the hope of the afflicted will never perish

kathyescobar healing, incarnational, the refuge 30 Comments

psalm 916

i had a post all ready to go for today’s kick off to grief week. then i got word saturday night that a dear sweet friend connected to the refuge, who we have journeyed with for the past 8+ years since she was in high school, died suddenly in a tragic & avoidable car accident. my heart is so tired and i just wasn’t ready to write another post about pericardiums or open broken hearts.

there’s no way i can post this week about church grief. it’s just not the time. i’ll save it for when i come back september 1st and am going to sign off today for the next 2+ months. there’s plenty to read around here (5+ years worth!).  i was already going to be off for july & august and am just starting a week earlier. i need to catch my breath in all kinds of ways and focus on what’s right in front of me.

in times of trouble, i always cling to this part of psalm 9–“but God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish” (v.19).

i am glad God doesn’t forget us, and that try as this world may, it can’t kill our hope.

it’s also why i believe in every fiber of my being that we need safe communities that can hold the space for the realities of real life--who can be a refuge in times of trouble, who are the weird havens that people keep running back to over the course of years & years, who never give up on hope & possibility & healing for people despite the obstacles.

i can’t tell you how much respect i have for my fellow co-pastors who, when i introduced them to my friend years ago, signed on for the long haul with her, too. they are the real freaking deal, full of so much compassion and heart. i can’t tell you how much respect i have for my other refuge friends who love so well, so freely (the refuge kids, too).  and i can’t tell you how grateful i am that despite all of the shifts i’ve had in my faith, that i still have Hope.

true and deep hope.

hope that God is with us in every $*@^&!&!!& mess.

hope that he’ll never ever ever give up on us no matter how many times we fall.

hope that every bit of Christ’s love & dignity & kindness & compassion & grace that gets extended this side of heaven is worth it.

hope that despite the pain of this life there’s so much beauty and light and goodness in it, too.  

my friend whose life was too short embodied this kind of hope. my community does, too.

so, my dear friends, i’ll miss you here for the rest of the summer and extra appreciate your prayers & love.  i know so many of you are fighting your own battles and have aching hearts right now for different reasons. you’re trying to hold on to Hope, too.

maybe that’s what we all have in common.

it’s worth holding on to.

see you soon.

with love, kathy