What a weird weekend.
My running buddy Steve is a brand-new father. After years of work and many dollars of infertility treatments and lots and lots of angst, he and his wife have their deepest desire. Steve has been a very compassionate sounding board and genuine encouragement for me as my wife and I have been on a similar journey, and so I’m celebrating this storybook ending to their trials. I’m praying for them, giving thanks and asking for wisdom and strength to raise this boy.
Another friend is traveling all over the country with his girlfriend, meeting up with his parents and her parents to inquire about their plans for marriage. He’s been patiently waiting for The One, and then one day she literally walked right up and knocked on his door. The fit for his love, and the life he’s created for himself, and his future life in God. The answer to so many groaning questions over the six years we’ve known one another. My joy about this is a little beyond words, and so I’m praying for their travels, and meetings, and future.
Another friend is mourning the loss of his mother. His dad died over a year ago, and his mom died on Friday after a long illness which has had him traveling to Florida for weeks. Today, he is getting that swift-kick-in-the-guts which families receive upon the passing of their loved one: the short notice to clear out their room, post-haste. One day after his mom dies, he is loading trucks and giving away her most prized possessions. Oh, and he’s planning her funeral, as he has no family to help. I’m praying for him, giving thanks for his precious friends there, and asking for strength to endure this difficult time and to somehow grieve the loss of his mother amid the shit-storm of details which demand his attention.
All of these prayers on this very mixed-up weekend. It feels weird to be a channel for all of these feelings. So I wonder what it must be like for God. Many voices asking for so many disparate things. And yet, all asking for the same thing: mercy. It reminds me of a conference call which we shared with some friends last week where we closed by reciting the Lord’s Prayer. About 12 of us were speaking over the phone line, our voices weaving in and out of sycopation, in a kind of weird, static-y communion. It was very Bruce Almighty, and I wondered how all of this is for God. How is it is that he can listen and care, and help each of us in our myriad times of need? How can he understand all of our feelings, and especially our conflicted feelings and the feelings too deep to express?