I used to crave weekends. But not in the same way that most college students do… the weekend was the time when I could withdraw from the world, whereas Mondays brought new fear of having to emerge and face it all. It wasn’t my goal to socialize, I just wanted to hide.
Why am I telling you this? Well, I was driving home from church today with my usual sunny demeanor. The windows were down, but I- contrary to typical Hannah fashion- was not singing obnoxiously. See, it was a different kind of Sunday. I’d felt it in my spirit all morning and throughout the service. Sure enough, there at the corner of W. 86th and Meridian: I lost it. Maybe it was the Mercy Me song that came on the radio or maybe it was a recollection of a similar scene last Fall. Most likely, it was God, orchestrating all of my being to a state of awareness that culminated in one. big. cry.
I was puzzled. Was I upset? Happy? I wasn’t quite sure what I was feeling, but I knew it had to be the Spirit. And the word came to me: Gratitude. Gosh darn it! I was crying on a Sunday afternoon because I was grateful?! Who even does that? Apparently, I do. And I realized- mid cry- that I’m perfectly okay with that.
I remembered the anxiety, that rushed over me in paralyzing waves. I remembered the injury that shook me but proved the Lord’s goodness in my life. I went even farther back, to freshmen year and high school. All the tears and loneliness and frustration. And I, with as much dignity as one can muster when they just cried their way home, sat outside my house in awe.
The Lord brings forth goodness and mercy and justice and grace. But sometimes, He also brings us back. He brings us back to the days when we had no hope or when we felt like we would never climb out of the pit. And in the recollection, we realize that current life- albeit far from perfect- is a giant step closer to the magnetic-love of Jesus.
That, my friends, is Christianity. That’s the gospel! That the all-powerful God of the universe stoops down to us and brings forth life from dry bones. And we get to witness it. Live it. We get to smile and cry and laugh as we humbly proclaim that God is good and we are not.
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever! Psalm 136:1
For all your worry-warts out there, I was driving safely. I wasn’t like sobbing or anything, okay? Tomorrow’s Monday though, and I’m no longer afraid. I’m no longer dreading it because I’m no longer hiding, praise God. And when those moments of awe come, what else do you do? You just have to turn the radio off, coast down the road and let the joyful tears fall. Because God doesn’t leave us where we are and He certainly doesn’t forget us. Amen and Hallelujah to that!
Here’s an idea: Read Joshua 4 and start making your own memorial stones, as reminders of all God has done in your life. Put dates or words on the back to remind you of their significance, and watch your collection grow!