Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Rebuilding the Ruins of Life

The children were outside running amidst the grass and dandelions enjoying the carefree joy of summer's play when I turned on the TV to confirm the news filling my twitter stream.  Immediately images of heroic teachers sharing how the saved little ones, parents being reunited with their children, parents painstakingly waiting to see their children, dogs finding way to their owner, and incredibly brave first responders going through the rubble filled my screen.

Rubble everywhere.

The destruction seemed to offer more chaos than clarity and I slowly lowered myself onto a stool trying to wrap my brain around the mess in front of me.  Tears blurred my screen as I heard Hannah say, "I'm going to make a dandelion bouquet for mommy" and another mom with children the same wondered if she would ever hear the same again.

The reporters cut to a live interview with a man filling the trunk of his destroyed car with pictures of his family.  "What are you doing?"  My annoyance for a question negating the obvious made me want to change the channel but I held it strong.  His car wasn't going to work anymore but it offered a place for him to gather the pieces remaining close to their family's heart.  "What are you going to do now?"  My frustration multiplied a thousand fold.

How is anyone supposed to know what to they are going to do when they're living in the shock of their world suddenly uprooted?

Literally in this case.

Lucky for the reporter this man was more patient than I.  "I don't know," he answered honestly.  His plan was simply to save what he could, put one foot in front of the next, and make plans as he was able.

The quiet strength in the midst of the wreckage birthed a new kind of tears.  

This morning I found myself preparing for Bible Study in the book of Isaiah.  And, as I read, I thought of that man....of all of us.

Our ruins aren't the same but devastation resonates strong.  Diagnoses destroy, unexpected losses distress, dissolved relationships overwhelm, jobs fizzle, finances fluctuate, and the list goes on. We sit in the mess of the "stuff" of life and wonder what our next step is and, even more, what the future holds. No one escapes this side of Glory without news that somehow shatters and requires strength we know not ourselves to have.

And we hear the voice of our ever-present God draws near, reminding us that He will give us the humble strength that we need to get one foot in front of the next.

For myself, this doesn't come with a loud voice of confidence or the banner cry of Christian faith, but rather the knowledge that in our brokenness He helps make us strong.

So we pray for Oklahoma

And with resolve we all rebuild the ruins of life with hope.

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