The world was watching when waves swept upon that island that is no stranger to devastation and grief. My heart ached for those who were lost. For those who were found and bleeding. For those who were separated from their beloveds. I've seen the pictures. I've watched the videos. I've thought and prayed about how I can help. Me. Jade. How can I accomplish what everyone else only dreams about? How can I be a do-er?
I also read the paper that same day. Murder. Thieving. Nasty, bleak happenings across the globe.
Then I saw on Facebook some harsh words that were exchanged by people. Negativity. yuck.
I also saw the whimpering of Americans across the country, frustrated by the elevated costs of living.
And to top it off, I have been sick. Major pressure in my head.
But also, pressure on my weary heart.
My husband kissed me, said he missed me, promised some time together soon.
My children grinned their silly boyish smiles at me.
My parents confirmed in me the child they raised, they encouraged me & loved me.
My brother made me laugh with his ridiculous texts and he loves my boys with such joy.
My friends moved me with their continued love. Their continued community.
I remembered that Jesus died for me. Loves me in spite of my sin. My selfishness. My faulty perspective.
I don't always have answers. I don't always have pretty words or melodies to share. I often make crude, ridiculous mistakes.
The world may be tilting too quickly, spinning too swiftly.
People may hate. They might fight. They are human.
And I will continue to love, to grin. To fight.
I read this today from the Rabbit Room.
"The world knows darkness. Christ came into the world to show us light. I have seen it, have been blinded by it, invaded by it, and I will tell its story. I cannot help but see that story everywhere I look. I see it when I am full of joy and weightless as a cloud, and I see it when grief and self-loathing root me to the cold earth; it is remembering the story, Christ whispering it in my ear, that kills the despair, sets me gently on the donkey, and takes me to an inn to recover from the wounds. How can I keep myself from singing?"
Sunday I shot some engagement pictures of a couple I've known since they were but children on the threshold of young adulthood. Their sincerity, their joy, their passion for Jesus. It was remarkable, enjoyable, soothing to my heart. To see in the midst of devastation, despair, unforgiveness; a couple who had light emanating from their joined hands. It is my joy to be a part of their journey to marriage.
And likewise on Saturday I attended a bridal shower for one of the high school girls I loved so well when Nate&myself worked with the youth of our church. Her affirmation in her future marriage to this young man was startling. I am often plagued with grief over young marriages that are in the throes of discontent and insecurity. But this young bride grinned as she told of her confidence in this marriage that will soon be upon us and how her talents, gifts, and passions are amplified as she walks arm in arm with her beloved. SUCH joy! I was delighted, tearful, and thankful to see another bright spark of Jesus being glorified in and through the obedience of his sheep.
Although I am sick (and my whole household too), I am so thankful at this moment and will continue to grin, persevere, fight.
How can I not?