March has been an angsty month.
It started off with the 1st as all months do, but that particular date is now stained with the memory of earth-shattering news and will probably be a somber one for all years approaching. My family is no longer what it once was—or what I thought it was. Over a year now and though it seems others have forgotten, we haven't. How can we? Trauma bleeds through our hearts in Sharpie.
Our clocks recently sprang forward and we collectively lost an hour of sleep. The adjustment was grumble-worthy and inconvenient, but soon it was like nothing ever happened. I imagine this is what it's like for people indirectly affected by grief. They hear the bad news, they too are saddened and jarred, and after a little, on their lives eventually go. If this is true, you'd think I'd be more understanding when there was no acknowledgment as March 1st rolled in. Oh, how I lack in love and grace.
We sign up for MoviePass, field trips, worship teams, Spotify, CrossFit, newsletters, 5ks, and credit cards and when we do, we generally know what to expect. Our yeses can be submitted deliberately or carelessly, and I'm finding it's no different when we choose to follow Jesus. I've wobbled from both extremes and will still be surprised by the price we're to pay. It's almost subversive, what Jesus asks of his followers. Trials will present themselves and I'll act like there's fine print in the Bible I missed. Is this what I signed up for?
. . .
When I was in junior high, my dad had a rocketry club. I didn't know a thing about these cylindrical objects but I sat in a few meetings, happy to see him lead my peers and give them some support. They worked formulas and got matching shirts and talked combustion chambers. They never did win, though I guess they could've come close with a leader like my dad.
Years later and I've learned pride without intervention can launch higher than those rockets, volatile and bound for a hazardous end. Blaming was easy until I realized I'm part of the club. I'm among the group of sinners Christ died to save. Thinking I know better and love better and am better—who am I apart from the grace of God? Fingers, to whom will you then point?
. . . .
After watching Gifted twice this month, I made a playlist where the end credits song runs repeatedly for 25 minutes, the length of my recent commutes. "This is how you walk on, this is where you belong," Lightbody sings over and over. The song was written for the movie and every time I play it, I hear a father's dream for his little one. A chorus I wish I could hear for myself. Lyrics won't fill a paternal absence, but they remind me of what is already possible as a child of God. Hope, forgiveness, restoration, identity.
While we've been busy breaking vows and yeses and God's heart, he keeps his and keeps on loving with a covenant love. Father, hear my cry and know I need you.
One year and it still hurts. And still, he is so good.