Sunday, June 24, 2012
Letter to my Youngest Daughter
Every year of SITS I have sent a package of written notes with you—wondering if they will have relevance, if they will have any import, if they will have impact. Every year.
This year is not different. Often I try too hard—only to forget and then remember that it is God who takes his own word and does with it what he wants. Only he knows what you truly need, what you long and sigh for in the depths of all that is Abby. Only he knows.
And so I trust him—not to use my words, but to use his. And his word will appear in the most unlikely and obscure places. They will suddenly stand up from the page or out from the wall or appear as scribblings in the sand. But they will appear. The better thing for me to do is ask that your eyes be open to see and interpret, that your mind be plowed and receptive to the seed and that your heart would be open and perceptive to his methodology.
All of us long for that moment in our personal histories that we can look back and attest that this was the place that we met God. This is the place he spoke to us through his Spirit and changed our lives. We long for the Isaiah 6, the Transfiguration and the Upper Room experiences. We want to be able to mark our history. But because we are finite and so very linear in our thinking we do not see the entirety of our history—we do not see the myriad of ways God changes our lives in the daily plodding of our living. This is a gradual shifting of our hills and valleys and we often fail to recognize what he is doing.
God, our God, has been shifting and moving great mountains of earth in you this past year, Abby. This has been painful; your whole inner tectonic plate has been shifted. Now you are living with the adjustments and acclimations it takes to readjust. And you are attempting to remap who you are.
This week he will want to show you how he wants you to live in this new terrain. You have had a year of ducking falling trees, dodging rolling boulders and running from avalanches. All of these have taken their toll from you in one way or another. But now, Abby, it is time for you to rest.
Remember, you are his delight. Your earthly father named you, but your heavenly Father chose your name. It is not some aesthetic accident because it flowed well with your last name. It is not just because your dad liked the way it looked on paper. God named you, and in naming you he called you.
And the calling he has on your life is a hard one. It is hard to be a prophet in a compassion-mercy and tolerance driven world. It is hard to stand alone and call black black and white white when so many people just want you to divert to gray. It is hard to stand for justice and right when the standards of these realities seem to be so arbitrary. It is hard to be seventeen and four hundred and sixty-three at the same time.
Allow the God you so love to minister to you. To heal you. To restore you. To rejuvenate you. To under gird you. To encourage you.
He will rebuild what has been broken. He will restore what has been pilfered. He will replenish what has been siphoned.
Be his delight this week. You won’t have to try very hard.
One April evening in 2017 we reached for your Mama and Daddy’s hands and led them into the stillness of an empty sanctuary. At an altar we...
Twenty-three months ago I entered into a land of shadow —like the brilliant day when the sun disappears because a cloud moves in front o...
But the fact that I felt almost nothing during this time alerted me to something being amiss. Something amiss, yes. But this alarm, this...