Cub is staying with his grandparents while I volunteer at our church these past couple days, so Josh and I have had a little alone time (not much, but a little). I told him that I didn't think I could stand any more bad news. At least not for today.
And then I just got angry. You know? When people around you that you know and love, or people that perhaps you don't know but love their story ... why do these things happen? Stupid recession, stupid mistakes by some, stupid stupid stupid ... stupid sin, really. I think that was the weight I felt--just that oppressive, hopeless feeling of so much darkness.
I know that sounds ominous, but really, when these things start happening so close to home, it takes on a whole new dimension. And it hits hard.
I consider myself a pretty optimistic person, but today I was honestly grappling to find the good in today. I actually made myself sit down and think of the "good" things today: Cub's smile, time with family, conversations with my husband ... the things that have no monetary value and are thus the most valuable.
Ironically, this Sunday our church will be lighting the Joy candle in the Advent Wreath. I had to go back and find the reading for Sunday to try to dig up some joyful feelings amidst the sadness.
Rejoicing in the Lord, always, always, can be quite a charge. I remember how joyful I was when I wrote the reading--and now, only a few days later, I feel everything but joy. But maybe God placed those thoughts on my heart because He knew today would happen and that I would need to read them today--to remember what He has done for us. Especially this time of year. He chose poverty. He chose subtlety over audacity. And nothing--not pain, not bad health, not poverty--can diminish that truth.
I never know what to say to those around me who are hurting. But my prayer for them will be that truth. God sent His Son for us. And while this is something we celebrate all year long, this time of year is an especially poignant time to do so. He knows what they are going through and He already knows the outcome. He knows.