Aug 13, 2013

"God binds up his heart so closely with suffering people that he interprets any move against them as a move against him." - Tim Keller.

Out of the frying pan, into the fire.

In one week's time: the delights of closest friends' birthdays, the ache of grief with a dear friend's awful loss, a joyous wedding... to live in the tense arc between the two... to allow each one to be their own and not arrest the other. How?

Tim Keller, in a sermon on anxiety, talks about perspective and expectations. Taxi drivers in NYC ram into each other. Often. In the midwest, there are police, accident reports, phone calls, etc. But in NYC, the taxi drivers expect chaos. They are ready. They keep going.

My wise friend E.M. observed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Already in exile. Thrown into a furnace to be executed. God was right in there with them. Alongside them. Does life ever calm down, or is it one continuous bonfire? Isn't fire a method of purification?

The happy warmth of weddings & births, the searing pain of death... to suffer... to struggle… to know God's presence no matter our circumstance. My friend Audrey wrote the song below. It's a prayer I didn't know was on my lips until I heard her sing it.  When I taste Your goodness, I shall not want.

I Shall Not Want
by Audrey Assad | from the album Fortunate Fall

From the love of my own comfort
From the fear of having nothing
From a life of worldly passions
Deliver me O God

From the need to be understood
From the need to be accepted
From the fear of being lonely
Deliver me O God
Deliver me O God

And I shall not want, I shall not want
when I taste Your goodness I shall not want
when I taste Your goodness I shall not want

From the fear of serving others
From the fear of death or trial
From the fear of humility
Deliver me O God
Deliver me O God

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