I love the tag-line for Wrecked.org, “when life as you know it doesn’t work anymore.”
Aren’t we all a little wrecked? Disillusioned? A wee bit uncomfortable in the way this divine mystery unfolds?
The winds howl, the assault continues on an unfortified people, folks are lost and lonely…and sometimes the truth of a loving God rings hollow in our own ears. We look to the “map” for guidance and there are no familiar markers. It’s like the road we were travelling has somehow been dropped onto a different planet.
We don’t have to travel far to feel the dissonance.
Financial uncertainty visits our own wallet though we faithfully tithe and give and serve and share.
Illness disrupts plans of freedom and leaving the bounds of a chair.
Truth blows up the fiction of a marriage and takes with it all of the hopes and dreams of growing up and old together and changing the world.
The road is broken all around us. What do we do with this?
In my life when faced with the broken road, I have worked harder to please a God who I saw as reminder of the life of eggshell hopping and moving targets of my earliest beginnings. I know this fear of failure and not being able to call trauma by it’s real name. But all that working to appease and please only left me exhausted and bitter like the little red hen.
I’ve scrabbled and cried and stoically stirred the anger inside just so I could face the day…each lonely painful day. And this may have gotten me out of my stupor, but unchecked – only fostered soul-crushing bitterness.
I’ve flailed about, forgotten my autonomy and begged and whined for answers and the “right path.” This was just sad. Blood letting all over my friends and family.
Now, I am faced with an untenable situation.
My character is not the least of what has been violated. Also my Kingdom Dream, trust…promises that were made-vows before a holy God. I became collateral damage in a war to preserve an image and a self-deluding effort of power and control. Truth – also a casualty in this along with demeaning and demoralizing fear…terror decisively administered.
Where is this holy God?
How did I get here? Where do I go? Who will I be?
Help! Help! Help! Help! Help! Help! Help.
What did I not see?
There are no answers today.
And I do not feel abandoned by God.
Though the way is unknown and life has been tossed into the highway, I know that my Redeemer lives and that he is closer than a brother – more than nearby.
The brilliant beauty and brutality of “free will” is at play here.
God will not violate his own laws.
But he will fight for us – those who find ourselves in the valley of the shadow of death. He will find us in the thickets and lead us to safety.
Our wallets may stay thin, our illnesses may consume, our integrity may be forever impinged, but we will be found and shepherded to safety. Loved. Sealed. Held accountable.
And maybe this broken road weaves into the place where our dreams of Kingdom come true. The unexpected opening into the realm of living and new people and unanswerable questions asked and left with “I don’t know why” and “He is still good to me.”
A tangent to wrap this up
Last Monday, I packed my Pontiac Vibe with an inherited mattress and my celebration dress from Madi’s graduation. I was in Tulsa and heading to find closure on the train wreck in Houston. After logging over 3,250 miles in less than a month, I wanted the fastest and surest way to the apartment. So I called up Google Navigation to take me home.
I expected the return trip to be like the drive I had just made a few days before, up through College Station, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Oklahoma City and beyond – only in reverse. But my doggone GPS would not accept the path I had wanted no matter how I restarted it. It only would accept a route down a two lane “cow path” that wound through Oklahoma like a drunken sailor.
My GPS would not let me choose the easiest route through Oklahoma City and southward.
I left at noon during the rush of lunch drivers, etc.
It’s a 2 hour trip from Cherry Street to south Oklahoma City under the best of circumstances.
I was so tired and weary and scared about the destruction in my own life that I became angry and asked aloud, “why the hell can’t I go the easy way through Oklahoma City?”
It was only much later as I pulled up my covers in my tiny little bed that I clicked on BBC news and read what I had missed.
Between 2:00 & 2:46 pm, a mile-wide tornado crossed Highway 35 south of Oklahoma City.
I nearly vomited. I did cry a bit.
And thank God for mucking up my plans and GPS and taking me along winding cow path roads through the beautiful state of Oklahoma.
And as tears became sobs for the people of sorrow in Moore, Oklahoma, and for myself, I finally fell into a first full night’s sleep in many many months.
I have no idea what God is doing. I don’t know why he spared me. Sometimes, in my darkest moments, I have wondered if it is more cruel to have been diverted through sunny roads…though it is a most selfish weenie-ish pitiful thing to admit.
He is God. I am not. And though my heart is in constant aching and fighting terrors by day and at night, I’m okay with this, “He is God” and “I am not.”
Please pray…ACT on behalf of the people plummeted onto this broken road in Moore, Granby…those places where hope seems so far away. You could make all of the difference.
I need a place and purpose and people of community to lead me homeward. I have no idea where this broken road is headed. I’m a little weary and wary of my ability to discern.
Walk with me along this road.
Let’s see what this good and mysterious and loving God is up to.