I meander through conifer forest next to our home, whipped by white pine branches and pricked by wild rose stems. Trails cleared years ago for riding horses in summer and cross-country skiing in winter are now overgrown from lack of tending. Some paths are hardly visible. Others are too near eroded banks of the creek running through. We will need days of muscle and chainsaw to clear again.
Life often seems an overgrown path with cares that whip and entangle and prick our souls. We need a clearing, a soothing, a breathing space, like the place where fallen cones rest on rusted needles.
We need to step out IN COURAGE to face what feels impossible—the truth that we can all fall.
Like the 6-year-old boy in our town, just diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, cancer already spread to his spine. Treatment begins soon.
Like the 17-year-old friend of our son who broadcast on Facebook wanting to kill his biological father and then himself and asking our son for a gun. Thankfully, he got help.
Like the 19-year-old son of our friends in town who fell off a roof last fall and was helicoptered to hospital. Miraculously, he recovered. And this past weekend his pick-up truck rolled over and over on Highway 32, crushing his vehicle and breaking his bones. Miraculously, he survived.
We live in a very small farming community! These things don’t happen here!
Oh yes . . .
They do . . .
Brokenness has no bounds.
Pain passes no one.
So what do we do? How do we LIVE in the midst, not just survive white-knuckled, waiting for the next bit of bad news?
We stop and we breathe.
And we take the first right step, no matter how feeble it feels.
Just the first right step.
We focus on the light of truth God gives in the moment.
And then in the next moment.
And the next.
Joining one step to another, stringing one moment to another.
But how do we not become discouraged?
How do we move on IN COURAGE?
We move on by grace, through faith.
God answers our heart-felt prayers for help. He delivers care packages with perfect timing in often unexpected ways.
We pray for our “daily bread”. Often, our “daily bread” comes from the hearts and hands of others. Can we humbly and gratefully accept?
Blessed are those who know their need and who can receive. Blessed are those who give. The positions are sure to switch at some point in time.
In the reciprocal giving and receiving we are bound to one another and to our God who created us. We open like the pine cones and spill out new life, new hope, new meaning. This is how goodness comes from brokenness. When we can rejoice together and mourn together. When we can give and receive. When we recognize that we’re all equal in God’s eyes. Then, there is no need to stay so closed, so hidden, so alone. We can join the community of the open and create our own forest of peace, resting with the millions of other fallen, not one unknown or forgotten by God.