Lately I’ve been feeling like the frustrated loser at the beginning of an underdog sports film. I think in the left hand of my liberated rejoicing over the absolute and supreme capability of the Creator who never intended for me to fend for myself, I might actually be grieving the absolute inadequacy of my own strength. I almost labeled it ‘shameful’, just now . . . “the shameful and absolute inadequacy of my own strength.” I am learning, still: there is no shame in needing God . . . or even needing help from other people. Community is part of God’s design for sustaining us . . . community as we have all come to laud it; but preeminently, family. Husband, Wife. Mom, Dad. Brothers, sisters, children, cousins, aunts and uncles, grandpas. Grandmothers and sobrinhos, or – as my BFF Christina and I like to call them – ‘niblings.’

My family lives in Europe and Baltimore and The Midwest and New Mexico and The Kingdom of Heaven. I am not married and the branch I thought I would grow by now has yet to be born. But my Family also lives 12 miles away and scattered across the state and in Berkeley and out by Ocean Beach and in Winnipeg and Colorado. Some of us look nothing alike to the natural eye, but all have the same DNA. We have died to ourselves and it’s no longer any or each of us that lives, but Christ in us – The Hope of Glory.

. . . to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. {John 1:9-13} • See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. {1 John 3:1}

Sitting at a red light this afternoon in the umpteenth-seeming day of ‘winter weather’ I remembered what it felt like stepping over humans at the Civic Center BART station en route to Cathedral Hill; and in a previous season, trying to protect my precious nanny-child from the scent of marijuana and the unpredictable indulgers thereof during lunch not far from a children’s museum between Fidi and Soma.

A symphony interrupted by warnings of impending flood a few counties over, my mind recalled pre-dawn commutes from the East Bay to the City that used to feel like the janky start of a fairy tale . . . San Franciscan asphalt shimmering in early morning light, smelling of human waste and worse. As awful as the connivance was that caused it all. And yet, that shimmering sidewalk against the backdrop of gorgeous pacific landscape . . . a bright-eyed toddler who was usually happy to see me, but still had need of distraction as his parents slipped out the door . . . both at the same time {get it out | blind pilot}.

Any given day presents a reason to feel like living in Biff’s 1985 and a nightmare. And the whole earth is filled with God’s glory {Psalms, Isaiah, Habakkuk}. The knowledge of the glory of the Lord is rising as waters that cover the sea. The family of God is growing, even as evil barely veils its masquerades. This planet and its societies, and sadly – so many of our families – are dreadfully unhinged. But everything unlovely is the lingering symptom of a dis-ease that has, by Jesus, already been bested. The whole earth will not groan forever. It is filled with His glory, and will be. There is power in His Name and in His Blood . . . for His family in the here and now, not just for eventual eternity. If we must, let us build with mortar in one hand and swords in the other; but let us not give in to despair.

Blessed is Jehovah God, God of Israel,
He alone is doing wonders,
And blessed is the Name of His honour to the age,
And the whole earth is filled with His honour.
Amen, and Amen!

Psalm 72:18-19, Young’s Literal Translation

. . . & & // get up and do your life again tomorrow. take courage again.


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