sine at Godspace – Palm Sunday Is Coming But What Does It Mean
- Matt Stone at Glocal Christianity – Living The Resurrection
- Steve Hayes at Khanya – Descent into Hell and penal substitution
- Bill Sahlman at Creative Reflections – Do We Live Under a Rock of Belief?