Heart Sickness

March 26, 2014

Here is the world.
Beautiful and terrible things will happen.
Don’t be afraid.
-Frederick Buechner

I have been notoriously absent… not even participating in the last two Grace Letters. There are times when it is too hard to write. Words that are usually my friends become strangers to me. In those moments, I only know the sounds of groaning, of heavy hardness- my soul all churned up with a mixture of prayer and thought and emotions. Lately, the soul churning has been quite strong.

When I am overcome with worry for my son, when I am overwhelmed at seeing the constant push to erode what was once thought to be a given, when I am undone by my own people- those who follow Jesus- who forget that following him means trying to act like him. When I am aware of my own emptiness, my own struggle, my own screw ups, my own fears. When I am tempted to despair and spiral down. When I am so deeply afraid of the type of world my son will grow up in. When I am also afraid of the type of world I am contributing to.

The churning in the soul gets strong. Knocking me off, knocking me down. I have less patience, less hope, less willingness to listen. Things happen and slowly my joy is robbed, piece by piece, part by part, leaking out through the cracks that threaten to fall apart entirely.

And then one sentence. A few words. Typed by the fingers of a faithful friend who also struggles with some of the same things I am seeing recently. He writes this:

“Perfect love drives out fear.”

And I am undone all over again.

Faith is hard. It’s very hard. I don’t understand many things in this world. I understand less the more I live. But I know that I know that I know this: God is good. And his love drives out fear.

And so with souls all churned into a mess of so many things, it’s all we can do- we lift our hands and speak the truth we know. Perfect love drives out fear.

Please, good God, drive it hard.

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